There is of course an intimate relationship between communication and education. In many universities, both sit under the discipline of psychology.
However, in most international organizations, these tend to be siloed functions. Communication often focuses on external media relations and, in the last few years, has expanded to take on the role of organizing social media presence. Education is reduced to ‘training’ or subsumed under staff (or talent) development, sometimes (but not always) inside of human resources. Worst-case scenario: an organization may not even have a centralized learning function, even though a quick survey would probably reveal that learning, education and training are at the core of its knowledge production and dissemination.
Communication counts eyeballs, downloads, or retweets.
Education tracks what is happening behind the eyeballs – and changes it, in measurable ways. This is equally true of the industrial-age classroom (and its organizational corollary, the training workshop) as it is of online learning environments that maximize technology’s amazing economy of effort.
In a knowledge-driven economy, impact matters more than perception.
In addition to being ephemeral (especially social media), this is why communication-based approaches feel increasingly superficial.
Photo: Philadelphia sunrise, 21 April 2013.