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Top internal communication channels and how to pick right

Alia Paavola
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Simply put, internal communication is exchanging information within an organization. Its purpose is to keep all employees informed and connected, no matter their role. It encompasses a range of interoffice messages, from leadership announcements to peer-to-peer exchanges.

Overall, effective internal communication contributes to an engaged workforce focused on the same goal. This can improve employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention.

While good internal communication is paramount, businesses will use different communication channels to best reach their workforce. For example, remote companies and in-office teams will use different internal communication methods.

In this article, we’ll describe the different internal communication channels businesses can use and how to choose one for your business.

Jump right to:

<h2 id="Importance">The importance of internal communication</h2>

Internal communication impacts business success. Specifically, a good internal communication strategy:

  • Keeps employees informed on core goals, tasks, and organizational news
  • Improves team productivity
  • Generates employee buy-in and satisfaction
  • Encourages collaboration among employees
  • Boosts employee engagement and retention
  • Fuels a positive culture
  • Enhances organizational transparency

<h2 id="Best">The best internal communication channels</h2>

Effective communication is important for all businesses. However, the best internal communication channels will differ by organization. In this section, we break down the best internal communication channels. Ultimately, it’s up to your business to decide which channels to utilize, based on your needs and company structure.


A longtime staple of professional offices, email is still one of the most popular internal communication channels. Email is simple to use, accessible for all, and allows for mass messaging. It’s also easy to reference a past email.

However, email inboxes tend to be crowded. Most employees get 80+ email messages per day during the workweek. As a result, if you use email as a primary communication channel, consider when you use it for internal purposes. 

Here is a look at some use cases where email is and isn’t the best choice.

Email is best for:

✅ Company-wide announcements

✅ Newsletters and attachments 

✅ Important updates and requests

✅ Policy changes

✅ Status updates

Email is not best for:

❌ Time-sensitive information

❌ Sensitive data

❌ Collaborative work

❌ Conflict management

❌ Complicated exchanges

Here’s a real-world internal email example.

An internal communication email example.

Text messages

Business text messaging is growing in popularity for internal communication. Text messages are effective because they have a 98 percent open rate, 45 percent response rate, and are opened within three minutes of receipt on average. Because of these impressive stats, businesses use it to get employees updated quickly. It’s especially beneficial for teams who don’t sit behind a desk and are on the move.

However, text messaging isn’t appropriate in all scenarios. Let’s look at some of the best and worst use cases for internal texting.

Text messaging is great for:

✅ Time-sensitive information

✅ Quick back-and-forth conversations

✅ Important reminders

✅ Scheduling

✅ Communicating with field workers

✅ Emergency notifications

Text messaging is not great for:

❌ Sensitive conversations

❌ Collaborative work

❌ Complicated exchanges

❌ Organizing projects

❌ Conflict management

❌ Confidential data

Here are a few internal texting examples.

  • Share a reminder. Use a text message to share a reminder with your internal team or the entire team at once.
An internal team text message reminder example.

  • Share an urgent message. Use texting to get an urgent message to your employees. You can use it for weather alerts or security concerns.
An urgent internal text message example.

  • Improve shift scheduling. Use a text message to improve scheduling or coordination with your staff members.
A shift scheduling text message example.

Instant messaging and chat apps

Businesses increasingly rely on instant messaging platforms to communicate and collaborate internally. These team chat apps are perfect for daily communication and help connect remote or hybrid workforces, facilitating team communication, and organizing work. Some popular instant messaging apps include Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Chat. 

Did you know you can integrate Slack with a texting platform and further streamline your internal communication?

Often these platforms allow for one-to-one messaging, channels for organization, group messaging, mentions, video and audio calling, and more. 

Let’s look at some of the best and worst use cases for instant messaging platforms.

IM platforms are best for

✅ Group collaboration and messaging

✅ Peer-to-peer communication

✅ General announcements

✅ Organizing projects

✅ Remote office workers

IM is not great for:

❌ Field team coordination

❌ Emergency notifications

❌ Complicated exchanges

❌ Sensitive conversations

❌ Sharing passwords, logins

A real-world Slack instant messaging example.

Video conferencing

With the sheer growth of remote and hybrid work models, video meetings are now part of everyday business. Video conferencing software allows colleagues to see and communicate with each other in real time over the internet. This face-to-face communication helps workers feel connected and collaborate regardless of location. It’s the perfect substitute for in-office meetings.

Zoom and Google Meet are popular video conferencing tools. Let’s look at some internal communication scenarios where video conferencing would be the best channel to use.

