The Importance of Internal & External Communication

by Mara Tyler; Updated September 26, 2017

Company communication policies help both employees and company leaders to present a unified image. Internal communication refers to the communication strategies inside the company among employees and company leaders. External communication is the process of communicating with press, competitors or customers. Both types of communication are important to the overall success and longevity of any company. Clearly-defined policies should be written out and all employees should know what their duties and responsibilities are when it comes to communicating with their colleagues, superiors or outside parties.

Team Building

Effective internal communication policies can help improve overall employee morale and team work. When employees attend regular face-to-face meetings or brainstorm in person with their colleagues, they tend to stay connected to one another as opposed to being alienated or isolated in their individual jobs. When employees are all on the same page about goals, client projects or changes in the company, they can operate more effectively as a unit. A good internal communications plan can help staff stay focused, motivated and on track.

Company Identity

Internal communication is also necessary in order to maintain a clear company identity. A company must know its own goals, values and strengths before it can communicate these traits to the consumer or to stakeholders. Internal communication assists employees in understanding company culture and helping them learn key messaging about what the company wants to convey to the public. Over time, this type of messaging becomes second nature to employees and helps them to convey a unified, well-defined image of what the company stands for.


External communication is critical during times when a company's reputation needs defending or strengthening. When a company can communicate honestly, candidly and intelligently to the consumer or the public, it can strengthen its own reputation. External communication policies must be in place to address problems or concerns that can arise within the company or about a company product. If the company can build a good reputation with the press, too, it is more likely to be conveyed in a positive light.


Thought leadership is another important reason for external communication. A company should be able to convey to the press or to the consumer why it is a leader in the industry. For example, advertisements and press releases about the company need to clearly explain the value of a service or product. External communication strategies can position the company as a leader in a particular field. That reputation can often help the company improve sales or beat out competitors.

About the Author

Mara Tyler is a writer and public relations consultant based in the San Francisco Bay Area. With more than eight years of experience, she specializes in health, nutrition, women's lifestyle and marketing. Tyler holds a Bachelor of Science in public relations.

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