INTERNATIONAL: Internal communications gets low strategic priority

LONDON: While the majority - 86 per cent - of 123 leading UK and American companies polled in a recent survey have internal communication departments, board-level messages are not being communicated effectively to employees.

LONDON: While the majority - 86 per cent - of 123 leading UK and

American companies polled in a recent survey have internal communication

departments, board-level messages are not being communicated effectively

to employees.



The poll, carried out by London-based Synopsis Communication Consulting,

examined how companies, including SmithKline Beecham, Rover Group,

Texaco and Andersen Consulting, use internal communications.



The survey pinpointed a lack of boardroom representation of internal

communication as a cause for confused messages. Nearly one-third of

respondent companies do not have their internal communication strategy

approved at board level. This figure rises to 57 per cent in North

America.



Forty-eight per cent of organisations polled have internal communication

representatives on the board. This representation was found to be

stronger in the UK - 55 per cent - compared to North American

respondents’ 25 per cent.



Synopsis MD Bill Quirke said: ’Board members often view internal

communication as executionary rather than strategic and they go to

communications people too late in the decision-making process. Board

level representation is related to an awareness of communication as a

strategic tool to deliver business ends.’



The survey found that communication priorities were decided on the basis

of informal negotiations in 35 per cent of companies and that a

significant minority of respondents do not have a communications plan at

all.



SURVEY RESULTS



- Eighty-six per cent of companies polled have an internal communication

function



- Forty per cent of respondents described the relationship between

internal communication and their organisation’s strategy and planning

function as close.



- Thirty-five per cent of respondents set their communication priorities

through informal negotiations, and 23 per cent do so through boardroom

decisions. Five per cent do not set communication priorities at all.



- Twenty-two per cent of companies polled do not have a communication

plan.



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