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As a seasoned communicator, you’ve probably had this debate more than once – How do internal and external communications differ? I also enjoy healthy debates around similar discussions such as the approaches to communications for B2C vs B2B audiences, but that’s for another post.

I had the pleasure of catching up with a colleague, Tim Buckley, from London, England when we were both speaking at the IABC Employee Conference in Calgary, Alberta. I thought this topic would be a great one for Tim to address because he knows his stuff and he’s a great story teller. He’s also the Chairman of AB Publishing, a London based internal communications agency founded…before I was born.


I totally agree with Tim as he dissects communications into a message, channel and behavior. If every communicator used this simple approach to frame their thinking, especially the “behavior” part, then they would instinctively become more strategic by focusing on the important stuff. For example, framing the end result as a “behavior” refocuses one’s thinking. We’d be measuring business outcomes (target audience behaviors) rather than simply communications outputs (volume of newsletters printed or traffic to a webpage).

So I ask you…as a professional who build bridges and makes connections, what’s your take on the differences between internal and external communications.