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Should internal comms be controlled by the HR function?

I enjoyed sparring with HR manager Jane Saunders, a partner of HR consultancy Orion Partners, in Communicate’s loggerheads debate recently.

Jane started by arguing that as guardians of the employer brand – both internal and external – HR teams have a pivotal role to play in managing internal communications.

My view is fairly straightforward. The role of internal communications is much broader than just employer branding – ensuring that employees have a wider understanding of their organisation that includes vision, values, objectives, and performance. It has an information role of course, but really good internal communications is also about generating opportunities for employees to have a say in what the organisation does.

Real engagement – which is increasingly what organisations want to achieve – comes from employees having a voice and that voice being well informed (which is where the information bit comes in). I wonder how well internal communications practitioners can deliver on this when it sits outside the communication function.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that good internal communications has to have a ‘foot in both camps’. By that I mean it needs to have a degree of independence in order to facilitate the two-way conversation that needs to go on within an organisation. The same applies to other aspects of good corporate communications which is why I think it sits more comfortably as a function of the communications team.

You can read the rest of the debate here:

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