Graeme from Melcrum provides exactly the response I’ve been hoping for to move this discussion along:
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On the one hand, it might sound like a damning indictment of the internal communication profession. It’s a fair one, and unfair at the same time in some ways. Yet I really resonate with it.
I would say that easily 50% of internal communication people I have met, as well as the same in the HR, OD, Marketing and IT (or is it Social Media now?) arena probably do fit Graeme’s model: I am sorry to say, but it isn’t about your CEO’s communication skills, or your newsletter (ooh, in its snazzy new html-driving-people-to-the-intranet), or channels, or getting your CEO to blog, or building a social media community for your call centre… the list can go on and on. It isn’t about measuring the top 10 engagement drivers and then pushing action planning to move the numbers up around the organisation.
Of course, these might be some of the tactics you might use. But Graeme gets it; he is right. If I were a CEO (and I work with CEOs) and I read the stuff on MyRagan.com and in Communication World and I had a couple spare hours to really sit and think this through, I’d probably sack my IC Head and hire someone with an MBA and some commercial operations experience and say “You are now in charge of communication. Connect it to my business, now, and fast, for results and don’t let anyone try to bullshit you about two-way communication or measurement or social media. Make it work. Make it stick.”
Of course the solution will never be that easy or that extreme.
Nor will it be sending someone one a boot camp or black belt course in Six Sigma or communications.
Look back — before I get kicked out of IABC! — … on the OTHER hand …
There is a lot of evidence that a lot of the people “doing” this already are internal communicators (perhaps not by title, though some are) and do really get it. While I (we?) might be damning half of the IC profession, the other half ( or whatever %) do get it, to some degree, and COMPLETELY understand corporate strategy and operational stuff.
… and will the others simply “step aside”? I don’t think we’ll see that in our lifetimes! 🙂