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Internal Communication

A Compendium of Operating Models and


Organizational Structures

www.melcrum.com
Melcrum 2015

Defining your ideal Internal Communication model and structure


There is no one, perfect solution when structuring an Internal Communication function. In fact, no one model or structure is right
for every organization, or for any single organization. There are various options to appropriately align the function against the
organizations needs. Additionally, as strategies and priorities shift over time, so should your structure and model.
The operating models and organizational structures in this compendium are real-life, anonymous examples submitted by Melcrum
members around the globe. These models and structures vary from the most common, to a variety of hybrids -- designs
developed by combining different attributes of one or more models and/or structures.
Models and structures: How they differ
Its important to understand the difference between an operating model and an organizational structure. An operating model
represents how a function operates across processes and the organization, to accomplish its purpose. The organizational
structure is the configuration and reporting lines of the individuals and teams that support the model.
How to use this compendium
Inside youll find an overview and selection of common operating models. Also included is a variety of organizational structures.
However because these structures are unique and vary greatly per function, an overview of these is not included.
Where possible, associated models and structures have been linked together. In your review, use these designs and concepts to
spark new ideas in your approach to define your function.
Do you have an amazing model or structure not represented here? Wed love to see it - and it may even make it on our list!

Understanding operating models an overview


The chart below represents commonly used operating models. However, they are not mutually exclusive and can be
adapted and combined as necessary. Use this information to assist in your review of this compendium.
Service Center

Central department structured by communication technique or audience, acting as a production or technical service center

Center of Expertise

Central department that provides strategic and technical services, divided by expertise, techniques, processes and by audience

Business Partner

Business partners are aligned by customer or region and can be based in IC or within the customers department

Cost Center

Structured by customer, services or staff charged back to customers. The Center can also act as the broker of externally contracted services

Profit Center

Similar to a Cost Center, while also performing as an in-house agency that can compete on the street, making a profit

Independent
Department

Departments aligned by functions (e.g., internal comms, design), structured by business units or regionally

Overarching
Committee

A cross-organizational committee coordinates planning for common programs, corporate brand and messaging and is often used with the
Independent Department structure

Shared Services

Independent Department structure that also pools together common services, structured separately from the rest of the IC function

Insourcing

Sharing attributes of the previous three structures, one department leads comms management, common activities or a major program or project

Outsourcing

All or a major portion of the function is outsourced to an external agency to manage, acting as an internal department

Guiding principles
Before you can begin structuring your IC function, there are a few guiding principles you need to consider. When these
are applied, youll be well-positioned to develop the most relevant model and structure for your function.
Know the problem
The reason to create a new model and structure is to solve a problem. Before you begin to think about the solution,
define the problem you need to solve. This will help you gauge the relevancy of the models and structures in this
collection.
Define expectations
After solving your problem, what improvements or gains are you expecting? Do you want to increase ICs influence,
improve efficiencies, or something else? You may also think of this as part of your measures of success.
Start with an operating model
An operating model provides the foundation needed to design your organizational structure. Without a defined model,
an organizational structure may be flawed and not solve your problem.

Center of Expertise + Overarching Committee + Shared Services

CENTER OF
EXPERTISE
Centralized tools and processes boost
effectiveness and efficiency through
standardization

SHARED
SERVICES
Pool of skilled communicators
flexes to address business
priorities as they emerge

GLOBAL
COMMS COUNCIL
Corporate heads of
communication work with
communicators in the
regions and business units
to manage the drumbeat of
communication across
the globe

Key Goals

Focus less on who the internal client is, and


more on what desired outcomes are.

It used to be about who on the team owned


whatnow its about whether the team is
delivering.

Dont try to do it all from corporate recognize


that the business units and regions are critical
to success.

Reframe away from saying no and toward


finding different ways of doing things.

