I found it frustrating to be party to a recent conversation about where internal communication should “sit” within an organisation, or who should “own” it.
I should say “another conversation” on the topic, because I have heard and taken part in many similar discussions over the last 20 years. The participants have changed, and the context may be different each time, but the core debate has remained the same: should internal comms be its own department or part of something else? If it sits elsewhere, should it be part of HR? If not HR, then where? Where would position internal comms to have a seat at the table?
The mere mention of the phrase “seat at the table” leaves many of us spluttering into our morning coffee. But it’s still being used, as if internal communicators have some immutable right to be heard, and it is only pesky structures and boundaries that hold us back.
I’ll just say, as I have interjected many times over the years, that focusing on the right position or reporting line really misses the point. No matter where we sit within our organisations, we should be seeking to connect employees across the world with the company and each other. We may report to one area, but our agenda must be much broader and unrestrained by that team’s particular focus.
We should view any structure as a starting point, not a boundary. We must be committed to pursuing a wider remit. That’s the way we will add more value and, dare I say it, gain a seat…
No, I can’t bring myself to say it. You know what I mean.