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Internal communication in 2016

Attempts to forecast future have as many supporters as critics. Regardless of their accuracy, defined trends and described prospects at least capture dynamic changes that constantly occur in our environment. January abounds in predictions for various industries describing tendencies for the coming year. To describe the trends that will shape internal communication in 2016, it is necessary to refer to the directions of changes in broadly understood marketing communication, technological development and business in general. Internal communication is strongly interdisciplinary and therefore linked to development of other areas.

 

Business partner – managerial skills development

Internal communication industry in Poland is still in the growth phase, it is enough to follow job advertisements to find out that companies are intensively looking for specialists in this field. A careful observer will also notice that managers are increasingly sought for this area, which was rare a few years ago (when only entry- and mid-level positions were available). In many cases, companies come to point at which they decide on the creation of a managerial positions for internal communication. I think that this trend will continue, and those involved in internal communication will more and more often act as a business partner for senior managers and management. Therefore, IC specialists will have to continue their specialist competences development as well as acquire new managerial skills. Internal communication is rapidly evolving towards strategic support function which helps achieving the organization’s business goals and for all interested in IC this is very good information!

 

Content over channel

On the consumer market the arms race is still underway for newer tools and more effective channels to reach target audience. Brands communicate in all available channels, penetrating with their messages print, ATL, BTL and further Internet and social media. The visual is dynamically developing, engaging audiences through image, as well as video, which is becoming easier and cheaper to produce. It seems to me, however, that within organizations the urge to implement new communication tools is weakening. Multiple channels require additional resources to create content, so it’s not a one-time investment to introduce a new enterprise network, but a tool requiring constant work, maintenance and effort to attract and keep its users coming back. Multitude of messages and a variety of information often blur the company key messages and distracts employees’ attention. Investments in internal communication tools will be cautious and the money will rather be used to create more IC jobs. Also mobile applications, cheaper in the implementation, will become more and more popular especially in the geographically dispersed organizations.

 

New areas communication activities

In response to market changes and technological development, new management areas are appearing in organizations, directed by the chief data officer and chief experience officer. Internal communication will also have to cover these areas and synchronize its activities, not only with marketing and PR, but also with client communication. The growing importance of customer experience and satisfaction in building a competitive advantage also translates strongly into internal communication.

I believe that 2016 should be a period of further development for internal communication and its evolution from the operational to more strategic tasks helping to achieve business goals. There are more and more internal communication professionals on the market who work inside companies as well as independent consultants. What we still lack is an industry association. Maybe this initiative will appear this year.

The text was published on the Common Parts blog hosted by Marzena Tajchman, along with other comments from Polish experts on the anticipated trends in internal communication in 2016.


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