From fanzines to internal comms

We like to share a little about our CIPR Inside committee members. They are the people who make our events happen, who have the ideas and turn them into something useful for our members.

 

Today we hear from Natasha Gonsalves, Communications & Change Consultant at global law firm, Linklaters.

Over to Natasha:Natasha Gonsalves

How long have you been working in the world of comms? And specifically in internal comms?

I have worked in IC for most of my career (starting as Internal Communication Assistant at Selfridges) – exceptions included brief spells in external PR and MarComms.  Although the external comms was valuable experience, I have always come back to IC so I guess there is a path I am not meant to veer off 🙂

What was your route into working in communication / internal communication?

I completed a BA Hons degree in English Studies & Business Studies and wanted to work in journalism or PR – something that would allow me to write… I gained some work experience at various magazines but then set up my own music fanzine. I published the fanzine in my free time whilst working on the shop floor as a sales assistant at Selfridges on Oxford Street in London. Then I applied internally for an IC Assistant vacancy and got the job! I was able to put the writing and publishing skills I’d learnt into good use on the staff magazine, newsletter an intranet. (Sadly the music fanzine didn’t last much longer though!)

What made you join the committee?

I became a member of the CIPR, completed the CIPR Diploma in Internal Communication, and later read the profiles online of other committee members and spoke to a couple to understand what they gained from being on the committee…Then I felt inspired to join.

Why have you chosen the events or area of interest which you have chosen to support? 

Committee members all need to work as part of the team organising the conference and I have some strong event management experience so I was keen to support this. I am supporting the ‘Inspiring’ pillar of our strategy which is about promoting brilliance. We can do this by showcasing the good work we do as a professional body and by inspiring organisations to showcase their own good work via our annual #InsideStory Awards.

What do you love about internal comms?

Having studied Business Studies and English Studies at degree level, I like being able to use my English language skills as well as utilise my understanding of business. I really do find business strategy and understanding the ‘bigger picture’ interesting – plus, I think IC has a lot more recognition nowadays in terms of its contribution to employee engagement.

What has made you most proud during your comms career?

My growth and development over the years – starting off as Assistant level and working my way up to more strategic communication roles. And I was pretty chuffed with the Merit grade I received for my CIPR IC Diploma too.

What was your worst moment in your comms career?

Well (something I’m sure other communication professionals can relate to!) when working as part of a large global team I was brought into a project or initiative late in the process which was hard and also very frustrating as the team involved could easily have involved me earlier. I was asked to deliver effective communication around something I had little background knowledge of and with no stakeholder insight – it was tough. I had to work with whatever information I had available to me and try to get some secondary stakeholder insight within a very short space of time which isn’t ideal!

What is your biggest bug bear in internal communication? 

See above! But also, when the term ‘internal communications’ is used instead of ‘internal communication’. ‘Internal communications’ suggests it is a role related to delivering tangible communications whereas the term ‘internal communication’ is more accurate as it describes a process.

What do you like to do to escape it all?

I am one of those odd people who loves to exercise so I like to push myself in a challenging fitness class or a training session at my local boxing club. I also love to travel and never want to stop exploring the world.

 

Image credit: Public Domain Archive

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