One of the key roles of an internal communicator has always been to understand and effectively segment organisational audiences. As organisations evolve and social becomes a more dominant factor there is a new role for Internal Communicators to look beyond traditional audience segmentation and understand the role of internal communities in business.

Internal communities have always existed – but with social tools there is now far more opportunity to mobilise groups of people in business that share common objectives and interests to drive better collaboration.

Vertical & Horizontal Communication

The traditional role of Internal Communication has been to manage the vertical communication in business – the top down and bottom up communication that facilitates good business conversation.

There is now far more opportunity for Internal Communications to facilitate horizontal communication – the dialogue between different communities in business. To facilitate horizontal communication you need to understand what communities exist in your business and create opportunities that will initiate dialogue.

Vertical communication remains the primary role of Internal Communications – as it is the organisational story that will be a primary driver behind engagement – but by looking at communication horizontally you can also influence good business collaboration – and that can be a primary driver behind innovation and growth – which will directly contribute to the commercial objectives of the business.

For the full article please see the Progressive IC book.

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