This is one of the key findings of a report published today by CIPR Inside, the institute's IC group.
The report is based on interviews with 14 CEOs from various industries and 89 IC practitioners.
It says: "The research showed that it was necessary to define internal communication for both CEOs and leadership, and the IC practitioner. It was interesting to note that when defining internal communication, many of the IC practitioners we surveyed used the terms 'internal communication' and 'employee engagement' interchangeably."
"Furthermore, the research highlighted the need for further discussion with CEOs and leadership teams – not only to better promote what we do and the value we add, but to provide clarity on the importance of the function," it continues, noting that while CEOs already had a "reasonable understanding of internal communication and valued the part it played", this was often on a tactical rather than strategic level.
It also says that IC professionals could increase their credibility if they could provide better evidence of their effectiveness.
CIPR Inside chair Jenni Field writes in her foreword that while the "voice of the internal communicator has been growing louder within the communication space", the IC profession now needs to start communicating more with "the leaders of the organisations we serve".