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Which internal communication model do you use?

A well-designed internal communication model not only helps streamline information but also plays a key role in improving employee engagement and satisfaction. In this blog, we discuss some of the most useful internal communication models and their applications within organizations.

1. Basic communication model: sender-receiver

The sender-receiver model is one of the simplest and most basic communication models. The model consists of a sender transmitting a message to a receiver. Although this model has been criticized for its simplistic approach, it forms the basis for many more complex models that were developed later. This model is useful for understanding the basics of communication and the possible glitches that can occur during the process.

Sender-receiver model internal communication

2. Lasswell’s communication model

Lasswell's communication model allows for a deeper analysis of the communication process by asking five essential questions: who says what, through which channel, to whom and with what effect? This linear model is particularly useful for analyzing existing communication strategies and evaluating their effectiveness. Although the model does not take feedback into account, it offers a structured way to understand communication processes.

Lasswell's communication model for internal communication

3. Van Ruler Communications Junction

Van Ruler's communication crossroads are designed to help companies choose the right communication strategy for different situations. The model distinguishes four basic strategies: informing, persuading, dialogue and educating. Each strategy is placed on an axis that represents the extent of influence and the direction of communication (one-way vs. two-way). This model is particularly valuable for organizations that want to tailor their communication to specific target groups and situations.

Van Ruler communication hub for internal communication

4. Quirke’s Staircase

Quirke's Staircase is a practical model that focuses on internal communication during change processes. The model links different stages of the change process to concrete communication tools and "states of mind" that are expected from employees. This helps structure communication efforts and ensures that employees are well informed and remain engaged throughout the change process.

Quirke’s Stairs for Internal Communication

5. TOCOM model

The TOCOM model provides insight into the various elements that influence communication within an organization, such as organizational structure, culture, and strategy. This model is particularly useful for identifying relationships between these elements and optimizing internal communication. The model emphasizes the importance of a holistic communication approach that takes into account all factors that influence communication.

TOCOM model for internal communication


An effective internal communication model is crucial to the success of any organization. By selecting and applying the right communication models, you improve the engagement and satisfaction of your employees. Understanding and implementing models such as the sender-receiver model, Lasswell's communication model, Van Ruler's communication interface, the Quirke trap and the TOCOM model helps to increase the impact of your actions and make them visible.

In practice, you often see that changes and improvements do not have the desired effect. In 9 out of 10 cases, this is due to insufficient internal communication. For example, you may have developed a wonderful new training program for employees, but if the employee does not know about it, satisfaction will not be good. Communication is often the most difficult but most important step.

To determine what message you need to communicate to employees, Deepler helps you determine what topics need to be discussed. For more information, visit .


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