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