What are the differences between internal and external communications?

The main purpose of communication from the standpoint of an organisation is its successful functioning. Internal and external communications are considered to be very important resources for corporate communication.


Should we consider them to be two distinct entities? Yes. They have different objectives, deliver messages to different audiences and support business in different ways.

What is internal and external communication?


Should they work separately? No. They both need to align their efforts and make sure their messages are unified and clear.


If your corporate communications and internal communications teams don’t work together then they’re going to deliver inconsistent and mixed messages. This will lead to your employees and even your customers feeling confused and disengaged.


How will you prevent that from happening? That’s what we will be discussing in this mini-guide. First, we will learn more about the terms internal and external communications, then we will look into the key differences and walk through the main reasons they need to work together.

1. Internal and external communications: Definitions and tactics

What is internal communications?

Communication is said to be internal, when the exchange of information, facts, opinions, etc occurs within the organisation itself. In internal communication, messages can be exchanged via personal contact, business phones, e-mails, intranet, modern communication tools or digital workplaces.

It usually helps in developing plans for accomplishment, organising resources by hiring freelancers (if necessary to meet goals), training, appraising and motivating employees to put their best foot forward.

Internal communications can be vertical or horizontal:

  • Vertical: when communication occurs between employees on different hierarchical levels such as downward (from managers or leaders to employees) or upward (from employees to managers or leaders)
  • Horizontal: when communication is between individuals on the same level in their company’s hierarchy

What is external communications?

External communication can be defined as sharing information between the company and any other person or entity from the external environment such as customers, suppliers, investors, clients, dealers, society, etc, as their opinions on the company and brand have a great impact on the business. Corporate communications through email are considered external which are typically facilitated through sales Chrome extensions that assist in keeping them secure, safe, and smooth. 

One of the best ways to get external communications opportunities is to write articles on behalf of the company for the professional media. The best solution would be to use the guest posting service Whenipost. Since to start you will need a team that already has valuable and reliable communications.

External communication is usually documented for the most part and determines the way in which an organisation communicates information to its external audience about day-to-day business matters. The messages are delivered from top leadership and fed through predefined channels.

External communication is mainly formal in approach but can also be informal.

  • Formal: by creating the appropriate company image through newsletters, reports, press releases, presentations or web pages
  • Informal: in a way that organisations can’t regulate directly.
Internal communication tools
Integrated within your Digital Workplace

2. What are the Key differences between internal and external communications?

Both internal and external communications are crucial to business success  and even though there are a lot of similarities between the two, they have many differences and distinct priorities such as:

    • The audience: the parties of internal communications are employees and the company’s management whereas those of external communications are customers, shareholders, investors, clients, general public, suppliers, etc
    • The goal: internal communications aim to transmit information between various business units and departments, while external communications focus on exchanging information with parties external to the organisation
    • The frequency:  the frequency of internal communications tends to be higher than the frequency of external communications as on one hand it’s important to keep up a steady flow of updates within an organisation and on the other hand there is a high risk of information overload if a company pushes its message too hard.
    • The flow:  internal communications flow within the organisation. External communications flow in the vast business environment.
    • The means: Internal communication uses memoranda, agendas, seminars, videoconferencing, chat, wikis, for communication.  External communication includes online media, print, television and radio advertisements and customer feedback. Explore a range of different social media marketing platforms and learn how to create a social media advertisement that will reach your target customers

3. Why they need to work together

Alignment between internal and external communications is absolutely critical to create a positive organisational culture. So for a company’s success, they both need to work together.


Let’s walk through the reasons why external and internal communications need to work hand-in-hand to ensure brighter business results.

Strategic alignment

Did you know that only 14% of employees understand their company’s strategy and direction?

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Thus, businesses get accurate area visualization, convenient data analysis and calculations, and tools that are effortless to keep up to date. Custom mapping services is the only way to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of software development is to be constantly evolving.

