Guide to Business Partnering

Guide to business partnering

The business partner model originated in HR, driven by a need to modernise the function, make it more strategic and exploit the opportunities that resulted from new technologies such as ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems such as Oracle. These took the transactional work out of HR, giving employees the facility to do things like update their information, apply for leave etc. themselves, online.

There is a powerful business case for the business partner model, when working at its best it integrates the PR and/or internal communication function into the business enabling the aligning of communication with business goals.

It can be a rewarding role for the holder and the business, positioning the communicator as a trusted adviser and valuable member of a senior management team.

Yet it isn’t always as successful as anticipated. Our guide considers the potential and the challenges of business partnering for public relations and internal communication.

What you'll learn

This guide explains:

  • the role of the business partner in the context of PR and communication (including internal communication)
  • how to make the role of business partner effective. 

This guide is for: 

  • anyone working in a business partner role
  • anyone thinking about introducing a business partner model.


  • Introducing business partnering in PR and communication
  • The business partner model
  • Considerations when implementing a business partner model
  • The future, artificial intelligence (AI) and the business partner model
  • Useful guides and further reading.

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