The latest global survey from Melcrum, Key Benchmark Data for Communicators 2009, has revealed that in the light of the recession, every area of internal communications is being re-examined. Here are some of the survey’s headlines and what they mean for IC professionals:

Budget cuts – almost half of respondents (46%) said they will be spending less on consultants in the next 12 months. External advisors will therefore need to “re-evaluate what they offer and become more focused”. For those working in-house, budget cuts will mean less opportunities to move position and engage employees on a grand scale – but will be a chance for savvy communicators to gain respect by getting creative working closely with leaders and to make a difference.

Strategy change – 47% of respondents stated that cutbacks have led to fundamental change in their communication strategy. The main focus for internal communicators today appears to be on rebuilding trust and giving employees the answers they need. This is good news as it puts IC in the limelight, but it is demanding work that often needs to be done with fewer resources. Now more than ever, IC professionals need to prove their worth to gain the resources they need.

Change in Channels – 45% of respondents predicted a reduction in print communications in the coming year, with many seeing the Internet as a more cost effective and engaging alternative, due to its ability to spread messages to the right audiences with simplicity, immediacy and transparency.

Priority skills – Most respondents indicated that over the next 12 months, the most important skills will be: ‘managing change communication’ (43.2%), ‘supporting senior leadership communication’ (37.9%), and ‘measuring the effectiveness of internal communication’ (27.6%). In terms of leadership communications, ‘coaching managers to communicate’ came out as the top priority (52.5%), closely followed by ‘strategic planning’ (51%) and ‘how to assess communication effectiveness’ (49.3%).

More about the survey and its findings >