We create an environment where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential and implement new knowledge into their work. A knowledge sharing tool is ideal for both internal and external communication as it provides a centralized platform for sharing information and collaborating on projects, leading to enhanced productivity and efficiency. The DevOps services will help you streamline your software delivery pipeline. 

This includes best business process automation practices in application release deployment, data flow optimization, server health monitoring, infrastructure security maintenance, quality assurance, and regular system backups with the help of Cloud technologies.. When it comes to migrating your applications and data to the cloud, it’s important to consider various cloud migration strategies such as rehosting, replatforming, refactoring, and rebuilding, to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

That’s mostly due to the fact that external and internal communications don’t collaborate as a team. So when internal communications work on communicating to employees what external communications have been working on, employees are more likely to be inspired to achieve better results and have a clearer understanding of the business strategy.

Brand image

Internal audiences are just as important as external ones and it’s imperative for brands to ensure that there are no gaps between their product, their message, their customer experience and service and their external campaigns.

So unless your brand message is understood and implemented by your employee performance management software, the message will get diluted and lost in translation.

By ensuring that your brand promise is internally communicated, employees will be able to talk more effectively with customers and the general public and even become your brand ambassadors and advocates. Provide them with a clear brand positioning and they will help your company build brand awareness, generate more sales and attract top talents to your organisation. They will become attracted to your logo design and branding niche.


The worst case scenario would be for a company to share conflicting information with its employees and investors or stakeholders. It’s not uncommon for a company to communicate about new features coming up on their product (because the engineering team said so) while the customer success department is not aware of that and is struggling to answer a client’s question regarding that. This could lead to bigger issues which is when you might need to call upon a PR services to handle it.

So the best way to avoid this scenario is by aligning the brand from the inside out. Needless to say that internal and external communications need to work as one in order to achieve that.

This is where effective internal communication platforms come into play. They help a lot in keeping everyone aligned and on the same page and in equipping employees with the knowledge and tools necessary to deliver on what is expected and also to understand the goals behind these efforts.


Employee experience and customer experience are interconnected and therefore companies that lead in customer experience have 60% more engaged employees.


When it comes to maintaining a long-term relationship with your employees and customers, engagement can play a huge role. In order for a company to generate engagement, it should rely on community management and building strong communities around the brand.


If your employees ever feel that you are keeping information from them or that your external communications don’t reflect what’s actually happening inside the company then don’t expect them to engage that much with content or with your customers. Strive to create and deliver usable, believable and shareable content that they’re happy to engage with. Clients stories can be a great way to build bridges between your employees and your customers.


This can be extremely hard to achieve, especially at large corporations, if all your employees are not connected with a single communications platform where the right message reaches the right employees.

Building trust

Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, whether it’s personal or professional, and when trust is broken, relationships become rocky and challenging.


That’s why one of the main goals of any employer around the world is to build trust among their employees and within their organisations.


However, very few employees trust their employers. In fact, a survey of 33,000 individuals in 28 countries have shown that almost 1 in 3 employees don’t trust their employers.


One of the main reasons for that is that internal and external communications are not unified. Both departments need to do a better job not to deliver contradictory information to their audiences. The last thing you want for your employees is to feel confused or skeptical about your messages.

Discover the new generation company intranet

4. Three pillars for effective communication

Without the right communication plan, solutions and synergy in place, it’s hard if not impossible to align different stakeholders in the organisation. These three pillars are what will make your communication a success and help you achieve your company goals.

A plan

A carefully monitored and successful plan is essential if you want to gain maximum value from your strategy and your assets. That requires an understanding of the different parts of your internal as well as external communications, namely your audience, your goal, your flow, your means, etc.


It’s also important to align your plan to communications with a thought for the wider business strategy. If your company’s current goal is to build a stronger employer to improve talent acquisition and retention, then this should be reflected in your communications plan.

A tool

Corporations should consider implementing solutions such as digital workplaces in order to connect all employees and give them easy access to information, thus avoiding misalignment.

