With tomorrow’s GCN lunch being on the topic of Internal Communications, I thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at the origins and purpose of this discipline.

In a series of blog posts, a journalist explores what could be the first ever book published on the subject of Internal Communications called ‘Sharing Information with Employees’  – way back in 1942!  Read posts >

But if this does not satisfy your curiosity about the roots of IC; then perhaps UK agency, 44 Communications, can offer more insight in their document: ‘A Quick History of Internal Communications and its value’.

With regards to the current purpose of IC, experts and practitioners seem split, as demonstrated by a recent discussion on Melcrum’s LinkedIn Group. Russell Pearson, who started the debate, has summarised the various views on his blog.

Liam Fitzpatrick, tomorrow’s GCN speaker who also contributed to the Melcrum discussion, offered the view that while there may not be a definitive purpose for IC,  there are five main reasons why companies embark on and invest in internal communications; to:

  • make people stay with the company and feel great about staying 
  • direct people towards working harder on the right things 
  • get people to say the right things about your organisation 
  • get employees behind change, to support and see through change 
  • to remain legal and compliant.

I agree that there is no one definitive purpose – that’s why we IC professionals take so much care to align our comms strategies to the purpose and goals of the overall organisation and develop the right messages and channels for each organisation. There are no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions. For me, it’s this ongoing challenge that makes IC one of the most exciting and rewarding areas of communications to be involved in.