IABC’s Global Standard Sets Shared Principles for the Communication Professionals Across All Borders

IABC’s programs and initiatives are aligned to the Global Standard, ensuring consistency and credibility throughout all efforts. The Global Standard is defined by communication professionals around the world embracing a shared career purpose and six core principles as the building blocks of their work. Applying that standard enables us to cross all borders, align with diverse cultures and effectively serve organizations of all types and sizes.

The Shared Career Purpose of a Communication Professional

Communication professionals represent the voice of an organization as it interacts with customers, clients, employees, partners, shareholders, competitors, and the community.

The communication professional brings the organization to life with a brand voice that aligns its verbal, visual and digital messages and activities with its mission and vision. They act as the organization’s conscience and strive for its financial, social and environmental sustainability.

The six core principles

      1. Ethics

Communication  professionals adopt the highest standards of professional behavior. They always:

  • Communicate with sensitivity to cultural values and beliefs.
  • Act without deception and in accordance with the law.
  • Represent the organization truthfully, fairly and accurately.
  • Enable mutual understanding  and respect.
  • Adhere to the IABC Code of Ethics for Professional Communicators.”

     2. Consistency

Acting as the organization’s voice, a communication professional expresses a single, consistent story for internal and external audiences. This narrative is clear and compelling, it reflects the input and perspectives of diverse stakeholders, and it furthers the organization’s mission. A communication professional integrates information and inspiration for this narrative from people with diverse perspectives and ensures that communications are culturally appropriate to each audience.


     3. Context

The communication professional is sophisticated about the organization’s internal culture and external environment. Deep familiarity with the organization’s vision and goals and how its elements function together from accounting to production to human resources – is crucial to interacting successfully with other leaders of the organization and communicating effectively about the organization. Advocating successfully for the organization also depends on a thorough understanding of its political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal context — and of how to interact with representatives of other organizations.

     4. Strategy

With rigor and discipline, a communication professional identifies opportunities and challenges both inside and outside of the organization. Addressing communication challenges and opportunities with a thoughtful strategy allows the organization to achieve its mission and goals. The communication professional systematically manages communication activities, making decisions based on research, analysis, planning and evaluation. The professional also has the flexibility and creativity to adjust to change inside and outside of the organization.


      5. Engagement

A communication professional identifies and communicates with employees, customers, shareholders, regulators, government agencies and other groups with an interest in the organization’s activities. All these groups have the potential to change the organization’s results. So the communication professional fosters and nourishes relationships with them that will support the organization’s mission and goals. The communication professional uses dialogue to tell the organization’s story and garner support.

      6. Analysis

Communication professionals research and evaluate how to serve and promote the organization most effectively and then offer recommendations supported by direct and secondary evidence. They develop and implement communication plans and gauge their results using clear qualitative and quantitative measures that can be duplicated.