2015 internal communication predictions – six months on

Each month we have an update from Jenni Wheller as our Chair of CIPR Inside, this month Steven Murgatroyd has written to us in Jenni’s absence. Over to Steven:

 

Steven Murgatroyd

Steven Murgatroyd

As our glorious leader is off celebrating getting married (Congratulations!) this month you get to hear from me! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Steven Murgatroyd Vice Chair of the CIPR Inside and Creative Communications Specialist at Vista. Those of you who do know me, will know that I sometimes do things a little bit differently… some may say challenging, and I like that! So let’s jump in and see where this blog takes us.

First up, we’ve launched our annual conference this year and without blowing our own trumpet too much, I think it looks like an amazing day. The theme is ‘Making an impact’, which is something I think Internal Communication as an industry can improve on. I was once told that if you’re doing it right, then no one will know you’re doing anything at all… Rubbish! We need to be better at making it clear what work we do, how important it is and getting praise for it… No longer should we be stood at the back of the room making sure that the event runs smoothly. We should be at the front of the stage!

Tickets are now on sale for the event and the early bird offer runs until midnight on 11 September, so get in there quickly if you fancy a bargain!

Book your conference ticket here.

The committee has also carried on our work on the strategy piece we started at the AGM, we assigned owners for each area and at the next committee meeting on 20 July we’ll be updating each other and then everyone else. There’s some very exciting things in the pipeline though that should carry on adding huge value to current members, and soon to be members alike, so keep an eye out for my blogs and tweets on this topic. If you have anything to raise before we meet, email us at ciprinside@gmail.com or tweet us at @ciprinside

In my final little update, before I move onto my soapbox, are you on our Yammer page yet? If not then get signed up. We want to use Yammer as a place to share ideas, ask for advice and carry on growing value in your membership. So if you haven’t had a look yet then get involved today.

Click here to request a yammer invite.

Now, onto the main reason I’m blogging… rather unbelievably, it’s July which means we’re over half way through 2015! I almost refuse to believe this considering it feels like about a week ago that I was celebrating New Year. It also means it’s just over a month until I turn 30 :’(!

At the beginning of the year, as usual, there were a lot of predictions for what 2015 would hold for Internal Communicators, it’s now time for me to look at those with the benefit of hindsight and say whether they we were right or not!

Having a look at a selection of prediction posts, a few themes kept cropping up:

  • Mobile
  • Increase usage of collaborative tools
  • Embrace agile
  • Further merging of internal and external

What do you think? Are these the big topics for you?

Mobile and collaboration

From a personal perspective, mobile and increased use of collaborative tools have been spoken about for the last few years, some companies have made big strides and some are still just talking about it. The problem I see with the first two bullet points, are that in many ways they’re completely out of IC’s hands! Going mobile projects are more often than not run by IT, they take time to launch because of ‘security worries’ (which I think makes no sense, but let’s not get into that) so internal communication teams end up sat around waiting to be allowed to start thinking about mobile first. The same applies for collaborative tools, of course you can launch Yammer secretly or Jive when no one is looking… but if you want to properly launch across the business then you need buy in from people at levels of the business which can take a long time. So I predict we will be seeing those two on prediction lists for a few years yet!

Agile working

Embracing agile is this year’s Gamification, everyone wants to be doing it, but no one is actually willing to do it properly. The simple facts are that in large corporate companies, many senior leaders aren’t ready for agile working yet. But leaders aren’t the main blockers, this title goes to middle managers who are measured on metrics which are so old fashioned and anti-culture that they can’t afford to let their teams work in an agile manner!

Merging comms

And finally, we have the merging of internal and external… as I go red just thinking about the term ‘internal PR’ I think that there is still a huge gap between what IC and external comms do and that’s not a bad thing. It requires different skills to do internal communicaton v external and simply merging together because it’s all ‘communications’ doesn’t work and will never work.

 

For me all the predictions had some areas that made sense and some that didn’t. That’s the problem with predictions you can’t get it right for everyone. There’s such a huge variety of companies with a variety of employees who in turn have a massive variety of needs that a few bullet points are never going to be able to capture that. Some of the places I’ve worked will still be considering going mobile in 10 years’ time, while others are already full mobile with a BYOD policy in place!

As Internal Communications professionals, the most important thing we can do is listen to our employees, spend time with them and understand what they want… Not what they think they want. Only then can we innovate and create things which change mind-sets and engage employees. We can’t make an impact on the business, unless we know how the business currently works.

 

Image credit: Profile image: Steven’s own, Featured image: Petradr Splashbase.co.

 

Does your internal communication make an impact?

CIPR Inside’s next annual internal communication conference is on 13 October, and the day is full of award-winning communicators who will share with us what they have done in their organisations to make a real difference with their internal communication. Find out more here

Tags: ×

One Comment

  1. Christian Paschke says:

    Excellent analysis. Regarding mobile & collaborative “being out of IC’s hands,” I am hopeful IC can help move the conversation from one about technology to one about outcomes. IC can get people across the company talking about improving the employee experience, being more responsive to stakeholder needs and external pressures, and creating an environment where ideas every employee can contribute an idea. Once we agree on outcomes, then we can partner with IT to determine how and what technology will help us get there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*