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5 ways an internal blog can supercharge company culture

Why, and how, your organization should run an internal blog

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If you’re part of a large or fast-growing organization, we bet you can identify with the below issues:

  • Your employees feel hesitation in sending emails to the whole department or company for small but relevant subjects. And they’re not sure whom they can include. 
  • Your workers, especially those on the front line, have no way to know what’s happening in your organization on a higher level. 

When there is such a thirst for information throughout an organization, email is just not enough. You need something more. And that something is an internal blog.

Blogging has already made huge strides in external communications. Starting a blog helps a business express its brand values, share ideas, and engage its audience. So much so that you’d be hard-pressed to find a company that doesn’t blog for marketing purposes.

Now, attributing to the same benefits, companies like IBM, Atlassian, and Microsoft are increasingly adopting blog posts for workplace communication. And there’s no reason you can’t do the same. 

So in this post, we’ll take a look at the what and why of an internal communication blog. Plus, we’ll cover essential best practices to make internal blogging a massive success in your company. Let’s dive in.  

What is an internal blog? 

Before we get to the subject of an internal blog for employees, it’s important to understand what a blog is (without the “internal”). It’s basically an online diary in which the “blogger” can write new entries in chronological order. And each entry is known as a blog post. 

Every time you write a new blog post, it takes the topmost spot on the blog, pushing down the previous entry to the second spot, the second entry to the third spot, and so on. This inherent quality also allows readers to “subscribe to” or “follow” blogs and look forward to new content on a regular basis.  

Now, when you launch and use a blog to inform and engage your employees instead of anyone with internet access, that means it’s an internal blog. 

An employee browsing through an internal blog.

It’s an online space (typically a part of a company’s intranet) where workers can contribute and read news, updates, and other insights pertaining to the workplace. For example:

  • HR can write entries that introduce new key hires, updates to workplace policies, and upcoming benefit packages. 
  • Marketing can share new media coverage, PR wins, customer success stories, and branding collateral.
  • IT can publish posts about software updates, troubleshooting common issues, and onboarding tutorials. 
  • Sales can post about big wins, client acquisitions, growth numbers, and other events that call for celebration.

As you can see, an internal company blog is a very versatile source of information. It lets you share anything without worrying about who’s appropriate to include or exclude from the conversation. 

It’s a place where everyone’s included by default and every worker just belongs. And that’s why blogging in the workplace can have a huge impact on your company’s culture and employee engagement. 

Benefits of an internal communication blog 

Here’s why an internal blog for employees is an essential part of your company’s communication strategy:

Connects your workforce 

For most workers, social interactions are limited to their immediate team. Internal blogging is a great way to hear the thoughts and updates from different teams in the organization. By sharing and commenting on blog posts, workers can initiate conversations and expand their network within the company. 

Improves productivity 

49% of US workers face difficulty in finding the documentation they need to do their jobs. An internal blog lets you document dynamic, temporary, or informal information that won’t quite fit into your static, official, and permanent content hub. This way, your workers save time they would have wasted otherwise in locating key details.  

Encourages knowledge sharing

Do you know that an average US business loses anywhere from $2.7 million to $265 million in annual productivity to inefficient sharing of knowledge?

Blogging in the workplace helps prevent this loss by giving workers an avenue to share insights and best practices from their experience and expertise. And in doing so, they transfer their valuable knowledge to not just an immediate team member, but to the entire company.  

Internal company blog promotes knowledge sharing.

Gives a voice to employees

Research by Salesforce shows that employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best work. 

Graph showing in what conditions workers feel empowered to do their best work.

But traditionally, the hierarchical structure of an organization has the unintended impact of making the voices of senior employees louder than those on the lower level. So that’s also an area where an internal company blog can make a difference. It communicates to workers that the organization really wants their inputs. 

Internal blogging best practices

Now, with the basics out of the way, here are some key strategies to launch and maintain a successful internal blog. 

1. Involve senior leaders 

Getting senior leadership on board is essential for new directives. Take employee health, for example. Studies show that when senior managers publicly recognize employees’ healthy actions, there’s a significant improvement in employee health and a reduction in medical costs. A similar phenomenon was seen in the matters of work-life balance.

A directive like internal blogging is no exception. Support from key leaders sends the message to the entire organization that internal blogging is a priority and not just a formality. 

You can have an even stronger impact if you can get some of them to post on the blog on a regular basis. You’ll see the workers pay more attention and take blogging as a viable way to communicate information internally. 

