Corporate managers are trying to stretch communications budgets by making creative use of media such as blogs and message boards.

The International Association of Business Communicators, San Francisco, and Buck Consultants, New York, a unit of Affiliated Computer Services Inc., Dallas, have published that finding in a summary of results from a survey of 1,500 staffers at large and midsize employers.

About 52% of the survey participants said their companies’ internal communications budgets have fallen in the past 12 months, and 35% said their internal communications staffs have been reduced.

But 79% of the participants said their companies are using “social media” to engage employees. Company blogs are the most popular social media tool, with 47% of the participating employers already involved in corporate blogging. Discussion boards also are popular, and more participating employers are planning to add discussion boards than any other social media: 33% of the participating employers could be adding discussion boards.

Twitter is part of the communications effort at 21% of the participating employers, and Facebook is a component at 18%.