Cross posted from CommScrum, I may have inadvertently invented something quite useful based on a lot of feedback.
I’ll work more on this, but in essence there is a lot of convergence of practice as different camps attempt to occupy the employee engagement space, both in-house and agency-side. Their technical/functional bias tends to drive their philosophy (naturally) …
The channelers – Very slowly disappearing, and not a minute too soon, dinosaur ex-journalists and newsletter publishers who reduce the role of internal communication to getting “the right information to the right people at the right time”.
The human capitalists – There is a camp that believes it is all about ‘the employee’ – broadly, the HR camp. It’s about policies, processes, forms, measurement, measurement, measurement, competencies, reward systems and moving levers (The Gallup 12 etc.) to get the most out of people – if they are satisfied, engaged, etc., then they will be more productive. Business performance links are there, but are tangental outcomes of pandering to the best possible employee experience. The McLeod report is a great example. It only mentions ‘brand’ in passing – and then in the context of HR branding internally.
The experientialists – Another camp is the customer experience camp or “brand engagement” – e.g. marketing. They argue that if employees aren’t focussed on the customer or client, it doesn’t matter how engaged/satisfied they are since that becomes irrelevant (although you can argue cause and effect of course). You’ll find a lot of brand agencies here. And they don’t do HR, dahling… On the other hand, they tend to be far more influential and persuasive by nature than HR.
The influencers – A third camp is (and often the most seriously flawed) the PR and change camp, where internal/employee comms is all about defining “publics” and then influencing them using spin and external PR techniques.
The changelings – Communications is change. Change comes from workstreams.
The executives – It’s all about leadership communication.
The managerials – It’s all about line managers.
The KM brigade – It’s about intranets and managing knowledge.
The storytellers – It’s all about big pictures and stories, since the dawn of time it always has been.