FAQ Frequently Asked Questions Future of Internal Communications Hiring for Internal Communications Internal Comms Internal Comms Careers Internal Comms FAQs Internal Comms Goals

Internal Communications Frequently Asked Questions

I am often asked questions about the role, expectations and even a for a typical job

description for a senior leader in internal communications. I have compiled some of

these questions and responses below. Feel free to share your views and ad

questions you want answered.

  1. What typically goes into a job description for a senior internal communications leader?

As a Senior Internal Comms Leader, the primary responsibility is to connect stakeholders to the organization’s purpose, create a sense of belonging and build a culture that makes change and transformation inclusive.

Some of the key responsibilities are below:

•           Develop a range of communication delivery channels that most effectively deliver messages to different audiences.

•           Develop diverse communication channels, such as intranet, social media, print, digital screens, and email, as the appropriate means for communicating with staff depending on the nature and context of different communications.

•           Deliver communications tailored to different internal audiences in such a way that the message can be communicated most effectively to specific stakeholder groups. In addition, it supports new projects by providing specific and timely information to enable the organization to engage stakeholders and bring about change in an effective manner.

•           Among the key responsibilities is to create a framework of clear and effective employee communications on a broad variety of topics to create a sense of shared purpose that is relevant to the working lives of all staff. It provides communication tools and content to managers to develop a culture based on a consistent two-way flow of information.

•           As a Senior Internal Comms Leader, one is expected to measure the effectiveness of comms processes and recommend improvements. The person is also expected to contribute employee experience and respond to staff engagement and feedback. Overall, my role is critical in shaping and delivering effective communication strategies to our internal stakeholders.

2.         What are the qualifications for a Senior Role in Internal Communications?

To be successful in a senior role in internal communications, it is essential to have the following qualifications:

 Degree level or equivalent: A degree in communications, marketing, or a related field is preferred.

It is desirable to have a qualification in internal communications, such as a Diploma in Internal Communications or a related profession like public relations.


•           Strong copywriting, sub-editing, and proofreading skills: Ability to write clearly for a variety of media such as the intranet, newsletters, and team briefings.

•           Strong interpersonal, organizational, research, writing, and verbal communication skills: Ability to communicate effectively with employees at all levels of the organization.

•           Strong project management, service orientation, and attention to detail: Ability to manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders and deadlines.

•           Ability to design and execute ideas: Plan, develop, communicate, benchmark, track, measure, etc.

•           Good line management skills with the ability to work with a team: Ability to lead a team and work collaboratively with other departments.

•           Able to use a range of standard office systems including Microsoft Office and collaborative business networking tools such as Google or Sharepoint, etc.


•           In-depth knowledge of internal communications and employee engagement best practice: Proven experience in developing and implementing effective internal communications strategies.

•           Developing and managing internal communications across a large multi-site and matrix organization: Experience working in a large, complex organization.

•           Expertise in the design and delivery of on- and off-line communications channels, specifically team briefings, newsletters, staff surveys and questionnaires: Demonstrable experience in creating engaging content and measuring its impact.

•           Evidence of success in building good working relationships across professional and operational boundaries both inside and outside complex organizations: Proven ability to work collaboratively with other departments and stakeholders.

Additional Experience:

•           Management or coaching/mentoring qualification: Desirable for managing and developing team members.

•           Experience managing a budget: Demonstrated ability to manage budgets effectively.

•           Working knowledge of internet and intranet technology e.g. email builder like Mailchimp, Contact Monkey, or similar: Experience with digital tools and platforms for communication and engagement.

A senior role in internal communications requires a unique set of qualifications and experience. Candidates should possess a degree-level education or equivalent, a qualification in internal communications or a related profession, strong communication and project management skills, and in-depth knowledge of best practices in employee engagement. Additionally, experience managing budgets and working with digital communication tools is a plus. Successful candidates must also have a track record of building strong relationships and working collaboratively with stakeholders across the organization.

3.         What are the 5 top skills needed by internal communicators?

According to me, they are:

a)         Change and stakeholder management

b)         Creative and digital skills

c)         Writing, editing and curation

d)         Storytelling and narrative abilities

e)         Listening and advising

4.         Who is involved in internal communications?

Stakeholders include the leadership team, line managers, the HR department, all business functions and most importantly, employees. In effect, everyone has a role to play, and internal communications doesn’t belong to the internal communications team!

5.         Key reasons for a good internal communications strategy?

•           To integrate with organizational goals

•           To align with overarching communication priorities

•           To be consistent in delivering experience

•           To drive measurable success

•           To gain commitment

6.         How independent is the IC function?

That depends on multiple factors:

–           The maturity of the organization

–           The value the internal communication function adds

–           The credibility and reputation of the communication leader

Independence per se, doesn’t mean much. What the function does with the autonomy is what differentiates it from other functions.

7.         Reporting to whom?

Again, depends on the organization, how important the function is for the organization and the leader and the investments made. It can sit within the CEO’s office or within HR or within a Program team or with Marketing Communications or even independently.

