Change

The Future of Internal Communication

When looking at the future of Internal Communication it’s really a matter of perception. There is no doubt that communicators face some big challenges at the moment. Digital innovation is creating an ever-changing communications landscape and, against this backdrop, Comma Partners. Whether positive or negative, unless we look at both the opportunities and the threats presented by the new digital era, we will struggle to remain relevant and valuable.

Some of the issues we need to consider.

  • Audience maturity: The challenge is that we still have to manage the long tail of boomers and Gen X who have a habit to view comms rather differently than their younger. I’m amazed that organizations have been so passive in their approach to adoption of digital communications. Pro-active management and engagement with digital communications delivers positive outcomes for those who are brave enough to take on the challenge.
  • Communication integration: Evolving of Internal Communication discipline has come a long way in the last decade. Our job is to support good quality communications in any part of the organization, and we are increasingly moving to a change comms and an engagement comms function.
  • Communications reach: The optimist sees just how easy it is to reach more people than ever before, wherever they are, whatever they are doing, on any device, at any time and in any part of the world. Feedback is constantly available and measurement opportunities are pretty much endless there is data on everything. There is only so much feedback that can be digested.
  • Communication roles: We like or not but digital innovation has already changed our role, we are no longer crafters and spreaders of fine messages. Perhaps we see ourselves as content curators, rather than drafters. We should have the ear of the organization which is vitally important for culture change and change comms in general.
  • Investment: If you are a worrier though, you may lack after the highly customized, bespoke solution where nothing happened until it was perfect. As technology moves further ahead, we can optimistically view the low cost of upgrading or replacing as a bonus. Digital capabilities are simply unrecognizable from just a few years ago and we have to keep up.

If we are prepared to adapt to the ever-changing landscape, it is positive for the future of Internal Communication. I think it was an important wake-up call for us all, particularly in terms of determining how we remain relevant to the business. We’re learning more all the time about how to apply the principles of behavioral science to positively change behavior, and we see this successfully deployed in large scale government campaigns. But being able to prove that we are adding value remains a priority.

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