Employee Advocacy ~ 8 min

Employee Advocacy: Internal and External Communications

Communication Team, Experts in Internal Communication, Sociabble
Communication Team Experts in Internal Communication

In this guest post by Joel Calafell, a digital strategist at Good Rebels, you’ll learn how Employee Advocacy consists of both an internal and an external communication component; and how the best strategies are the ones that take both into consideration.

It is no secret that “earned content” and “lack of control” go hand in hand more often than not. When leveraging “earned voice” projects, the end result is usually spontaneous and unpredictable communication assets. In fact, control and credibility tend to be on two opposite ends of the advocacy marketing paradigm.

In spite of this, most advocacy projects end up pursuing a single direction when it comes to employees, opting for either internal or external communications. The reason lies mainly in the need to establish clear media objectives, audiences and channels, the same way you would build a media plan.

But such a linear way of thinking could miss some of the opportunities of building a multidirectional project that could be more effective and profitable for a different range of business areas and stakeholders.

New on employee advocacy subject? Learn all you need to know with this guide on employee advocacy definition.

Conventionally, there are three levels within the already well-established advocacy marketing strategies:

First layer: outbound – internal communications

The most common employee advocacy projects, which capitalise on the internal employee voice to be leveraged outwards: targeting their employee’s digital communities by providing them with training, assets, information and content guidelines.

Second layer: inbound – internal communications

These projects usually activate internal Champions, ambassadors or advocates to leverage their “earned voice” to impact inside their own organisation, with the intention of activating or communicating to other employees in a more natural and trustworthy way than official channels.

Third layer: outbound – external communications

Projects that are usually based on the capitalisation of voices outside the company. Goals tend to be marketing-driven and use the “external voice” to leverage fans, clients or loyalty members to position both the brand and its products.

Brand advocacy projects can cover all three angles, but only employee advocacy projects activate communication layers 1 and 2. Let’s take a closer look at how they can work individually and together.