Wow–Texting, Twitter, Facebook, Intranet, Instagram—has business communication ever changed in the last two decades! What does it mean for change management practitioners whose job it is to support sponsors and leaders in communicating key information around a change initiative? What other channels will we have to consider and manage when getting our messages to their intended targets in a way that ensures both reception and impact? And where do we turn for help? Here are some thoughts about these challenges from a number of communication professionals who are working in this reality every day.

Amanda Helfand, 2016. Future of PR: How Corporate Communication and the Industry Landscape Are Driving Innovation and Change.

“It is no secret that the role of the communication professional is changing. The convergence of PR and marketing has grown since the crash of 2008, so professionals had to learn to wear multiple hats. While specialists are important for more technical roles, it is crucial to have individuals who have a working knowledge of all aspects of communications.


Moving forward, there will be an increased concentration on internal communications and empowering champions within your organization. This cross-functional use of communications will drive employee acquisition, engagement, and retention. That being said, the root of PR and the skill set needed remains the same: successful professionals continue to be strong relationship builders who are able to create and promote consistent messages.


BroadVision Blogger, 2015. 6 Business Communication Trends

“Business communications have evolved so much in recent years as to be almost unrecognizable from a couple of decades ago. The latest tools empower collaboration and communication among a diverse and roaming workforce. These tools are more flexible, affordable, scalable, and agile than those of old . . .

The age-old image of the executive or sales person pacing the office with a phone glued to his or her ear is defunct. Today’s communications tools are less about talking and more about communicating in ways that don’t disturb the flow of the business day. . .

Checking email, voice mail, social media notifications, and others . . . has become too time-consuming. Modern tools are morphing these various tools into a single platform so that workers can easily check all of their communications quickly and easily . . .

The Internet of Things (IoT) means more connected devices and greater security concerns — and communications apps must come with proven security in order to be taken seriously by business . . .

The future of business communications is working toward a single platform tool that allows for a variety of communications. Tools will be mobile and secure. Is the future here?”


Danielle Gibbons, Newsweaver Internal Communications, 2014. The Future of Internal Communications

“Internal communications (IC) radically improves, controls and measures the way employers communicate with employees and stakeholders, helping to drive positive employee behaviour and increase engagement with influencers. The future of this industry is very bright as organizations are increasingly recognising its importance . . .

A snapshot of the IC industry highlights that the average ratio of internal communicators to employees within an organisation, is 1 per 500 to 1000. 3 in every 4 internal communicators say their IC strategy is aligned with their business strategy. A quarter of all IC departments say they will increase their budgets in 2014 and the biggest issue facing them is leadership communications . . .

The landscape of IC is continuously evolving and the trends towards ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) has risen out of a need for companies to be accessible at all times with the use of mobile applications and devices. Where once the ‘Out of Office’ email meant an employee was not contactable, now smartphones and tablets allow a constant flow of communication. Indeed, half of employers are predicted to require their employees to supply their own device for work purposes by 2017 according to the Gartner Bring Your Own Device: The Facts and the Future report. The biggest challenges in IC are acknowledged as the volume of communications, gaining employee buy-in and general employee engagement respectively.”


Georgia Everse, Harvard Business Review, 2011. Eight Ways to Communicate Your Strategy More Effectively

“7. Use 21st-century media and be unexpected. The delivery mechanism is as important and makes as much of a statement as the content itself. Most corporate communications have not been seriously dusted off in a while, and the fact is, the way people communicate has changed tremendously in the past five years. Consider the roles of social media, networking, blogs, and games to get the word out in ways that your employees are used to engaging in. Where your message shows up also says a lot. Aim to catch people somewhere that they would least expect it. Is it in the restroom? The stairwell? On their mobile phone?”


Jamie Tolentino, 2015. The Biggest Trends in the Future of Communications

“Whilst SMS

[Short Message Service] may be viewed as antiquated technology, SMS still plays a key role in connecting most modern technologies. This is partly because of its high engagement rate, with a 90 percent read rate in minutes, as well as its large reach due to no pre-existing connections or high speed internet connection required.

There is also a new breed of cloud communications platforms who are able to let businesses easily deploy SMS to customers with faster delivery times, less initial cost, while delivering a more reliable service. Finally, more and more companies are using SMS as a step in two-factor authentication (2FA) . . .

Sending SMS on a global level can be challenging due to various local regulations, inefficient performing routes, untrustworthy aggregators. Every country has different regulations and every carrier has their own requirements for SMS messaging. Keeping up with best practices in each country require[sic] a lot of time and effort, making SMS hard to scale globally. Also, when SMS is sent internationally, it will have to travel along predetermined routes and sometimes transferred five to six times to get to its final destination. The huge amount of transfers may possibly result in delay or cancellation of delivery.”


Related: Three More Lessons Change Professionals Can Learn from Marketers

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