Our regular look at some of the news, views and opinions from around the wonderful world of IC…
Outspoken Katherine Kneller sparked some spiky debate with a LinkedIn post about the lack of respect given to people in internal comms.
Her recent post recalled how a friend and colleague once said to her: “You went to Cambridge? What the f**k are you doing in internal comms?”
Far from wondering how on earth she ended up in her job as an IC consultant, Katherine insisted: “I chose IC very deliberately and since then it’s given me a working life that I’m both proud of and grateful for.”
She added: “We all know IC isn’t as glamorous as PR, or as well-paid as marketing. We all know that nobody gets promoted to Communications Director from a background in IC. And we all know that everybody from finance to operations thinks they can do it.”
And in reply to one comment, Katherine said: “It drives me mad when I hear people say ‘oh, I just fell into IC’ like it was a hole in the road and they weren’t looking…”
44’s Managing Partner, Tom Abbott, responds: “It’s no secret we spend more time at work than with our nearest and dearest; positive relationships with colleagues and with our place of work are critical to satisfaction and engagement. Given our workplace is one of the most important relationships in our lives, it fascinates me why many companies still find it hard to invest, prioritise and recognise internal communications.”
Katherine’s post prompted a massive response from the IC community too – 170 people (and counting) taking the time to weigh in with their thoughts.
Founder of 89 Degrees East, Annie O’Rourke, said: “IC is absolutely critical − it makes or breaks an organisation. All hail good IC professionals!”
Engagement, communications and change enthusiast Jessie Demnar said: “When internal comms teams are ‘doing the do’ and nailing it, few people really notice. When the teams aren’t there or don’t have input into the content/messaging, it’s suddenly SO noticeable (and not in a good way).”
Communications Director at Rio Tinto James Puxty said: “Increasing engagement and ensuring effective communications helps build advocacy and contributes so much to the success of an organisation. I’m sad that people don’t understand the value IC has, but so pleased that you had the courage to post on the subject.”
IC consultant Simon Monger said: “I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I know that what we do makes a huge difference to the world, the organisations, and the individuals who work in them.”
While Communications and Marketing Manager Laura Hamilton said: “I’ve worked across the comms mix, including a stint as a journalist. Internal communications was by far the most challenging area to work in for a whole bunch of reasons.
“That said, regardless of your area of focus, when you work in comms, it’s not hard to find someone who dismisses your work and thinks they can do your job better than you can.”
Engagement Development Manager at Kent County Council Kate Nowowiecki, meanwhile, summed it up by saying: “I consciously moved from press office and PR 20 years ago because I saw IC as the space to make a difference − never looked back. I’m really proud to have a role that means colleagues can focus their energy on delivering critical services.”
Women in mind…
We also liked this post from Rachel Walsh, Marketing and Digital Director at TAG Hauer. Though maybe not strictly an internal comms subject, it did strike a chord.
She says the darker nights can mean many women (and maybe men too) start to skip their evening exercise if they don’t feel safe outside.
She suggests encouraging team members to exercise during daylight hours, allowing colleagues the flexibility to be active when it works for them, recommending local running clubs or communities to join, and helping ALL employees understand what they can do to help women and everyone feel safe outside at night.
Here at 44, our flexible working policy allows us to make time in our daily routines to fit in exercise around our work. As the nights draw in, we’ve been taking the time to combine exercise and work by arranging ‘walking’ meetings during daylight hours – we’re lucky enough that our office is situated right next to a beautiful park here in Royal Leamington Spa!
Any thoughts on the respect (or lack of it) given to internal communications, or how we can all help make women feel safe? Drop us a line or comment below, and we’ll be back with more IC news next month.