Modern communication tools countain a rich set of features to help meet employees’ needs. They play a huge role in facilitating communication internally whether it’s horizontally through chat apps, communities of interests and social interactions or vertically through tasks, wikis, presentations, documents, interactive flipbooks, page creation, news or something else..

A CRM system is another tool for correct external communication since the software of this style allows to organize and simplify the work of the employees. Some examples of external communication that are integrated within a CRM automations are WhatsApp Business platform, Telegram, and many others.

Not only that, they also help with corporate communications by centralising all the social media posts within the digital workplace so that everyone is in the loop of what’s happening outside the company too. By aggregating RSS feeds from social channels or any other information websites, the management can make sure that both internal and external communications are aligned.

A synergy

Your internal communications strategy shouldn’t be an immutable fixture and should therefore be open to analysis and adjustment, especially if it works hand in hand with your external communications strategy.

Keep in mind that technology as well as employee preferences are changing and evolving and so should the synergy between your internal and external communications tools. The more social media tools evolve, the more your internal communications tools should follow their lead.

This synergy shouldn’t be reinforced only between your internal and external communications tools but also between your overall strategy and your employees.

Getting your workforce involved in the development of your strategy can contribute to its success and raise awareness and support for your plans across the entire organisation. Well, there are also platforms for hire python developers and other software development professionals as it offers round-the-clock customer support.

It’s important to get the backing of decision-makers, so you can access the budget and resources you need, but also to get buy-in from employees that can turn into brand ambassadors.

Having a diverse coalition of stakeholders invested in the creation and delivery of your communications strategy will give you access to a wider range of skills and insights, ultimately increasing your chances of success. When it comes to executing a successful same day freight strategy, collaboration and stakeholder involvement are equally critical. Just as in the realm of communication strategy, a diverse coalition of stakeholders plays a vital role in optimizing the logistics and operations associated with same day freight. This collaborative approach helps in addressing logistical challenges, optimizing delivery routes, enhancing tracking and visibility”


Internal and external communications are both vital to the success of a business and its sustainability. One helps to guide, inform, motivate and provide positive feedback to employees to work efficiently and effectively and meet their targets while the other helps in presenting a good image of the business to the public and enticing partners and customers.

Organisations should always try to make them as complimentary as possible!
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Learn How we Can Help Your Teams Collaborate and Get Things done


You will find here Frequently Asked Questions about internal communication with all the answers in one place.

Internal communities are places where employees can find help and support when they experience difficulties. I personally experienced such a community first hand several times, when joining a company among other newcomers.


Discover the full definition of internal communities

intranet is a term used with abundance whenever the subject of internal communication and collaboration is brought up which makes defining it a bit challenging. In its simplest form, an intranet is an internal website for your organization. It is used mainly for top-down communication where employees can access corporate news, policies and announcements.


See the full definition of intranet

Here is a list of business benefits of internal communities to maximize your talent development:

  • Natural support system
  • Information sharing
  • Talent development
  • Innovation
  • Employee satisfaction

Find out 5 business benefits of internal communities

Here are some Key differences between internal and external communications:

  • The audience
  • The goal
  • The frequency
  • The flow
  • The means

Find out the Key differences between internal and external communications

Communication is said to be internal, when the exchange of information, facts, opinions, etc occurs within the organisation itself. In internal communication, messages can be exchanged via personal contact, telephone, e-mails, intranet, modern communication tools or digital workplaces.


It usually helps in developing plans for accomplishment, organising resources, training, appraising and motivating employees to put their best foot forward.


Find out the full definition of internal communication

External communication can be defined as sharing information between the company and any other person or entity from the external environment such as customers, suppliers, investors, clients, dealers, society, etc, as their opinions on the company and brand have a great impact on the business.


Find out the full definition of external communication

I am a marketer and social media junkie. I work to optimise eXo’s online brand with content, social media technologies and digital marketing. I mainly write cartoons but I am also a big fan of topics related to internal communications in the digital workplace. I would love to connect with you, so get in touch and join our LinkedIn group ‘Intranet & Digital Workplace’.
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