Non-members: Click here to review a complimentary excerpt from "External Communications Excellence: Optimizing Group Structure and Resources"
As companies grow, effective external communications activities help organizations build strong stakeholder relationships and marketplace success. The external communications function is the public voice of an organization and thus represents a vital function. As the external communications function has evolved, its structure and resources have also changed over time.
Best Practices, LLC conducted this research to find out current trends in external communications with respect to its structural models, staffing and investment levels. This research study provides external communications trends and insights around structure and resources; communications leaders can use the study to compare their current structure and resources with that of leading companies.
- External Communications Group Structures: Key Trends & Drivers of Sub-group Evolution
- Internal and External Communications Group Models and Structures
- External Communications Group Resource Benchmarks: Key Staffing and Investment Trend
SAMPLE KEY METRICS
SAMPLE KEY FINDING
- Functional factors affecting External Communications structure
- Geographic factors affecting External Communications structure
- Location of External Communications group
- Approaches used to align External Communications with internal customers
- Effectiveness of different staffing approaches for serving internal customers
- Approaches to integrating U.S. and global External Communications structures
- Level of External Communications leader
- Leadership group that External Communications reports to
- Number of External Communications FTEs, worldwide and U.S.
- Percentage of External Communications outsourced
- External Communications budget
- Budget per External Communications employee
- Percent of External Communications budget allocated to labor and non-labor categories
- Sources of funding for External Communications group
- Organizations struggle to find the best approach to integrating their U.S. and global team structures. Benchmark field results revealed nearly equal preferences for independent structures, mirrored structures and centralization. The multi-industry benchmark class showed a greater preference for complete centralization at headquarters than did the pharma segment, which favors independent or mirrored structures across continents.
- The mean staffing level for External Communications groups across industries is 17% higher than the function’s mean staffing in pharma alone. Pharma does average 15% more staffing in the U.S., likely a reflection of the importance the U.S. market plays in the pharma sector.
Participants in this benchmarking research included 32 Communications executives and managers at 28 leading companies from bio-pharmaceutical, healthcare and other industry segments. This research document is the result of a benchmarking survey and field interviews. Research participants included Vice President, Senior Directors, Directors, Managers and Specialists.