To get senior executives to contribute to an internal communication blog, make it as easy for them as possible. For instance, use an internal blogging tool or platform that makes writing and publishing quick and intuitive. If they are still too busy to write, you can assign someone to interview them and write on their behalf. 

Whatever it takes, involve them in the process and you’ll see a real improvement in your internal blog’s adoption and engagement. 

2. Find early adopters   

Early adopters are the people in your organization who are in the same boat as you. That means they’re on board with the decision to have an internal blog for employees. And they’ll likely be the first people to help with launching the blog, contributing content, and spreading the word.

If you don’t have such early supporters, that’s where you should start. Having even a small team of people championing a cause is essential for a successful internal blog launch. 

Another benefit of early adopters is that they can identify the kinks causing any friction in the blogging process. They can check how easy or difficult it will be for your whole workforce to read or contribute content to the blog, determining if the majority of your workers will accept the change.   

And if everything is smooth and seamless, their faith and enthusiasm for the new internal blog will get participation from around the organization. 

The best way to find early adopters is to have your ears to the ground. Listen to conversations in public areas such as lunchrooms, hallways, internal chat groups, and so on. See who has something interesting to share and suggest they write a blog post.  

3. Get the initial traction

If you have ever tried to push a merry-go-round full of children, you know how important momentum is. It takes a lot of effort to get those first few movements of rotation. You dig your foot in the ground and stretch every muscle of your body, even calling someone for help. 

But once it gains momentum, a lot less force is needed to keep it in motion. And it’s much easier to keep it rotating. 

The point is that starting something is hard. So you need to put more energy, in the beginning, to help people adopt the internal blog. For example, you can run a training session to teach people how to write or subscribe to the blog, and make those instructions available in a central content repository. 

Even little things can go a long way. When someone posts a new entry, for instance, show your support with a like or comment. 

4. Balance candor and ettiquette

Remember what Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker? With great power comes great responsibility. When launching a communication channel as democratic as an internal company blog, there’s room for things to go out of hand.  

Take this memo by a former Google engineer as an example. He misused and misinterpreted scientific research to make discriminatory remarks against his female coworkers, tarnishing the reputation of the whole company. 

You need to prevent such mishaps from happening in your organization. So your internal communication blog should come with certain rules and regulations that make it a safe and inclusive place for everyone to read and contribute. These might include:

Don’t bring somebody’s identity into the mix: An internal blog is not the place to reject, mock, or even debate someone’s gender, race, political views, and so on. There’s just no room for such ideas in an inclusive culture.

Be considerate: When blogging in the workplace, draw from your common sense and consider if what you are writing may be offensive to a section of the workforce. 

Take sensitive matters offline: People can’t hear your voice or see your body language when reading what you post online. For this reason, your writing can often come across as harsher than what you intended. And the same is true for the comments people may write to disagree with a blog post. 

So instead of allowing the issue to escalate and be visible for everyone in the company, it’s better to resolve it in person. 

Having such guidelines in place will bring a sense of peace and security. And it’ll help your internal company blog spark productive discussions. 

5. Categorize blog content by audience segments

While workers would certainly want to know what’s happening in other departments, too much content can cause them to tune out. This is especially true if you are part of a large organization with hundreds of different teams.  

When someone subscribes to the internal communication blog, the majority of content should be relevant to them. So it’s better to classify your blog posts into categories meant for different segments of your workforce. 

For example, take a look at how we categorize blog posts for different departments on the Blink blog.

Blink's blog post categories

This segmentation will go a long way in increasing engagement on your blog posts, while ensuring key information reaches its intended audience. 

Another benefit of this approach is visible in performance reporting. When analyzing the reach and engagement of your blog posts, you can separately see how each category is performing and take steps to improve specific areas that need attention. 

Conclusion

As we’ve covered, encouraging a culture of internal blogging plays a big role in effective internal communication. 

But make no mistake — it’s not going to be easy. You can’t just send a company-wide memo announcing the adoption of an internal blog for employees and expect people to comply. 

There’s a long road ahead of you. And we hope the tips shared above will help you accelerate the timeline and lead your company towards internal blogging in a seamless way. Because in the end, the benefits of blogging in the workplace outweigh the pains, and to see an engaged workplace in front of you makes it all worth the effort. 

Internal Blog FAQs

What is an internal blog?

An internal blog is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an internal corporate blog, and a form of internal communication that can be used to inform and engage employees. It won’t be publicly available.

What are the functions of internal blog?

An internal blog can have many functions depending on how you use it. It will allow employees to blog about their day, share important updates, discuss company events and promote an inclusive company culture.