It’s a question often asked. My 2p:
Employee Engagement is all about making sure your employees are aligned with vision, values and where the company is headed, and know what they should do or do differently to help make that happen. Ideally they are inspired and implicated in the success of the venture. More often than not, a big part of this is HR-driven engagement — that is, the “care and feeding” of employees in terms of how they are treated, recognised, rewarded and developed. My Gower Handbook definition was something about seeing the “What’s in it for me” in doing more for themselves, colleagues, customers and other organisational stakeholders.
Brand Engagement is primarily customer- or client-focussed. It’s all about making sure every employee who has influence on the end product, client service or customer experience understands what the brand promise is, and what their role is in delivering it. Ideally, they know what they should do and not do — and how they will be recognised and rewarded for getting it right; and the business and personal benefits of getting it right. Usually it’s marketing or brand-led.
Internal communications is more often than not about operational day to day communication – a combination of air traffic control and two-way communication in the tradtitional sense.
Change communication is all about helping people understand, manage and connect with change such as restructuring, mergers, acquisitions, etc. – ideally playing a role in shaping it (i.e. kaizen and related approaches)
And, to make matters more complicated, emerging practice (and common sense) indicates that ALL of these need to be joined up, causing friction and perceived complication among organisational silos who have, quite naturally, broken this activity up into more “managable” chunks.
Therein lies the challenge.