Martin Flegg: “Why it’s time to change the conversation about Internal Communication”

Martin Flegg

The CIPR Inside Annual Conference returns on 8 October with an exciting theme to drive our profession forward with some fresh conversations about the evolving role of internal communication.

For years, internal communicators have been having conversations about influence in the boardroom, credibility, content, channels and measurement. These themes are important because they underpin what we do as profession. However, there are some big challenges on the horizon for us and we need to be shifting the debate to encompass those themes as well if we are to be fit for the future.

The world of work is changing fast. If you’ve been in the workplace as I have for over 30 years, jobs and how we work have changed beyond all recognition in that time. What will work be like in another 30 years, or even in the next ten? How will internal communicators need to adapt their skills and practice to make sure they are still relevant within their organisations and able to help them achieve their purpose and objectives?

Through a series of speaker presentations, discussions and networking we’ll be having some new conversations at our Birmingham Town Hall venue to explore how we can get ready for the future.

I’m incredibly excited that we’ve persuaded Chuck Gose to come over to the UK from the United States to share his thoughts on why we need to change the conversation. If you are a fan of his ICology podcast as I am, you just can’t miss this rare opportunity to hear Chuck speak in person on this side of the pond. I’m looking forward to meeting him in person and continuing our online conversation about who is the bigger Duran Duran fan #IRL.

We’re also delighted that we’ll have a friend and alumnus of the CIPR Inside Committee, Rachel Miller speaking about how we can change the conversation. Most internal communicators know about Rachel because of her prolific AllthingsIC blog. If there’s anyone who can spot an emerging trend and tell you what it means for internal communications, it’s Rachel. She’s also a fantastic and engaging speaker, and I know that whatever she’s got to share with us will be compelling stuff.

Another person I’m looking forward to meeting is Katie Macauley, who is the MD of ABcomm. I’ve really enjoyed listening to Katie’s ‘The IC Podcast’ this year. A theme she often explores with her podcast guests is the blurring of the line between internal and external communication. I’m sure she’ll be doing the same at our conference and exploring what we need to do to change the conversation to meet this challenge and others head on.

Jenni Field, CIPR President Elect and former CIPR Inside Committee Chair, will be also be joining us. Jenni is quite a personality and if you’ve never met her you certainly won’t forget her, or what she’s had to say, after you’ve been to our conference. She’ll also be hosting a panel discussion with some of our other speakers for us, which I’m sure will be a very lively and insightful debate.

We know that you also like to hear from speakers who are working in organisations ‘at the sharp end’, so our other speakers will include in-house practitioners such as Keith Lewis from Zurich Insurance Group. Keith will be speaking about social purpose in internal and external communication. Watch out for further speaker announcements over the next few weeks.

Alongside these presenters we will also be sharing an update on our measurement report. We know that measurement is an area of work which is a perennial challenge for many internal communicators. Leading this will be Trudy Lewis who was one of the authors for the report and she will be interviewing a panel of communicators who have cracked the measurement code within their organisation.

We will also be giving you the opportunity to chat on an individual or small group basis with some of our other guests and committee members.

Jo Hooper, who has recently helped us deliver some excellent events on communicating about mental health, will be joining us to provide her expertise on this important and very current topic.

VMA Consulting will be available to offer some career advice. Their insights into the internal communications recruitment industry are second to none, so don’t miss this opportunity to chat to them in person if you are looking for your next career move.

Katherine Bradshaw, who has worked with CIPR Inside on ethics events and resources, will also be with us to offer advice on your internal communication ethical dilemmas.

You’ll also be able to chat to me and some of our other committee members about Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and becoming a CIPR Chartered Practitioner. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and going for chartered do come and say hello, but be prepared to be overwhelmingly persuaded!

I hope that this blog has intrigued and excited you enough to join us at the conference. Tickets are still available at very competitive early bird prices. CIPR Inside is a not for profit group, which is entirely run by a dedicated volunteer committee. Any surplus we generate from hosting events such as our conference are put back into running other events and developing resources for internal communicators like you. Please support us in our quest to make a difference for the internal communications community.

At CIPR Inside we think it’s time for some new conversations. Conversations that will enable our profession to address the big challenges that it will need to overcome to remain relevant in the coming years. It’s by changing the conversation about internal communication that we will continue our evolution towards becoming a distinct and strategic organisational function, working in true collaboration with others to drive organisational success.

Are you ready to change the conversation? We are!




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