Tag Archives: internal communication

Measuring the value we add


Having spent last weekend judging a few categories in the IoIC awards, the topic of measurement is buzzing around my head. It formed a big part of the judging criteria, and rightly so. It’s also a conversation I have regularly clients – how to not just measure the basics but the real value we add.
So, I thought I’d share a few simple ways you can start measuring the impact internal comms is having on your business right away.

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Filed under CIPR inside, communication, Helen Deverell Communications, Internal communication, IoIC, Measurement

Reaching the unreachable

Being married to an engineer has its advantages and disadvantages. There are times when walking down the street I notice he’s no longer next to me and is instead staring intently at something trying to work out how it was put together or how it works. But from a work perspective my husband can be very useful, especially when trying to get into the mindset of the some of the hardest to reach employees.

I’ve discussed the issue of remote workers or workers without regular access to computers numerous times with fellow IC pros and the conversation has always concluded that getting them truly engaged in the organisation can be an uphill struggle.

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Filed under communication, Internal communication

What IC pros don’t do

Communicators are well-versed in answering the age-old question, “what is it you actually do?”. But rather than reeling off a list of skills, knowledge and accomplishments, should we be explaining what it is we don’t do?

Newsweaver recently ran an excellent webinar on how to create and run a corporate newsroom. Yet it started off by explaining what a newsroom isn’t. It isn’t a press room, media relations or the team that look after the intranet. Instead it’s about having a journalistic mindset that identifies and tells stories about the corporate strategy using editorial standards and practices.

And this got us thinking about how internal communication can often be a catch all for anything in an organisation that doesn’t quite fit anywhere else. This demonstrates people’s lack of understanding around what we do, and severely damages our credibility and ability to become valued trusted advisers.

But by continually repeating what we do, and not spelling out what we don’t do, are we missing a trick? We asked the communications community to tell us what they thought the biggest misconceptions were to make it easier for us as an industry to address them…

Originally written for Alive with ideas. You can read the full blog on their website.

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Filed under Internal communication

Dusting off the DeLorean – how IC pros can become time travellers

time_travel_blogEver wished you could time travel? Chances are if you work in internal communications, you already do. And when you spend your days zipping back and forth from the CEO’s vision of the future, to the employees living in the here and now (not forgetting the ones still living in the past), the old comms DeLorean racks up quite a few miles….

However, in some organisations it doesn’t matter how many times you tell employees living in the present how great the future is going to be, they just don’t buy into it. Maybe they’re too busy, or it feels too far away, or they simply don’t see how they fit into it.

So how do we as internal communicators translate the vision of our CEO into something meaningful for everyone else?

Originally written for Alive with ideas. Read the full blog on their website.

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Filed under Internal communication, Time travel

The power of storytelling

booksI love stories. As a little girl I would lose myself in books. One minute I’d be walking along the railway tracks in the early 20th century with Bobby, Peter and Phil, and the next I’d be sat in a bedroom in Connecticut, as part of the Babysitter’s Club. Or I’d be cycling up hills in Yorkshire rescuing animals and taking them to Animal Ark, followed by a trip to a chocolate factory with Charlie and his granddad.

And this love of stories didn’t fade as I got older. Not only did I start writing my own, but I also found myself working in an industry that is slowly waking up to the transformational power of storytelling.

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Filed under Internal communication, Storytelling, writing

A lesson in marketing – what IC pros can learn from their glamorous communication cousins

lesson_in_marketing_blogThere’s a great quote that goes “Don’t envy what people have, emulate what they did to have it”. Never a truer word spoken, especially when it comes to internal communicators, who often find themselves in the shadow of their more glamorous marketing colleagues. So, rather than covet their bigger budgets, should we be uncovering the secrets of their success?

That’s not to say we’re not doing a brilliant job, but it can’t have escaped most IC pro’s attention that marketing teams have bigger budgets, they’re involved at the very beginning of new initiatives and you don’t often see them having to explain for the umpteenth time, what exactly it is that they do. So, let’s take a closer look at our communication cousins to see what we can learn…

Originally written for Alive with ideas – read the full blog on their website.

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Filed under Internal communication, Marketing

Employer Brand Management Conference 2016

deverell_twitter_ebm_2016I’m thrilled to be a media partner of Transform Magazine’s Employer Brand Management conference. It’s a topic I’ve talked about at length with fellow IC pros so I can’t wait to hear from the varied and prestigious line up of speakers.

