Belfast Telegraph

PR gurus have the Smarts when it comes to staff communication

Northern Ireland PR firm Smarts today launched a new division of the company to provide specialist internal communications services to businesses.

The company, which employs 30 staff in PR, digital and design roles in Holywood, Co Down, said its research had found an unmet need in organisations for assistance in communicating effectively with employees.

Smarts has joined forces with prominent internal communications expert Bev Lowry, whose 16 years working in the sector included a period as head of internal communications for British Airways.

Ms Lowry said: "Good employee communications is a way to help boost staff morale, retain good people and increase productivity - all of which can improve the bottom line.

"In the current climate, it is also essential in helping organisations manage change effectively. For many companies, public bodies and voluntary groups, it is a priority as they cope with restructuring and cost reduction programmes. In those circumstances, they also need a broader communications strategy that integrates both external and internal communications."

Alan Watson, head of corporate communications at Smarts, said: "We are delighted that we're able to add someone with Bev's experience and reputation to our existing broad skills in external PR.

"Strong two-way communications should be part of an organisation's culture and we can assist with a range of services from employee research to communication strategies and leadership communication skills."

Smarts was recently named Northern Ireland's outstanding public relations consultancy in the 2010 Chartered Institute of Public Relations PRide Awards.