Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Do you do, or do you manage?

I've been developing some survey material for CiB this month looking at trends in internal comms - and particularly who's currently involved in-house.

One of the questions fascinating me is around whether today's in-house communicators are actually doing the communicating or managing others to do it for them.

The trend across the board in organisations is to slim down and focus on core business. That means organisations employing fewer, more skilled people directly who are involved in the heart of the business, and outsourcing non core services to specialist suppliers.

I'm beginning to see this more and more in IC where the traditional in-house agency is being slimmed to one or two professionals. They haven't the time to plan, craft, disseminate and measure the impact of the corporate message day to day, so are becoming more and more reliant on 3rd party support to make IC happen. It's great for people like me - but does it mean that in-house communicators will merely become managers of the word, unskilled in actually bringing it to life?

Call me old-school, but I believe great craft communication skills should be the start point for any corporate communication manager. It's not enough to be able to sweat suppliers and bring comms in on budget each year. That way, blandness, dumbing down and poor communication lies.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see if this particular perceived trend is borne out in the survey findings.

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