Internal communications managers work to ensure employees of organisations are kept informed and motivated. They do this by communicating through several channels, such as a staff intranet, email bulletins, social media and regular newsletters.
Working closely with senior executives, internal communications managers establish organisational messages and keep staff informed of developments. They also formulate their organisation’s internal response to crisis PR situations. Internal communications managers tend to work in large organisations, such as private sector companies, public sector bodies, local authorities and charities.
As an internal communications manager, you can expect your role to typically involve some or all of the following:
- Establish an internal communications strategy in conjunction with senior managers
- Ensure organisational initiatives and projects are successfully communicated to employees and stakeholders
- Plan, edit and write content for a variety of internal communications mediums, such as a staff intranet, monthly magazine or regular email bulletin. You may also be required to work on the layout of content
- Keep clients abreast of progress and answer their questions
- Storyboard or translate ideas to the creative team of art directors and designers
- Use social media to communicate with staff internally
- Manage an internal communications officer or whole team
- Deliver presentations at organisational events, such as your company’s AGM
- Draft messages or scripts from senior executives for presentation to employees in written or spoken form
- Ensure internal communications messages are consistent across all mediums and for different departments of the organisation
- Ensure internal communication messages are consistent with external communication messages
- Respond to feedback from staff and adjust communications content accordingly
- Handle the internal communication response to crisis situations which affect organisational perception and reputation
- Advise senior executives of developments throughout the organisation, either face to face or through regular written communication
- Writing skills: You need excellent writing, editing and proofreading skills as well as the journalistic ability to source stories from employees
- Speaking skills: You also need strong speaking skills as you are likely to be called on to give presentations to staff. Internal communications managers need sensitivity to an organisation’s goals and values and the ability to relay them to employees
- Interpersonal skills: You need good interpersonal and relationship-building skills in order to work with communications and HR departments. You also need to possess the confidence to deal with senior executives and explain communication techniques to them.
- Creative skills: You need the creative ability to devise communication strategies Digital skills: Familiarity with information technology, especially digital and video means of communication, is essential. Understanding the sector you wish to work in (private, public or voluntary) can be crucial.
A BA in journalism, communications, public relations or marketing is an advantage, though other degrees are often acceptable. A professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations or the Chartered Institute of Marketing can be helpful. An MA qualification is also possible.
Experience in a communications team, especially internal communication, for a large organisation, is most sought after. But experience of writing for a variety of different audiences is also desired. General journalistic or marketing experience is beneficial. Prior management of complex projects and advising senior managers is also looked upon favourably.
The average salary for an internal communications manager can range from £30,000-£50,000 per annum.
Regular office hours of 9:00am-5.30pm but availability outside of office hours and the willingness to travel are expected.
Your next steps may include:
- Digital internal communications manager
- Global internal communications manager
- Head of internal communications
- Head of communications
An internal communications manager’s perspective
“Working in internal communication and engagement gives me a really privileged view into the ‘behind the scenes’ of Alzheimer’s Society. The role allows me to learn about the vast range of activities we do to support people affected by dementia, from the launch of an innovative new service to our latest successful public affairs campaign.
“The challenge is to make sure that our employees and volunteers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are engaged with and proud of what the Society is doing to move us closer to our vision of a world without dementia.”
- Louise Shevlane, internal communication and engagement manager at Alzheimer’s Society