Video conferencing is best for:

✅ Internal meetings

✅ Real-time collaboration

✅ Complicated topics

✅ Sensitive conversations

✅ Remote employees

Video conferencing is not best for:

❌ Quick reminders

❌ Emergency notifications

❌ Content you need to reference

❌ Field team workers

❌ Quick scheduling

Here’s an example of what a remote video conferencing channel looks like in action.

Zoom Video conferencing tool in action, courtesy of Zoom.


Intranet software lets companies build private online networks for their employees. The intranet is usually adopted by larger organizations where data security is paramount. It typically looks like a website – a virtual workspace and a one-stop shop for company news and documentation. Employees access the intranet to find essential documents or chat internally. Some popular Intranet software includes Microsoft SharePoint and Workplace by Meta. However, many enterprises have custom-built intranets to meet their specific needs.

Intranet is best for:

✅ General announcements and news

✅ Important reminders

✅ Sharing documents

✅ Remote or in-office workers

Intranet isn't best for:

❌ Emergency notifications

❌ Complicated exchanges

❌ Field team workers

❌ Scheduling meetings

Other communication tools and channels

There are many other internal communication tools available. We’ll describe some of them.

  • Video and audio recordings. These video and audio recordings provide additional context or explanation about a topic. For example, you could explain edits or feedback on a piece of content. Loom is a popular platform for this.

  • Internal employee newsletters. Internal newsletters are often sent via email. They’re great for keeping employees up-to-date on company updates and news. This can include sharing information on new hires, departures, birthdays, or general announcements.

  • Project management tools. PM software helps teams stay organized and track project statuses. These tools live virtually and allow teams to communicate on the platform. Many companies reserve these tools for project updates.

  • Phone calls. A standard phone call is a great way to communicate one-on-one with staff. This method is great for workers in the field whom you need to reach quickly.

  • Internal blogs. Some internal communication professionals write blogs to better explain new policies or updates.

Do you want specific tool recommendations for each channel? Take a peek at the 18 top-rated internal communication tools for businesses.

<h2 id="How">How to choose the right channels for your organization</h2>

You’ll likely need a handful of channels for effective employee communication. The right channels for your business will depend on many factors. Here are some to consider to help you make an educated decision.

  • Business size. One factor to consider is the number of employees at your organization. You’ll want to pick a channel that allows you to connect with all of them.

  • Remote vs. onsite work. Where your employees work matters when choosing communication channels. For example, you’d likely use a different channel for field employees than you would a remote workforce or in-office staff.

  • Vertical or industry. Every sector has its own internal communication needs and workforce demographic. Understanding your employee preferences and industry will help you determine the best channels.

  • Budget. Each internal communication tool comes with a cost. That’s why it’s important to consider your budget. While some are free, most often, internal communication tools are priced per user. Keep this in mind when choosing a channel.

  • Ease of use. Internal communication involves top-down, peer-to-peer, bottom-up, and crisis communication. Ensure that the channels you select are easy to use for leaders, managers, employees, and crisis communicators.
  • Communication goals. Ensure you’re selecting channels that help you meet your internal communication goals. Does your business want to boost team collaboration, close communication gaps, or keep employees better informed?

  • Message type. Another critical factor is understanding the types of messages you’ll be sending. For example, will you coordinate staff, relay confidential information, share time-sensitive information, or send general announcements?

  • Scalability. You want your business to grow, which means adding new employees. You want to have communication channels that can scale with your business.

  • Integration capabilities. If you want cohesive internal communication channels, pay attention to the integrations offered by each tool. 

<h2 id="Challenges">5 challenges in internal communication and how to address them</h2>

Below you’ll find five internal communication challenges. By implementing effective solutions to overcome these, businesses can enhance communication to foster an engaged and healthy organization.

Combatting information overload and mitigating distractions

Employees may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they get daily. Employees may miss the most important messages if there’s a high volume of message notifications. Additionally, more messages may affect concentration. 

To help solve this:

  • Prioritize information sharing. Think about what information is vital to share with employees daily. Make sure you’re sharing the most essential information.

  • Segment contact lists. Remember which roles, team members, and departments need to see each message. Make sure the message is relevant to them.
  • Keep messages digestible. The most effective communicators are clear and concise. You should always aim to keep messages as short as possible, without sacrificing clarity.

