CIPR Inside committee profile – Steven Murgatroyd

Every so often we pose some questions to our committeee members to help us all get to know a little bit more about them.

Last week, a group of 170 or so internal communicators had the pleasure of hearing our Vice Chair Steven Murgatroyd MC at our conference #makinganimpact15. Many of our guests would agree that Steven is a great communicator, has a unique sense of style and is an all round good egg, so over to Steven Murgatroyd, Creative Communications Specialist at Vista (as well as Vice Chair CIPR Inside).

Steven Murgatroyd, CIPR Inside's Vice Chair at #makinganimpact15

Steven Murgatroyd, CIPR Inside’s Vice Chair at #makinganimpact15

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

I’ve been doing Internal Comms for the last eight years

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

I was working in the call centre at Asda Head Office after leaving university and noticed that there wasn’t any real messaging to people on the phones apart from the very operational things. Morale was quite low! So I started to write a weekly newsletter, with some fun bits as well as some messaging from senior leaders. It went down well and I was eventually asked to take over the comms for the contact centre…the rest as they say is history!

What made you join the committee?

I’m very passionate about Internal Comms and think it’s criminally under rated by a lot of businesses and across different industries. I want to help us grow and give Internal Communicators the tools to become proper leaders. I’m also a bit of a maverick (not my words) so enjoy throwing big rocks into pools…I felt this was a good chance to throw a big rock into the pool of CIPR!

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

I’m Vice Chair this year, which is really interesting. Obviously my end goal is to usurp power in total and become an egomaniac leader! The chance to get involved and help plan the conference/events and other things we do is brilliant experience and something I can use in my day job. I also get to be more involved with the main CIPR and agitate people and processes there!

What do you love about internal comms?

Whether people realise it or not, we are integral to the success of our businesses. We are often the most connected person in the business and have direct contact with the CEO as well as the frontline.

What has made you most proud during your comms career?

From a personal POV, being shortlisted for the CIPR Excellence ‘Young Communicator of the Year’ award. I was cheated out of it, but I was also the only IC person shortlisted that year, so was nice to fly the flag for IC.

I suppose this is the moment where I also have to mention to the Asda Green Room. Having launched and developed that website and then seeing lots of other businesses take a similar route…made me feel pretty proud!

What was your worst moment in your comms career?

Any meeting with IT! * jokes*

I’d say it was one of two things, one was ccing a senior manager in Asda into an email about how I didn’t think he was very good.

The other option was at a big internal Asda event, where a colleague and I thought it would be funny to strut down the red carpet like we were the stars of the show… little did we realise that the actual stars (award winners) had just been announced and were walking in behind us. We walked into the hall with 700 senior managers clapping us… and our director looking a mixture of bemused and then angry before telling us to get out of the way. I have never laughed so much in my life!

What is your biggest bug bear in internal communication?

I could talk about this topic all day, but I think the thing that annoys me the most is IC people who just do as they’re told. We’re perfectly positioned to challenge and agitate people… We know our businesses better than probably anyone else and we should use that to our advantage. We need to have confidence in our opinions and the guts to say no to senior people if we think what they’re saying is wrong.

What do you like to do to escape it all?

Anyone who follows me on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook will confirm that my girlfriend and I like to get out about in London and do things. Whether that’s a few drinks in Chelsea or a few drinks in Shoreditch. You can sure that a few drinks will be involved!

 

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Thanks to Steven for his honest profile piece. Have you got an interesting comms experience to share? We always love to hear from you so get in touch on ciprinside@gmail.com

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