Guest Post: A plea for more collaboration – no functional silos please by André Manning

Posted On Apr 30, 2021 |

A first guest blog post by André Manning, Managing Director at Logeion, the Dutch professional organisation for communication professionals.

A plea for more collaboration – no functional silos please

Last week Logeion, the Dutch association for communications professionals (with approximately 4500 members) organized a fascinating online round table discussion with two distinguished professionals: Ronald Voorn, who worked in different marketing roles at Heineken and is now lecturing and professor Betteke van Ruler about what marketing and communication offer each other. Very timely, that soon became clear! 

And given the number of responses in the chat during the online session, it was a topical topic. And let's face it, it has been for decades. And it will remain for decades to come, that became clear during the session.  

I guess many of us are quite familiar with the tension between marketing and communication and I must confess, I have been guilty of the “them versus us discussion” in my career as well. 

It was one of my first managers who told me always to keep a distance from marketeers. I guess he meant salespeople. And eventually I learned it is the wrong mindset. 

It takes a lot of energy and often leads to frustration. Of course, you have to be aware of the different way of thinking now and then. But based on the subject and your professional insights, there’s more reason to collaborate and learn from each other. 

Where communications can learn from marketing. 

Especially in use of research and data. Teaming up with colleagues from strategy, marketing and/or human resources in cross-functional teams ultimately yields the best results and will serve the interests of your internal and external clients or stakeholders. Their focus is getting the best result and not on who is responsible for it.

As said, the wrong battle is often not only fought between marketing and communications, the same also applies to communications and HR. 

Or to make it very practical, who is now responsible for internal communications. That is the wrong discussion and again a waste of energy. 

Or as I expressed it in Happy Change, a new book written by Bea Aernoutse and Marianne Jaarsma, two experts on Employee Engagement: “that there is no time left for functional silos within organizations”. 

Only by collaborating intensively with each other the communications function can add value: for your organization, for your team and for yourself. 

This offers us and our profession a bright future with unprecedented opportunities. Where we can learn a lot from other disciplines and can also offer a lot to other disciplines and colleagues. 

Isn't that an attractive perspective?


André Manning is Managing Director at Logeion, the Dutch professional organisation for communication professionals

Categories: Guest Post