And as a media partner, I’m able to offer readers of my blog 10% off their ticket. Simply use the code DEV10.

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Filed under Conference, employee brand, employer brand, Internal communication

Coaching 101: a guide for communicators

coaching101_blogBeing a communicator can be pretty awesome. We get to wear many hats whether it’s writer, event planner, technology guru (where budgets allow of course), confidant, mediator, strategist…the list goes on. And now we’re adding another one: coach.

Imparting wisdom to other human beings can be scary. But if our role continues to evolve from that of creator to curator, we need to be open to sharing our breadth of experience with others around our organisations.

There are lots of courses and qualifications out there if you want to become a professional coach. But what we’re talking about here is the basics we can all hone to share the skills and knowledge we already have.

And that’s really key; we already have the skills and knowledge. Coaching is obviously beneficial to the person receiving it, but it’s also a good exercise for the coach to take stock and realise just how much they do know about their chosen profession.

Originally written for Alive with ideas. Read the full blog on their website.

 

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Filed under Blogging, Coaching, Internal communication

Turning lemons into lemonade – how I experienced the power of storytelling first hand

lemons-1432439_960_720Humans have been storytelling for thousands of years, however it was often confined to the minds of frustrated, penniless novelists and mothers trying to lull their children to sleep.

Not anymore. Big brands are using it to great effect. Take the current DFS advert. They’re not just telling you about the great sofas they have available, they’re showing you real people in the workshops with the skills and enthusiasm to ensure your sofa will arrive before Christmas.

And newspapers and journalists aren’t just delivering the facts, they’re telling us stories of unaccompanied child refugees making their way across Europe and families torn apart by the war in Syria.

I’m not telling you anything new, but it does take some skill to tell a really good story and to identify what one is in the first place. How confident are we as communicators that we can find the story at the heart of the corporate world?

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Filed under Breast cancer, CIPR inside, CoppaFeel!, Helen Deverell, Internal communication, Masterclass, Storytelling, writing

Communicating communication – are we our own worst enemies?

shoes_1

Have you ever had your hair cut beautifully by someone who has theirs scraped back in a scrunchie reminiscent of the 80s? Or had a fantastic extension built by someone who lives in a house that resembles a perpetual building site?  

Just like the saying about the cobbler’s children having no shoes, it’s a common phenomenon of the modern world, that people don’t have the time to apply their skills to themselves. And internal communicators are no different.

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Filed under Internal communication, PR

The communication conundrum

communication_conundrum_blogAn internal communicator, HR manager, and an L&D manager all walk into a CEO’s office. The CEO says, “I need everyone in this organisation to be better communicators. Whose job is it to make that happen?

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. And in many ways it is. For communicators, nirvana is everyone across the organisation taking personal responsibility for communication (even if it means doing ourselves out of a job in the process!). But who should be leading that drive to turn everyone into good communicators?

Is it us as the communication experts? Or would we be stepping on the toes of L&D who are responsible for training and coaching? Or is it the job of HR to ensure that communication is a key component in job specs and appraisals?

Originally written for Alive with ideas. Read the full blog on their website.

 

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Filed under communication, HR, Internal communication, L&D

Delivering a top notch community service

community_magaement_blogCommunity is making a comeback.

While we still may not know our neighbours, many of us have become well acquainted with people online who share similar interests to us. So it’s only natural that this way of building relationships and collaborating has seeped into the workplace.

But while local communities of the previous century didn’t need a community manager to moderate their various activities, the same can’t be said of our modern equivalents.

As enterprise social networks (ESN) become a key channel for communication within many organisations, it’s important that we as internal communicators understand how to maximise the benefits they can bring to businesses, as well as support and encourage our colleagues to use them.

Originally written for Alive with ideas. Read the full blog on their website.

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Filed under community management, Enterprise social network, Internal communication

Going for gold – what internal communicators can learn from Olympians

rio-going-for-gold_blogWhile you could argue the likes of Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah aren’t exactly relatable to the average Joe on the street, we may have more in common with these super humans than you think.

What do we know about some of our greatest Olympians, currently on their way to Rio 2016? They’re at the top of their game, in peak physical condition and have committed the best years of their life to achieving their dreams. Following London 2012, they also inspired a generation to get moving and enjoy participating in sport.

That’s all well and good, but what does that have to do with internal communications? Well sport is about more than just winning or physical exertion, it’s about realising what you’re capable of, gaining confidence, commitment, team work, accomplishing goals. Sound familiar?