Independent Department + Shared Services


Business Unit

Business Unit

Business Unit

Function
Comms

Function and Leader Communications

Shared
Services

Business Unit
Comms

Business Unit

Digital

Business Unit

Center of Expertise + Shared Services

Shared Services
Exec./ Org. Communications*
Communications Consulting
Outsourced Services
Design & Video Services

Dedicated Services
Exec./ Org. Communications*
Function Communications
Program Communications
Employee Communications
Leader Communications

*Executive Communications is supported in each level.

Self-Service
Content
Training
Templates & Resources
Exec. Communications*

Center of Expertise + Business Partner


Connected and effective communications

Teams

Themes

Strategy & Performance


Communications

Business
Unit

Business
Unit

Business
Unit

Leadership Communications

Operations

Employee Campaigns & Creative Services


Employee & Leadership Communications
Planning & Analysis

Function

Services
& Change

Business Partner + Centers of Expertise


Business Unit

Business Unit

Business Unit

Business Unit

Business Unit

CEO/Executive Comms

Businesses

Government Relations
Company A

Corporate Branding

PR

Employee Communication

Organization-wide

Operating
Model

Business Partner + Center of Expertise


Chief Communications Officer

Chief of Staff

CEO/Executive Comms
Company A

Business Unit

Business Unit

Business Unit

Business Unit

Centers of Expertise

Business Communication Teams

Business Unit

Government Relations

Corporate Branding

PR

Employee
Communication

Organizational
Structure

Service Center + Business Partner


Head of IC

Business Partners

IC Delivery Manager
IC Managers
Design
Manager

Content
Manager

Event
Specialist

Content
Specialist

Internal Communications Delivery

Communication style guidelines and operations


Channel development and operations
Employee event management
Intranet and community management
Content development and delivery
Audience segmentation
Communication innovation and road map
Measurement
Budgeting and vendor management

Group Programs (owned by all BPs)

Brand, culture, engagement


programs

Corporate office
Functions

Change communications
Strategy and leadership
communications

Key programs and/ or


regional business: (e.g.,
volunteering, Australia)

Community management
Guidelines and policies
IC skills
Benchmarking

Change programs e.g.,


shared services, employee
survey
Functions

Functions

Key programs and/ or regional


business: (e.g., wellness,
Hong Kong)

Key programs and/ or


regional business: (e.g.,
volunteering, food, South
America)

Direct
Support

Events
Manager

IC Managers

Advisement

Content
Manager

IC Managers

Service Center + Business Partner

Head of IC

Leadership/
Strategy

Business
Partner

Manager
Manager

Manager

Content
Delivery

Intranet

Manager

Manager

Manager

Center of Expertise

Head of IC

Employee
Communications

Executive
Communications

Design Studio
& Intranet

Manager Comms

CEO

Design

Employee Comms

Business Units

Intranet

Regional

Functions

Center of Expertise + Business Partner


Head of IC

Corporate
IC Business
Partner

Business Unit
IC Business
Partner

Business Unit
IC Business
Partner

IC Research
& Insight
Manager

IC News &
Channel
Manager

IC Research
& Insight
Specialist

News &
Channel
Specialist

IC Specialist

IC Program
Manager

Senior IC
Specialist

Senior IC
Specialist

Senior IC
Specialist

Employee
Engagement
Manager

News &
Channel
Specialist

IC Program
Specialist

IC Program
Specialist

IC Program
Specialist

IC Program
Specialist

IC Program
Specialist

Senior
Employee
Engagement
Specialist

IC Program
Specialist

Employee
Engagement
Specialist

Employee
Engagement
Specialist

IC Program
Specialist

Employee
Engagement
Specialist

Employee
Engagement
Specialist

International
IC Business
Partner

Employee
Engagement
Specialist

Business Unit
IC Business
Partner

IC Specialist

Employee
Engagement
Manager

Senior IC
Specialist

Employee
Engagement
Specialist

IC Program
Specialist

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www.melcrum.com

www.melcrum.com
Melcrum 2015