10 Differences Between Internal and External Communication You Wish You Knew Earlier

4 minute read
10 shares

To understand the differences between internal and external communication, it is necessary to know about the definition of both these forms of communication. Also, it is essential to analyse the human element in both these communication types, which is explained in the blog. Furthermore, you will come across the distinctions between internal and external communication, which are based on parameters like types of participants, kinds of messages, tonality of communication, flow of information, objectives, etc. Keep reading to explore all these concepts and use this information to thrive in your professional life. Let’s proceed!!

Also Read: 8 Models of Communication 

What is Internal Communication?

Before diving into the key differences between internal and external communication, let us evaluate both types of communication. Here is the definition of internal communication for your understanding. 

‘Internal communication’ refers to the exchange of information, ideas, and feedback among the members of a company. This includes conversations between employees at all levels, from top-level executives to entry-level staff. This form of communication is regarded as the nervous system of an organization as it ensures that everyone is on the same page. 

The core of internal communication is the ‘human element’, which is about fostering a sense of belonging, encouraging collaboration, and ensuring every employee feels heard and valued. Employers and team leaders use tools such as team meetings, company-wide emails, and intranet platforms to ensure that the staff feels valued. These tools help create a culture of openness and transparency. 

Source: Brosix Instant Messenger 

Also Read: Modes of Communication: Types, Meaning and Examples

What is External Communication?

Furthermore, let us explore the definition and key elements of external communication before we jump to the section dealing with the difference between internal and external communication. 

External communication is the organization’s face to the outside world. It involves conveying the company’s values, products, and services to customers, investors, and the public. This outward-facing communication is crucial for building a positive brand image and establishing credibility in the market.

While external communication is often seen as more formal and strategic, the human element remains integral. Customer service interactions, social media engagement, and public relations efforts all contribute to the human face of external communication. It is not just about selling a product, it is also about building relationships and connecting with the audience on a personal level.

Source: Abigail Ferrer

Also Read: Learn These Communication Skills to Succeed at Work

What are the Differences Between Internal and External Communication?

The differences between internal and external communication is determined by factors such as the participants, objectives, tonality of the message, purpose, frequency, type of feedback, etc. Let us evaluate these differences in the following tables:

1. Type of Participants

Internal Communication External Communication
Involves conversations and information
exchange among colleagues and various
levels of employees within the organization.
Involves conversations and information exchange among colleagues and various levels of employees within the organization.

2. Types of Messages

Internal Communication External Communication
Aims to share relevant information, ideas, and updates to foster collaboration and coordination among employees. Directs efforts toward conveying messages to external stakeholders or the public, emphasizing transparency.

3. Modes of Communication

Internal Communication External Communication
Uses communication channels like emails,
team meetings, intranets, or internal
newsletters for effective information circulation.
Uses channels such as press releases, media interviews, social media posts, and customer communications to reach external audiences.

4. Tonality of Messages

Internal Communication External Communication
Tends to be informal and may include
industry-specific jargon or internal
terminology familiar to employees.
Generally adopts a more formal tone, avoiding internal jargon, and focuses on clear and consistent communication.

5. Objective

Internal Communication External Communication
Strives to promote teamwork, coordination,
and a shared sense of purpose among employees.
Aims to build relationships, influence perceptions, and convey a positive image or brand identity to external audiences.

6. Area of Focus

Internal Communication External Communication
Emphasis on sharing organizational
knowledge, policies, and procedures
among employees.
Highlights marketing, public relations,
customer service, or investor relations with
external entities.

7. Frequency 

Internal Communication External Communication
Often occurs more frequently, supporting
real-time collaboration and immediate
teamwork among employees.
Timing and frequency may vary, adapting to specific communication needs and target audiences outside the organization.

8. Key Contributions 

Internal Communication External Communication
Contributes to building a positive organisational culture, fostering employee engagement, and boosting morale. Contributes to building and maintaining the organization’s reputation, credibility, and relationships with external stakeholders.

9. Flow of Information

Internal Communication External Communication
Primarily focuses on outward communication
from the organization to external audiences.
Primarily focuses on outward communication
from the organization to external audiences.

10. Types of Materials

Internal Communication External Communication
This encompasses internal announcements,
policy changes, and employee training materials. 
Includes public statements, print or audio-visual advertisements, and promotional materials. 
Source: Commerce Cell

Also Read: Barriers of Communication

FAQs

Q.1. What is internal communication?

Ans: ‘Internal communication’ refers to the exchange of information, ideas, and feedback among the members of a company. 

Q.2. What are the examples of external communication in business?

Ans: Some common examples of external communication in business are newsletters, emails, advertisements, posters, and brochures. 

Q.3. What are the differences between internal and external communication?

Ans: Internal communication occurs within an organization among its members, fostering collaboration. External communication involves interactions with entities outside the organization, such as clients or the public, to convey information or build relationships.

Related Reads:

10 Nonverbal and Verbal Communication Skills to Succeed Different Types of Business Communication
Importance of Effective Written Communication Skills in the Workplace Barriers of Business Communication
Types of Mass Communication, Examples, Courses, PDF Essay on Communication in 100, 200 and 300 Words
Books to Improve Your Verbal & Non-verbal Communication Improve your English Speaking and Listening Skills by Watching Series and Movies
How to Become a Communications Specialist? Top Negotiation Skills for Professionals

Stay in tune with Leverage Edu to explore different concepts of career counselling.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *

*

*