Internal vs External Communication: All You Need to Know

Discover how the right internal and external communication tools and strategies can transform your organization.

August 22, 2023
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One of things that separates thriving organizations from surviving organizations is how effectively they communicate – both externally and internally.

Read on to discover everything you need to know to get both kinds of communication right across your organization. Plus, learn which tools will make it as easy as possible for your people to communicate seamlessly.

What Is External Communication?

External communication is any form of communication that’s intended for someone outside of an organization. This includes all a company’s marketing efforts, from your website to your social media posts to your sales calls. It also includes every bit of communication with vendors, customers, and clients.

Some common examples of external communications include:

  • An email informing all your customers about a new product update
  • A meeting with a potential client
  • A company social media post
  • A customer support call
  • A listing for a new role on your website

What Is Internal Communication?

Internal communication takes place within an organization and isn’t shared publicly. This includes all conversations and messages between team members, departments, senior management, and staff.

Internal communications examples include:

Internal Communication vs External Communication

For most leaders, there’s a clear winner in the battle of internal vs external communication.

The majority of businesses spend a lot more time focused on their external communications than they do on how they communicate with their own people.

After all, if you get your external communication strategy wrong you could drive away potential – and even existing – customers.

That being said, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of internal communication.

Here’s why:

The right internal communication strategy can increase productivity, boost employee engagement, reduce staff turnover, and ultimately improve your profit margins.

To reap all those benefits you’ll need to empower your employees with the right internal communication software…

Does My Organization Need Internal and External Communication Tools?

Communication platforms are the tools of the trade for today’s knowledge workers.

You’ll be leaving untapped productivity on the table if you don’t arm your people with up-to-date communication tools.

Here’s a quick look at the communication tools could help transform your business:

Knowledge Base

A knowledge base houses an organization’s important information, guidelines, and processes in a central hub. All that information is stored in the cloud, too, making it easy for employees to access the most up-to-date version of the documents they need to do their jobs effectively. 

Since the average employee spends an incredible 5.3 hours waiting for information they need to progress a project they're working on each week, a knowledge base is one of the best internal communication tools for organizations to adopt.

Idea Portal

An idea portal is another simple way to improve internal communication in an organization. It breaks down knowledge silos and makes it easy to collect, evaluate, and develop the best ideas your organization has to offer. 

Assembly’s idea portal is inspired by Amazon’s “working backwards” approach, where the tech titan’s product managers need to present their ideas in the form of an internal press release announcing a finished product. Implement our idea management flow and you’ll receive your people’s bright ideas in the form of a press release, helping make sure it’s connected to your customers’ needs.

Employee Recognition Tools

Employee recognition is a cornerstone of the most effective internal communications strategies.

Here’s why:

40% of American workers say they'd put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often. When they’re offered a simple tool that lets them, 44% of all workers regularly recognize their colleagues' hard work.

Empowering your people with tools like our free recognition and rewards software is a simple but effective way to take your internal communication plan to the next level.

CEO and Executive Updates

80% of workers want to know more about how decisions are made in their company, and 87% would like more transparency from their organization in the future.

Which makes CEO and Executive updates one of the most effective types of internal communication at your disposal. Executive announcements make it easy to keep your employees in the loop with simple updates on your organization’s strategy and direction. 

Workplace News Feed

Today, the best internal communication platforms include a workplace news feed.

This functions like a private social media feed that curates everything that’s going on in your organization – and allows your employees to comment on posts and react to them. An excellent tool for informing everyone about what is happening in the company in the most efficient and fun way.

Team Feed

One of the most foundational internal communications best practices is to make sure all your organization’s important information is at the fingertips of everyone who needs access to it.

Creating a team feed for each department or project team in your business makes this as easy as possible. This will give each team a place to communicate and store critical information so they can also go back and track down what they need whenever they need it.

Contractor Time Tracking Tools

One of the most important external communications to get right is how you communicate with freelancers, agencies, and vendors. 

A contractor time tracker is a simple way to make sure projects come in on time and within budget. It makes it easy to gather a historical outlook on the overall success and growth of the contractor, which helps you maximize the effort and time of the contractor to drive business goals.

Sales CRM

Sales are the lifeblood of your business. Which makes managing customer relationships an integral part of any successful external communications strategy. 

A sales CRM empowers your sales and marketing teams to access customers’ contacts and their information, navigate and understand the sales pipeline easily, and personalize it to fit their needs.

Product Feedback Surveys

Perhaps the most important external communication you’ll have with your clients or customers is gathering their feedback on your product or service.

Collecting all that feedback in a centralized hub is the most effective way to analyze it and then take action on it. Which is why a product feedback template – which simplifies the process of getting the actionable feedback you need from your clients and customers – is such a powerful external communication tool.

Employee Surveys

​​Every employee has their own opinions about what their organization could be doing better. And the most successful businesses know gathering those opinions is the key to stronger engagement, lower staff turnover, and higher productivity.

You can start reaping those benefits by arming your people with:

  • Employee engagement and satisfaction surveys, which will help you get a sense of where you stand on these crucial metrics.
  • An employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) template, which will help you quickly and easily find out how employees feel about your business, its values, internal culture, and how likely they are to recommend it to others.
  • Employee pulse surveys, which will help you quickly take the pulse of how your people are feeling (which is particularly useful if you’ve just made a big change to the way you run your business).

Together, these simple internal communications tools can transform your business by revealing how your people truly feel about how you run things. 

Wrapping Up

Fine tuning internal and external communication across your organization can transform its fortunes.

Arm your teammates with the full suite of modern external and internal communications software we’ve laid out here and they’ll have everything they need to work as efficiently – and communicate as effectively – as possible.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered