The green light has been given for a new professional institute that aims to transform internal communication practice in the UK and improve employee engagement levels.
The Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) will seek to achieve this through the promotion of leading-edge knowledge on communication theory, strategy and tools and the provision of accredited qualifications.
The move reflects a steadily growing profile for internal communication in recent years, and an overwhelming weight of opinion and evidence highlighting its importance to the achievement of a whole range of critical business goals – a fact stressed by the recent Government-commissioned MacLeod Review which suggested that UK organisations could do better on employee engagement.
Around 20,000 people in the UK are now in a role that focuses entirely or to a considerable degree on internal communication issues, either working in the human resources department or collaborating closely with this function.
Members of the British Association of Communicators in Business (CiB) voted on 23 September to change the association to the Institute of Internal Communication. This change of emphasis is a natural product of the organisation’s strong foundations in internal communication – apparent from its very first members in 1949 – and the depth and breadth of its current members’ expertise.
The greater complexity of internal communication activities today, not least due to the wide range of tools and technologies at communicators disposal, have made it much more important that practitioners can receive support from a dedicated professional body focusing entirely on this discipline.
The move to institute status also confirms the body’s increasingly strong focus on accredited professional development and on being at the forefront of knowledge on workplace dynamics, innovative communication approaches and best practice.
Key aspects of the Institute’s work will include:
Professional development – development of a comprehensive, flexible and robust framework of accredited qualifications that will enable internal communication practitioners at all career stages to meet their employers’ business needs
Promoting best practice – the Institute will speak for the importance of good internal communication through the media and other professional platforms, and use its comprehensive awards and events activities to showcase various tactical and strategic aspects of best practice, promoting these so their significance is recognised by audiences who are not professional communicators
Thought leadership – spreading information gained from providing a non-commercial environment in which senior communicators from a wide variety of organisations can develop ideas and approaches, distilling the information generated from a diverse events programme and undertaking formal research projects.
The official changeover to Institute status, along with the launch of its new corporate identity will take place at the annual conference in May 2010.