Peter, Paul and the internal communications budget


No, this isn’t a slightly off-kilter blog post about the 1960’s folk group Peter, Paul and Mary. It’s about what happens when your internal communications strategy doesn’t include the vital element of making the case for the money and staff to meet your strategy’s operational needs.

It’s a challenging fact that external communications almost always trumps internal when it comes to budgeting of financial and staff resources. This “robbing Peter to pay Paul” syndrome is all too common in the perennial struggle to balance internal and external communication investments.

If your role includes ensuring effective internal communications, it’s part of your job to make it clear to those in charge that there’s a real cost to this pattern. You can highlight what’s at stake by posing these questions:

  • What does it cost our organization every day in lost productivity when our employees aren’t clear on corporate directions?
  • What does it cost when directorates don’t share information?
  • What are the risks in having front line staff convey incorrect or off‐target messages to clients and customers every day?

The only way to excel at the employee communication function is to resource it appropriately. So make a commitment to considering regularly how Peter and Paul are doing, relatively speaking, in your organization—and if the balance isn’t right, take steps to get resources where you need them.

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