What is Internal Communication?

What Does Comunicación Interna Mean

In different fields discussing internal communication to refer to the channels and mechanisms of information that exist within an organization determined, and whose destiny is the same staff working on it, in its various departments or organizational arrangements. In that it is distinguished from external communication , which is that which goes from the organization to the external world.



The internal communication of a company or organization establishes informational links of diverse nature between its own parts , either from the top management to the workers or vice versa, or between colleagues in the same department.

As its name indicates, it occurs within organizations and does not generally come to light , which is why it is usually guided by internal organization guidelines and within a certain prudent margin of confidentiality towards the outside world.

See also: Corporate communication

Types of internal communication

Horizontal communication occurs between peers, as well as between colleagues on the same team.

Internal communication is classified according to the place in the hierarchy of the organization that the actors involved have. That is, depending on which levels of the organization communicate with each other. Thus, it is often spoken of:

  • Downward communication. That which comes from the organizational leadership, that is, from the upper levels of the hierarchy, and is destined for the lower levels. In other words, from bosses to subordinates, or from managers to workers. It is usually a type of one-way communication, which complies with notifying, giving instructions, participating in decisions.
  • Horizontal communication. It is one that occurs between pairs, as between colleagues of the same team, or between coordinators at the same height, or between heads of different departments. There is no hierarchical relationship in it, but it is between equals, generally to share information, respond to requests, etc.
  • Upward communication. Logically, it is the one that goes from the lower levels of the hierarchy to the higher levels, that is, as feedback from subordinates to directors, managers, bosses, etc. It also serves to give ideas, suggestions, proposals to those who make strategic decisions in the organization, or to make formal requests.

Objectives of internal communication

Internal communication pursues the following objectives:

  • Organize and improve the exchange of information between areas. Thus preventing departments or managements from operating like bubbles, isolated from the rest of the organization.
  • Promote knowledge of management and workers. Fostering an informed work environment, in which workers know who leads them and how, and management can in turn connect with their team and know who they are and what their strengths, weaknesses and aspirations are.
  • Generate a corporate identity. Internal communications should promote the idea of ​​belonging among workers and promote teamwork , to have a warmer and more committed work environment.
  • Promote internal participation. Establish spaces for the exchange of ideas, for social contact and for dialogue and debate, to share successes and challenges, to provide important information and to innovate in these fields.

Internal communication tools

An institutional email allows a quick exchange of information.

There are many possible tools to establish healthy dynamics of internal communication in an organization. Some of them are the following:

  • Internal newsletters. Such as newsletters, monthly or weekly reports, where the worker is provided with news of interest, important information and exchanges between peers are encouraged.
  • Employee manual. Lucky brochures where the worker is given all the basic information that he might need to communicate with other departments, as well as that necessary for corporate identity: the history of the organization, its business organization chart, its mission , vision and values , etc.
  • Information boards. They can be developed by department or centralized in an information coordination , but generally they must be in highly visible places or places with a lot of traffic, where information of various kinds can be offered and even invite the internal public to participate.
  • Circulars. Documents of interest that circulate, as its name indicates, between departments, workers, etc.
  • Intranet. Computerized networks to which only members of the organization have access, being able to share files , have videoconferences, send documents, etc.
  • E-mail . An institutional email is a good way to promote belonging among the members of the organization and to allow a rapid exchange of information with minimal expenditure of resources.

External communication

External communication is, unlike internal communication, that which occurs between the inside of a given organization and those outside agencies with which it is linked, such as clients , competitors and suppliers.

It is usually governed by a corporate identity (manifested in aesthetic details such as logos, colors , etc., but also in strategic communication guidelines) and therefore is much more controlled and regulated . This includes newsletters to the public, advertising , emails , marketing in social networks , etc.

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