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Simpplr Research: State of Internal Communications 2021

Written by

Simpplr Research



October 27, 2020



Every year, Simpplr Research conducts a study on the current state of internal communications. The State of Internal Communications 2020 (pre-COVID-19) report is Simpplr Research’s most downloaded report and provides useful benchmarking data for internal communications professionals. Insights from this report should still be relevant for most programs. In May 2020, we decided to conduct an intermediary study, the State of Internal Communications During COVID-19, given the abrupt transition from office work.

Given the current environment, our latest study, the State of Internal Communications 2021, is a follow-up to the May panel with survey questions focusing mainly on COVID-related workplace themes.

The State of Internal Communications 2021 summarizes:

  • How internal communications (IC) professionals have handled the recent changes (especially in transitioning toward work from home life)
  • How organizations are responding to social justice and racial equality awareness (a theme that spiked during the summer of 2020)
  • How IC professionals and programs fair relative to last year
  • Whether leadership has risen to the occasion and how they’re perceived
  • How technology has held up and what changes are required

Internal Communications Takeaways in 2020

From pandemics to social unrest, every communication plan has been thrown out the window and started over from scratch. How does this impact communications going forward?

The State of Internal Communications 2021 is Simpplr’s latest research on how employee communications have been impacted, comparing survey data in May and September 2020.

Primary takeaways with more features in the ebook:

  • COVID-19 has ironically helped the IC profession, with many respondents noting increased visibility and strategic relevance within their roles. 
  • The communication frequency and employee engagement in communications are starting to decline relative to when the crisis first began. Both employee and communication fatigue has set in, and previously recurring struggles with readership and alignment are returning.
  • While most companies are doing more to communicate a point of view on racial injustice themes, demonstrable changes are lagging.
  • COVID-19 is driving more investment in internal communication technology, a vast improvement from a year ago. Improving intranet technology and internal communications apps are the top priorities for organizations moving forward.

Finally, the survey asked all internal communications respondents two optional, open-ended questions: 

  • What’s your biggest takeaway or learning from your experiences during 2020 that you’d like to share with your peers?
  • How do you think the role of IC will be permanently changed from the experiences of 2020?

Each question had over 200 responses. We are very grateful for the thoughtfulness and time that the respondents provided. We wanted to include the responses in their entirety in this report’s appendices. They show the range of emotions and critical learnings that many of us have experienced over the past several months. These are arguably the most valuable aspects of this research and show how transformational COVID-19 has been for organizations. We highly recommend reading through this section!

Download the State of Internal Communications 2021 Report

About Simpplr Research

Simpplr Research was created in 2018 to provide customers and intranet practitioners insights and benchmarks to get the most out of their internal communications programs. With a rigid, analytical approach we hope to use data and insights to guide the corporate intranet industry and Simpplr’s solution strategy. To learn more or to suggest research topics contact us at [email protected]

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