To find out the answer, ACACIA (Association of Consultants and Internal Communication Agencies in Argentina), an institution of which Oxean Group is a part, surveyed more than 180 professional leaders.
The survey consisted of six key statements. The first three, which we will see below, reflect the leaders’ interest in having internal comms area be the spokesperson within the organization.
1. My organization connects its communication objectives with those of the business
2. The IC area leader communicates regularly with the board of directors
3. My organization shares business plans and/or goals with employees
The results were very positive: between 60% and 80% of the leaders agreed with these statements, which means a great advance compared to years ago. Mostly, the area is taken into account to manage information about the business and the leaders communicate this objective to their collaborators.
However, the findings of the second round of statements were not encouraging enough.
4. IC is an essential part of business strategy
5. The leader of the IC area is summoned to participate in main business decisions
6. Managers assume much of the responsibility for communication
In this case, the responses showed that IC is not a central part of the business: internal comms leaders are rarely called to discuss business strategy and they’d not be strongly involved in transmitting the plan and business results.
Inform vs. Communicate
According to ACACIA, this may mean that those responsible for directing companies want to inform about the business, but have not yet made the maturational leap from the concept of informing to the concept of communicating.
Informing is the typical : “I sent you an email, therefore you are already informed.” Communicating, however, implies another dimension: it’s to achieve the internalization of what we want to transmit.
Therefore, the results show that there is still a long way to go in terms of assessing IC.
What can we, IC professionals, do?
ACACIA encourages us to be agents of change: speak in the language of the business, develop indicators, metrics, strategies and clear communication plans, always focused on the business.
In addition, being creative is key: showing leaders that we detect where the company is losing money and we’ve plannied a campaign to solve it. For this, it is necessary to get together with the different areas of the company and ask them the following question: “What’s your core project that will move the needle of the business this year?”. “What’s your core project that will move the needle of the business this year?”.