It had its beginnings in the British Association of Industrial Editors, founded in 1949, whose members were editors of house magazines and newspapers. These represented the most common form of internal communication at the time – editorial based around messages from the Board, employee news and social activities.
Over time the activities of the association and its members expanded to cover a broader range of channels and strategic issues, relating both to external and internal communication, and this was formally recognised when it became the British Association of Communicators in Business in 1995.
Internal communication comes of age
In the following decade, the profile of internal communication continued to grow and there was an increasing weight of opinion and evidence highlighting its importance to the achievement of a whole range of critical business goals – a fact stressed by the Government commissioned MacLeod Report (2009) which suggested that UK organisations could do better on employee engagement.
We saw more people working in IC roles in the early years of the 2000s, as well as more dedicated and senior-level IC positions.
Members of the British Association of Communicators in Business voted in September 2009 for the organisation to become the Institute of Internal Communication. This change of emphasis was 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 members’ expertise.
The greater complexity of internal communication activities by the first decade of the 21st century, not least due to the wide range of tools and technologies at communicators’ disposal, had also made it much more important that practitioners could receive support from a dedicated professional body focusing entirely on this discipline.
The move to institute status also confirmed the body’s increasingly strong focus on accredited professional development and developing leading-edge knowledge on workplace dynamics, innovative approaches and best practice.
May 2010 saw the formal establishment of the Institute of Internal Communication.