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Stockholm Accords

When I first saw the Stockholm Accords, my initial reaction was delight that internal communication features so prominently. Internal communication has often been the poor second cousin to media relations within public relations forums. So at last, I thought, learned colleagues had wised up to the value of effective internal communication.

On second reading, there were some points that really stood out. For example, the recognition of the growing diversification of employee groupings, though some internal categories, such as “suppliers”, are a little puzzling. I’m not a fan of the academic term “publics”, especially in relation to employees, so that bugged me. But this is not the place to go into the minutiae of the wording. It’s the principle that is important. And that is about establishing internal communication more highly on the agenda of successful organisational communication that leads to better organisational sustainability. If the Accords are a starting point that succeeds in securing a far stronger global appreciation of internal communication, then that is indeed a great result. We can, and should, fine tune the tone and language but let’s not lose sight of the new thinking.

What next? The Accords should be a catalyst for more open debate between communicators with different perspectives. I suspect that when people holding different views do, one day, come together there could be a new “accord” that will lead to new innovations. I would love to see a symposium where communication academics and practitioners from different institutes and organisations meet with marketing, operational and HR colleagues and have an open dialogue. This would not just be an academic discussion. The potential outcome is much higher levels of employee engagement and that is beneficial for employees and for organisational sustainability. Some people may think I’m a dreamer on this, but I hope I’m not the only one!

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