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The Next Level: The Business Value of Good Internal Communication

Lise Michaud

IC Kollectif has produced a new global research report, The Next Level, examining the value and practice of internal communication from several angles around one central theme: the business value of good internal communication.

The report reviews how business leaders perceive internal communication, looks closely at the reality of the practice inside companies and explores how IC professionals can better position themselves as trusted advisors and key business enablers.

The Next Level draws on interviews with 33 in-house communication professionals and executives representing 20 industries from 25 countries across all continents, contributions from several teachers and researchers, the results of a global open-ended survey question, testimonials from C-suite members, and a review of published surveys and research reports.


In the eyes of leaders

Through recent findings and new testimonials, we analyze whether and why CEOs value internal communication. The question is initially reviewed from the perspective of business leaders and in a second step, from the perspective of practitioners with respect to what extent they actually believe that their senior leaders value the practice and their work.

The reality on the ground

With candour and transparency, in-house practitioners and executives invited us inside their organization and talked openly about what IC looks like in their world. From the pressing issues they face to some of the mindsets, behaviours, and practices in place, practitioners explain how internal communication aims to support the corporate strategy, how they help business leaders understand the value of IC, and how they demonstrate its impact on organizational goals.

Blurred lines between internal and external communication is a challenge for many and contributors share how they manage this. In addition, the report provides an analysis of the findings from our global open-ended survey question on this topic, taking into account the testimonials of our contributors.

The reality of IC in companies is unveiled from a different angle through two commanding research projects, one conducted in Europe and a two-part study carried out in the USA. The first examines the current status and trends of internal communication in European companies. The second two-part research project identifies best-in-class practices for employee communication and the gap between the knowledge of what best-in-class global communication leaders report is effective and what the majority of IC professionals report to be practice.

The contribution of IC

Building on these insights and results, the final section attempts to demonstrate how practitioners can go beyond trying to explain what they do and actually define their contributions that help their organization succeed. Senior communication professionals, C-suite members and teachers advocate business acumen from different perspectives as a prerequisite to be recognized as a trusted advisor by senior management. In line with this, the report expands on the new Global Capability Framework produced by the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management that helps further define the contribution of practitioners. The report also includes a number of new research-based resources that are useful and essential tools to help communication professionals make a real impact.

For practitioners at all levels…

The Next Level offers significant insights and resources for both practitioners who are already leading the way and to those still struggling for a license to operate and be perceived as strategic advisors. For those looking to shift or improve their approach to IC, this report provides a deep understanding of what contributes to IC effectiveness in ways that help organizations succeed.

…and beyond

In today’s constantly changing economic and social environment where, among other factors, all employees are now spokespeople, internal communication is an important competitive advantage for companies. Senior leaders and managers at all levels who understand this will gain insights on how other companies are successfully integrating IC as a key contributor to corporate results. Those who have yet to recognize that strategic internal communication matters can take note of why IC should be a priority for their own corporate agenda and what they should expect from their communication team. We encourage communication professionals to share the report with their management team and senior leaders.

IC Kollectif is extremely grateful for the support of its Strategic Partner, IABC - The International Association of Business Communicators, Platinum Sponsor, SnapComms, and Gold Sponsors, SocialChorus and Interact.

For more information on the report, click here.

To download the report, click here.


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IC Kollectif is a global independent nonprofit organization. All editorial content is published independently and without the influence of any advertiser, commercial sponsor or partner.

Capture d’écran, le 2019-04-03 à 17.31.5
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