In our last newsletter we mentioned our study on the internal communications profession: you can request a copy here. Over the last few months, we ran panel sessions around these findings, and will be organising more in the coming season. Let us know if you would like to attend.
We discussed the results with directors of communications, questioning the changing role of professionals who focus on internal audiences. One participant stated: “IC is a good function to start in, but you can only do IC for so long… it becomes too flat!” Quite a few others firmly disagreed and emphasized the importance of turning engaged employees to dedicated and proud ambassadors. There were divided opinions about the career path for an IC professional and on what type of profiles would succeed when taking on external comms responsibilities and why? We mostly see business oriented, innovative, strategic thinkers and planners move up in organisations. The IC professionals of tomorrow need to find the right balance between being the processes gate keepers and creative project owners, challengers of the status quo.
As a second topic in the round table discussion with the directors of communications we explored more around the risks of an internal or an external crisis? For example, is it easier for a team to catch up on internal audiences after massive layoffs or to let the next breaking news impact the reputation?
When we question the role of communicators, we touch upon the relationship with CEO’s. And everyone wants to see how the function demonstrates its value to the business. Quick on the draw, a participant responded: “Sometimes, you need a good crisis to prove your value.” But did communications really win after the 2008’s economic crisis? Where do they see the challenges lying ahead? Are they in the right position? As you can guess already, we bounced again on our favourite Shakespearean question: to be or not to be…on the board?
By Elise Guillet
Consultant, VMA Group Brussels