Managing resistance to new tools or platforms

The reality is that people don’t like change. This makes managing resistance to change a challenge even in the workplace. Some employees may feel skeptical about switching or adding new internal communication tools. However, companies can work to overcome resistance by:

  • Informing employees about the perks of the new platform
  • Training employees on the new platform
  • Setting clear response expectations
  • Answering employee questions
  • Giving employees a period to adjust and offer feedback

Ineffective channels of communication

Many companies choose tools built for external communication. Using outdated or ineffective internal communication channels can result in reduced productivity. Don’t let important information or updates get buried in long email threads or fall through the cracks.

Instead, invest in tools built for internal communication. You’ll want to find tools that can organize conversations or projects, reach employees quickly, and facilitate collaboration. Prioritizing effective communication channels can enhance teamwork, foster better information sharing, and keep organizations on track.

Ensuring proper channel selection for each message

Using the wrong internal communication channel to convey a particular type of message can cause roadblocks or negative feelings from employees. For example, you’d want to avoid sharing negative company updates via text. Additionally, using a newsletter to schedule a meeting or checking in with a colleague about their weekend via email would be rather ineffective. The reality is that messages should be delivered in different ways to be most effective.

To combat this, be sure to outline the specific purpose and use case for each channel your business adopts. Ask yourself the following questions when outlining channel use cases:

  • Is the message formal or informal?
  • Who needs to see the message?
  • Is the message urgent?
  • Does the message contain confidential or private information?
  • Does the message contain information that needs to be referenced later?
  • Are you speaking with a peer, manager, or executive leader?
  • Does the message require a response?

Preventing an overall lack of communication

A lack of communication can result in employee dissatisfaction. Many employees say they are dissatisfied when managers don’t provide enough direction, changes aren’t communicated well, or collaboration doesn’t occur. 

There are several ways to overcome this communication challenge:

  • Solicit employee feedback. Ask employees to take a survey or share how they feel about the communication at your company. This can help you identify areas or topics that need additional clarification.

  • Schedule regular updates. Employees want to know what’s going on at an organization. Schedule a company-wide meeting or newsletter to send at a regular interval. This will help employees stay in the loop.

  • Focus on transparency. Foster a sense of transparency at your organization. This will ensure that your employees feel like they have the information they need, or can ask for it if they don’t.

<h2 id="Practices">9 best practices for effective internal communication</h2>

Effective internal communication leads to many benefits for an organization. Follow these best practices to improve internal communication at your organization.

  • Encourage leadership to model effective communication behavior. Effective communication starts at the top. Encourage leaders to demonstrate expected communication practices to help set the bar for the rest of the organization.

  • Develop a consistent communication plan. Keep employees on the same page by providing regular updates. A consistent communication strategy ensures employees are in the know and engaged. Share important initiatives, projects, goals, kudos, policies, and company news.

  • Focus on clear and concise messaging. Effective communication is clear and concise. Be sure to stick to sharing the key points and proofread written communications. This will help you avoid misunderstandings and communicate better.

  • Use multiple communication channels. The best internal communication strategies leverage multiple channels to reach employees. Using different channels ensures that your business caters to different communication preferences and each message is delivered on the appropriate channel. Pro tip: Clearly define the guidelines and when to use each communication channel.
  • Train employees on using communication tools effectively. Chances are employees won’t know how to use all internal communication tools from day one. Take the time to train them properly on each tool so they know how to use it and when to use it.
  • Measure and improve communication strategies. Set some internal communication KPIs and regularly track them. This helps you set benchmarks and improve employee communication. For example, you could track employee tool adoption rate, turnover rate, open rate, or click-through rate. You can also request employee feedback through surveys about your company’s communication.

  • Maintain transparency at all levels. Employees want transparency from executives, managers, and their peers. Ensuring you’re transparent and honest when communicating improves trust, accountability, and open dialogue between colleagues.
  • Foster collaboration. Select internal communication channels that make it easy for team members to connect and collaborate. This leads to higher productivity, improved employee satisfaction, and retention.

  • Tailor and segment messages. To avoid communication overload, ensure you’re tailoring messages appropriately and sending them to the right group. For example, don’t send an email blast to all employees if only the marketing team needs to read the message.

Enhance your internal communication strategy with Textline

Each business will have its own internal communication channel needs. If you’re looking for an SMS solution to better coordinate field teams, share time-sensitive information, or engage in quick one-on-one conversations, look no further than Textline

Textline is the most secure business texting platform on the market. Our mass texting, group messaging, and one-to-one communication features help businesses communicate with their staff quickly and effectively. We naturally integrate with some of the top internal communication tools, like Slack, so you can improve communication across channels. 

Request a demo from our expert team today to see our internal communication tool in action.

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