Internal Communications: Driving the Business Rather Than Just Reporting On It

As a recent Towers Perrin survey indicates (See PR NEWS, Jan 26,
2004), employee communications is one of the most nettlesome
problems now confronting corporate America. The trend adds to an
increasing list of worries for senior communication executives, who
are already taxed by issues concerning crisis communications,
corporate governance and consumer trust. Although the battle
against external forces continues to grow, any effective
communications strategy starts at home. "The most effective leaders
of internal communications see their roles as driving the business
versus reporting on it. We're entering a sea change in this area
because most CEOs recognize that to tell a good story you first
need good performance," says Maril MacDonald, partner and
co-founder of Matha MacDonald LLC, a Chicago-based consultancy
specializing in corporate strategy execution. PR NEWS asked
MacDonald, also a member of the Arthur W. Page Society board of
trustees, to give her take on where effective employee
communications goes from here.