Originally written for Alive with ideas. Read the full blog on their website.

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Filed under Internal communication, Olympics

Shhh…I’m having an idea – introverts and creativity

creative_introvert_blog_v2“We need a creative idea and we need it now.”

The phrase guaranteed to send chills down any introverted, internal comms pro’s spine. But why do so many of us associate creativity with spontaneity?

We’ve all been in that meeting where a ‘creative idea’ is required and all eyes turn to you, the communications professional. It’s a true fight or flight moment; an extrovert’s dream, an introvert’s nightmare. But does being able to come up with quick ideas and solutions make you more creative than someone who goes away and ponders all the options before coming to a conclusion?

This was originally written for Alive with ideas. Read the full blog on their website.

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Filed under Creativity, Internal communication, Introvert

A lesson in future proofing

learning-at-work-week_blog_newHow often do we as internal communicators take the time to look ahead and consider what skills and knowledge we might need to future proof our jobs?That’s right future proof.  Some in our industry are predicting that if we do our jobs well now, we’ll create organisations full of communicators, making ourselves redundant in the process.

This topic was discussed at the recent #ioiclive16 conference, where they asked delegates to put their heads together to build the internal communicator of the future to understand what skills we might need going forward. There were some great insights, so we thought we’d add a few of ours in to the mix…

This was originally written for Alive with ideas. Read the full blog on their website.

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Filed under future proof, Internal communication, learning

Talkin’ bout a reinvention

The communicator of the future?

The communicator of the future?

When we were planning #ioiclive16, we knew we wanted to be bold, to challenge thinking and to disrupt the status quo. And our fantastic line up of speakers didn’t disappoint. From our Thursday evening session where our expert panel facilitated the build (and redundancy in one case) of the internal communicator of the future, to our closing session with the brilliant Leandro Herrero telling a room of internal comms professionals that our function was superfluous to requirement, there was a lot of talk about reinvention.

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Filed under Conference, Helen Deverell Communications, Internal communication, IoIC

A royal lesson in leadership

royal_lesson_blog_bannerGun salutes, beacon lighting and a cake baked by the winner of the Great British Bake Off. It could only have been the Queen’s 90th birthday.

A fitting celebration for a monarch who has loyally served her country for 63 years. Few other leaders can claim a tenure as long, so what is the secret to her enduring leadership and popularity?

Originally written for Alive with ideas. Read the full blog on their website.

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Filed under Internal communication, leadership, Queen

Lost in translation – the language of cancer

IMG_20160209_183156As an internal communicator, I’m used to being invited to take deep dives off burning platforms or to touch base about shifting paradigms. There is an endless stream of jargon in the world, that shows no sign of abating, despite protestations of the virtues of simple, plain English, and countless memes mocking the language of business.

Language is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal, yet we can be so reckless with how we use it, oblivious to the damage it can cause. And as a lover and protector of the written word, I have been known to have near apoplectic outbursts when it is abused, whether it be jargon, a rogue or missing apostrophe, or finding ‘compliment’ instead of ‘complement’.

But until last year I was blissfully unaware of a different type of language no-no. The language of cancer. As a society we love a bit of war analogy when it comes to cancer. We fight it, we battle it, we beat it and sometimes we lose. Continue reading

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Filed under Breast cancer, Helen Deverell, Internal communication, Language

Why do I blog?

Keep calm and blogEvery couple of months I have the same conversation with my colleague Paul Thomas. I really should blog more. It’s been ages since I blogged. I’m going to write a blog tonight on the train. I fell asleep on the train, I literally could not keep my eyes open. I’ll definitely blog at the weekend…

So here I am at the weekend (not the weekend that followed this conversation, but a weekend nonetheless), writing a blog, about writing a blog. It might sound like I’m scraping the barrel for ideas, but bear with me. Continue reading

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Filed under Blogging, Breast cancer, Helen Deverell, Internal communication, Introvert

The return to work

The not exactly subtle new 'do'

The not exactly subtle new look.

At the beginning of June I returned to work following a six-month absence to receive treatment for breast cancer. After the elation of finishing a long slog of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I was brought back down to earth with the realisation that I would now be returning to work. A place I hadn’t been for six months, where team members had changed, where there was a new CEO, a new culture and I was rocking a not exactly subtle new look (see photo).

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Filed under Breast cancer, Internal communication