The Role of Internal PR in Digital Transformation

Mendix - using Internal PR to accelerate digital transformation

In a world where digital transformation reshapes industries seemingly overnight, the significance of Internal Public Relations (Internal PR) emerges as a cornerstone for navigating these changes within organizations.

Understanding what internal PR is, what importance it carries, and what actionable steps you can take for its effective implementation is invaluable to the success of digital transformation initiatives.

What is internal PR?

At its core, internal PR within the context of digital transformation is about crafting and disseminating the narrative of change within an organization.
It goes beyond the traditional scope of PR, which primarily focuses on external stakeholders, and internal communications, which might not always carry the strategic narrative component. Internal PR in this light is an intricate blend of storytelling, strategic communication, and change management, aimed at rallying the organization’s members around the vision of digital transformation. A good example of this comes from Stuart Robertson, Head of Digital Technologies for Toll Group, who employed some creative storytelling and analogies to make his case internally for Mendix during their evaluation process:

In a nutshell, it is about transforming the idea of digital transformation into engaging stories that resonate with employees at all levels, driving home the message that change is not only necessary but also beneficial for all involved.

The importance of internal PR in digital transformation

The rapid changes brought about by digital transformation can disrupt established norms and provoke resistance among employees. This is where internal PR steps in, serving as a powerful tool to maintain alignment, engagement, and motivation among the workforce.

The benefits of a well-executed internal PR strategy are significant. It can:

  • Elevate employee morale
  • Smooth the transition to new ways of working, and
  • Enhance both internal and external perceptions of the company

A focus on data-driven decision-making within internal PR strategies ensures that communication efforts are measurable and can be optimized over time for maximum impact.

Additionally, effective internal PR can significantly enhance the establishment and optimization of your organization’s Low-Code Center of Excellence. By actively promoting the benefits and successes of low-code initiatives, it inspires employees to join the movement, enriching the talent pool essential for growth. It streamlines development efforts by guiding team members toward resources like the Mendix Community for knowledge sharing and the Mendix Marketplace for reusable components.

Getting that buy-in not only from teams on the ground, but leadership as well, creates a culture of collaboration and innovation that amplifies the efficiency and impact of your Mendix development projects. As Jakob John, Digitalization and Solutions Platform Manager within Schaeffler’s Operations IT group, put it:

Getting started with internal PR: Tools and strategies

To kickstart your internal PR efforts, consider the following strategies and tools:

Utilize communication platforms

Adopt tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Yammer to enhance internal communication and feedback mechanisms. These platforms can ensure that information and updates reach every corner of your organization promptly.

Ensure team collaboration

Work towards aligning efforts across different departments such as HR, marketing, and internal communications. A unified front is crucial for delivering a consistent and compelling narrative that resonates with all stakeholders.

Engage through content

Take a thoughtful approach when creating content. Consider your audience’s preferences, the timing of your messages, and the most engaging formats. Utilizing storytelling and visual content can significantly increase the impact and memorability of your communications.

Encourage dialogue

Leverage Employee Communications Applications (ECA) to give every team member a voice. Making sure everyone feels heard and valued is essential for reinforcing the importance of their contributions to the organization’s transformation goals.

Incorporate gamification and employee recognition

Introduce gamification elements into your internal PR initiatives to create a fun and competitive atmosphere. Simultaneously, establish employee recognition programs to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions and achievements of individuals and teams.

These strategies not only boost engagement and motivation but also highlight the organization’s commitment to valuing its workforce’s efforts toward achieving digital transformation objectives.

Leverage analytics

Implement analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of your internal PR efforts. Continuous monitoring and analysis allow for data-driven adjustments, ensuring your strategies remain impactful over time.

Structure and consistency

Implement a structured approach to your internal PR efforts to ensure consistency in messaging and engagement. Consistency in how information is presented and communicated reinforces clarity, reduces confusion, and builds a strong, unified understanding of the digital transformation goals and processes within the organization.

An internal PR template, like the example shared below that is used to promote our annual company kickoff (CKO), can provide a structured framework for delivering your organization’s narrative.

Mendix-CKO Live-Communication Plan Example

Internal PR as a Catalyst for Growth and Collaboration

Internal PR is a critical component of successful digital transformation, helping to align, engage, and motivate the workforce through strategic storytelling and communication. By understanding its role, benefits, and implementation strategies, you can utilize internal PR to effectively guide your organization through the challenges of digital transformation.

Moreover, it’s crucial to emphasize the importance of continuous evaluation and adaptation of internal PR strategies to ensure they remain effective and relevant. Alongside this, the visible commitment and involvement of leadership play a critical role in reinforcing the value of these initiatives. Incorporating employee recognition programs can also serve as a powerful tool in acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of team members to the transformation journey.

In the digital transformation journey, internal PR should not be an afterthought but a key strategy in ensuring that change is embraced at every level of the organization. Implementing the principles and practices outlined here can transform the process of digital transformation into a shared, enriching experience for everyone involved.


¹ Gotta, Mike. 2021. Gartner, Inc.: Improve Internal Communications Effectiveness to Promote Workforce Engagement.