One of the most significant trends for communicators in the last 15 months is the strengthened relationships they’ve forged with allied departments. Much of the impetus for this new dynamic comes from the pandemic and the realities of remote work, but it’s likely that the value of closer relationships across the enterprise will continue.
In fact, nearly half of communicators—42%—reported they’ve developed stronger relationships with other departments as a result of the pandemic, according to the Communications Leadership Council’s 2021 Benchmark Report.
Improved relationships naturally lead to improved communications support from frontline managers, a critical component in any messaging effort. It’s challenging to integrate managers into internal communications processes, but communicators who do work with their departmental managers consistently report better engagement. Indeed, the vast majority of more than 700 respondents to the Benchmark Report rely on managers to help distribute and underscore communications efforts.
[EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Communications Benchmark Report 2021]
But there are striking differences in planning and activation. One is whether organizations use a cascade system of communications, where messages are passed down the chain of command, to be disseminated sequentially by managers. Naturally, larger organizations (78%) use this method more than smaller ones (47%). Members of Ragan Communications Leadership Council are much more likely to use the cascade method (76%) than their non-Council counterparts (51%).
This compelling segment is among the key findings from the third annual Communications Benchmark Report, an exclusive study from Ragan’s Communications Leadership Council, that reveals a range of sentiments and best-laid plans during a very dynamic time.
Download a copy of Ragan’s third annual Communications Benchmark Report executive summary here. To obtain a full copy of Ragan’s 2021 Communications Benchmark Report, become a member of the Communications Leadership Council.