The function of internal communication during the COVID-19 health crisis: Transformation or transubstantiation?

Juan Cuenca Fontbona, Marc Compte Pujol, Mariana Sueldo

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review


To find out whether the role of internal communication was transformed or transubstantiated as a result of the situation caused by the COVID-19 health crisis, a series of structured interviews with communication managers were held from the most severe period of lockdown (April 2020) until the end of the fifth wave (June 2021), with the aim of examining whether the function of internal communication in organizations had been affected by this health crisis and if so, to what extent. Internal communication as a managerial function underwent adaptation and adjustments, for which organizations had no ad hoc existing manuals or guidelines to follow in stricto sensu, because the nearest precedent comparable to the current situation occurred over a century ago and within a completely different economic context. The pandemic has led to a marked digitization of internal communication channels, the dissemination of contents focused on health, well-being and safety of employees, alignment with the team, transparency, sustainability and diversity, with the express aim of providing emotional support and forging an image of security. It has also become an accelerating factor from a strategic perspective. Furthermore, new gaps have emerged, such as the need for employee self-management, along with managerial challenges posed by ambiguity, privacy, data accuracy and security and worklife balance in the teleworking context. All these concerns imply and require the direct involvement of internal communication to tackle them and find solutions. Yet what has changed is the various ways the internal communication function displays itself, but not the substance of the discipline. Thus, continuity in the strategic management of this function is crucial for its further development as an essential contribution for facing current and upcoming challenges.
Translated title of the contributionLa función de la comunicación interna durante la crisis sanitaria del COVID-19:¿transformación o transubstanciación?: ¿transformació o transsubstanciació?
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


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