Feb 9, 2014

IC Best Practices for Future Success

Recently I had the chance to review Melcrum’s latest report on the future of the field, titled: “Inside Internal Communication: Groundbreaking Innovations for a New Future.” The report outlined five best practices to transform the industry. A summary of each of the five is below. (Click here to learn more.)

This Friday, the Atlanta Internal Communications Leadership Consortium (ICLC) will meet to discuss one of the five best practices: Collaboration. The first of four sessions for 2014, the group will gather to uncover the role of internal communications in building organizational connection and collaboration. (What is the ICLC? Click here to learn about this exciting new group.)

Five internal communication innovations representing the best of a new future:

1. Agile processes for improved planning

Internal communications must be cross-functional, flexible and constantly innovative to respond to the complex environments we find ourselves in these days. We must develop a “sophisticated approach to strategy and planning” if we are to be effective and find success.

2. Driving dialogue to enhance employee advocacy

Leaders must connect and engage with employees if we are to see organizational challenge take hold. Employees want to understand the why behind strategies, they want to be involved in achieving it – and they need to be involved in the decision making.

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Jan 15, 2014

IC Leadership Consortium launches in Atlanta and prepares for 2014

Happy New Year to you. I hope you are as excited as I am about 2014 and all of its possibilities. At the end of 2013 something pretty remarkable happened that I want to share with you. On December 13, a distinguished group of Atlanta’s top internal communications professionals gathered to participate in the launch of the Atlanta Internal Communications Leadership Consortium. This unique forum is the first of its kind to bring together Atlanta IC leaders to discuss how to evolve and strengthen the profession for the future.

While working in London, I saw a great network of IC leaders coming together to discuss relevant issues to the field. And while Atlanta has discussion spaces here and there, there really wasn’t anything to gather leadership in a small, focused way to talk about how we will advance the field. With the abundance of Fortune 500 companies in the city, there was no reason a solid collective could not be convened. And so, with the support of trusted colleagues, I set out to bring this established group together. Continue reading »

Dec 11, 2013

Building a social media strategy: The Four C’s

There is a lot in the blogosphere today around the use of social media. For those of us owning communications at our organizations, the challenge isn’t as much the “what” but instead the “how.” How do we think about the components of our social media strategy in a way that gives leadership a framework for what we’re trying to do? Here I’ve come up with a few quick tips. To approach the 900 pound gorilla that is social media, examine the following (in particular order): Culture, Content, Capabilities and Channels.

Culture: First, you want to make sure you’re not introducing social media just for the sake of it. Just because it’s the thing to do does not mean it makes sense in every situation. The use of social media can actually work counter to what you’re trying to do if you’re not careful. But it can also be used quite well to enhance collaboration within your organization… if in fact your culture supports it. To leverage social media fully, organizations must be transparent, flexible and nimble in responding to feedback. They must want to harness grassroots feedback and ideas and be willing to relinquish some control in order to harness the voice of the employee.

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Oct 22, 2013

Lessons Learned: Political Campaigns

It’s election season and for many of us, early voting has already begun. As we inch our way towards the first Tuesday in November, I believe there are great lessons to be learned for internal communications professionals…

Regardless of your political viewpoint, without question one of the most well played communications efforts can be seen in the Obama presidential campaign. I thought it then and still marvel at it today. There were so many things done right. When I stand back and look at it from the lens of a communications professional, I see three lessons learned: the use of data, channel diversity and stakeholder engagement.

#1: The use of data

When I think about data, the campaign strategy was designed based on what they knew about the audiences. They knew as much about their audience as would any marketing company. They took the data and customized their messaging, timing, vehicle, location, etc. No matter what was thrown in the mix that could have been a divergent, they didn’t move from the overall strategy. They stayed on course and executed the plan based on the data.

As communications professionals, many times we operate based on instinct. However, we can’t be confident nor can convince leadership to be confident in us unless we ground our strategies and plans in data. We need to be just as data savvy in order to successfully execute and create the impact we desire.

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