This framework includes guidance and case studies illustrating how to start and sustain an ongoing, agency-wide system of internal communications and engagement. In addition, this resource includes a section on crisis communications and recommendations for communicating internally during an unexpected crisis situation (see Appendix IV). The framework is designed for use by individuals across the SEA and can be applied in different ways:
- For state chiefs, strong internal communications systems can provide the upward feedback necessary to stay connected to your team’s needs. A strong leadership cabinet helps, but without a way to stay directly tied to the rest of the organization, agency leaders can miss internal issues or concerns. This guide can be used to help establish a strong internal communications and engagement culture that can be used to build trust, keep your team informed, and make decisions.
- For state communications teams, strong internal communications and engagement provides ongoing visibility into the workings of the SEA and the ability to strategically plan for and/or rapidly respond to questions, concerns, and urgent needs. When internal communications are strong, SEA staffers can learn to act as communicators and effectively share information across units to help solve problems. This resource includes best practices from states with successful internal communications and engagement systems and provides guidance on how to align internal communications and engagement efforts with the SEA’s larger goals and vision.
- For other SEA employees, strong communications systems and structures help staff stay informed, share information, collaborate, and solve problems. Strong internal systems provide access to information, create opportunities to contribute to discussions about issues across units, and help to develop and update solutions. This guide can be used to set expectations for an agency’s internal communications and engagement systems. It suggests how internal communications principles can help internal teams function more effectively.