Should we be Worried About the State and the Future of Internal Communication?

 

Lise Michaud

 

Earlier this week, Gatehouse published the 2016 State of the Sector survey results, a comprehensive study on internal communication (IC) and employee engagement. The report examines IC processes and practices and presents detailed data on a number of aspects such as role and purpose of the IC function and communication professionals’ priorities, degree of maturity of the function, leader and line manager communication, most/least effective channels, feedback and measurement, budget and resources, current and future challenges.

 

While the study shows that progress as been made in certain areas, it raises great concerns on aspects related to the strategic practice of IC. The authors, Lee Smith and Simon Wright, Directors of Gatehouse, make it clear: "There are once again some worrying and ominous signs, which suggest that our industry remains a relatively immature discipline despite its recent progress".

 

In this excellent post, Stephen Welch shares his views on the study findings and the future of the profession of Internal Communication. He calls "for a real debate about how IC behaves in most organizations, and whether we are focusing on the right things"’ and warns us: "unless we, as communicators are really prepared to address some of the failings of our profession, we are at risk of irrelevance… the risk is that, without change, someone else will do that job for us".

Should we be worried about the State of Internal Communication and its future? In light of the Gatehouse report conclusions and Welch’s observations, I’m forced to face the facts and say: to ask the question is to answer it.

 

What do you think?

 

PS: Mark your calendar - Gatehouse will be running a free webinar March 3 (14:00 – 15:00 GMT) to discuss their interpretations of the results and what they think they mean for our profession.

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