8.         Is Internal Communications a part of HR or the broader Communications Organization?

Traditionally and theoretically, it is a part of the Public Relations domain which also has media, issues management, change and crisis communication aligned. Again, it depends on how the organization views the value the function adds and so also how the leader wants to leverage its effectiveness.

9. What skills and competencies must internal communicators have to be ready for the future?

To be future-ready, internal communicators need a mix of strategic and tactical skills. Essential skills include:

Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: As highlighted by the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, these skills are crucial for the future workforce.

Self-Management: This encompasses active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility, which are increasingly valuable.

Strategic Approach: According to Sally Chalmers’ research, having a strategic approach is essential, with 50% of job advertisements emphasizing this.

Creativity and Credibility: Self-motivation and creativity are vital personal attributes for internal communicators.

Research, Planning, Implementation, and Measurement: These are the key stages of communication models that require varying skill sets.

10. How can internal communicators upskill, reinvent, and stay relevant?

Internal communicators can stay relevant by:

Investing in Core Skills: Enhance core communication skills such as writing, presenting, and coaching.

Learning from Various Disciplines: Broaden horizons by learning from fields like science, theatre, art, and music.

Focusing on Behavioral Sciences: Understanding nudges and influencing techniques can add value.

Training and Professional Development: Engage with leading storytellers and participate in professional development programs.

Embracing Digital Skills: Equip leaders with digital skills to engage on pressing issues such as climate change and diversity.

11. What are the current challenges faced by internal communicators in adapting to the future?

According to a Gartner survey, a significant portion of the workforce and leaders feel inadequately prepared for the future:

  • Workforce Readiness: 80% of the workforce and 92% of managers are not ready for future challenges.
  • Task Overload: 40% of employees are performing tasks beyond their regular roles.
  • Reskilling Needs: By 2025, 50% of employees will need reskilling, emphasizing the need for critical thinking and problem-solving skills

12. How has the role of internal communications evolved over the decades?

Internal communications has transitioned through various eras:

  • Craft Experts (1940s): Focused on entertaining and informing.
  • Strategic Partners (till 2000): Emphasized change management, social media integration, and building business communities.
  • Modern Role: Encompasses research, planning, implementation, and measurement, with skills growing cumulatively over a career.

13. What are the key stages in communication models and the skills required for each?

Communication models typically include four key stages, each requiring specific skills:

  • Research: Conducting studies with internal and external audiences.
  • Planning: Articulating messages and segmenting audiences.
  • Implementation: Engaging stakeholders to execute plans.
  • Measurement: Assessing the impact of communication and gathering feedback for improvement.

14. What is the significance of the IABC Competency Model and the Institute of Internal Communication’s profession map?

These models and frameworks outline the comprehensive skills needed at various levels within the internal communications function:

IABC Competency Model (2008): Focuses on management, communication, and knowledge skills across different contexts.

Institute of Internal Communication’s Framework: Defines behaviors, skills, and knowledge expected from practitioners, providing a pathway for progress and advancement.

15. How do internal communicators help stakeholders succeed?

Internal communicators play a crucial role in:

  • Shaping the Narrative: Guiding the organizational story and driving adoption.
  • Empowering Leaders: Helping leaders enhance their communication skills.
  • Coaching: Supporting leaders and managers through coaching, fostering trust, and improving communication practices.
  • Training Teams: Teaching stakeholders core communication skills to create an extended communications team.

16. What is the debate about internal communicators being generalists vs. specialists?

The debate centers around the broadening skill sets and evolving expectations:

  • Generalists: Need to be adept at varied skills to support diverse organizational needs.
  • Specialists: Focus on core internal communication skills and empower stakeholders to handle broader communication tasks.

17. Why is professional development important for internal communicators?

Professional development is crucial for:

  • Enhancing Core Skills: Strengthening foundational skills like writing, presenting, and coaching.
  • Broadening Knowledge: Learning from various disciplines and integrating new insights.
  • Staying Relevant: Keeping up with evolving communication trends and technologies.

18. How will the role of internal communicators continue to evolve post-pandemic?

Post-pandemic, internal communicators will:

  • Emphasize Human Interaction: Prioritize restoring and enhancing human connections within the organization.
  • Balance Skills and Mindsets: Focus on balancing strategic, tactical, and self-management skills.
  • Adapt to Geopolitical Changes: Stay relevant by adapting to global disruptions and helping organizations thrive in a changing environment.

What other questions do you have in mind?

#IC #Internalcommunication #careers #Internalcommunicationjob Internal communications #barriers
Internal communication #newsletter #Coronaviruscommunications #Employeecommunications #Leadershipcommunication #Diagonalcommunication #Companyintranet #Internalsocialnetworks
#Companynewsletters #Informationoverload #Internalcommunicationtrends #Internalcommunicationissues #Internalcommunicationfocus #Internalcommunication #priorities
#Internalcommunicationgoals #Internalcommunicationsstrategy
#Employee experience #Employee #experiences in companies #Greatplacetowork #Bestplacestowork #Best #employee friendly #workplaces #Barriers to effective communication
#Managercommunication #barriersofeffectivecommunication #internal #businesscommunication involves

Leave a Reply