Archive for the ‘internal comms jobs’ Category

Ask the Guru was a great success on Tuesday 29th May. The attendees put the gurus through their paces and the outcome was a lively discussion and some great advice for everyone.  Here are a few of the highlights from the evening:

  • The benefit of a ‘social’ work place is that you can see the grapevine, feed it information and interact with it.
  • Social media is a real opportunity to build trust in the organisation, harness it and allow it to grow.
  • Social media is the evolution of internal communications, taking internal communications to the next level with real interaction and engagement. It’s not the death of internal communications.
  • We all need to understand the times we live and work in. Dishing out mars bars and token rewards doesn’t work in downtimes, you need to work with employees and fully engage them to work through the tough times together.
  • Create leaders not just managers – people who can innovate, inspire and engage with employees and communicate. Give managers the skills to be leaders and enhance their natural abilities.
  • Take leaders back to the floor with inverted mentoring to give them a better understanding the shop floor. Let them see for themselves what the challenges are and what opportunities for change there may be, and let employees see the leaders involved and listening.
  • Leaders are the latest hot topic and replace the intranet as a key subject. We need to harness leadership skills and help leaders develop, communicate and engage.

Anything we missed? Add your comments and feedback here.


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Between them, our three panellists have come across most of the dilemmas we all face in our careers and have nearly 40 years of experience between them.

So who are the brains behind the Ask the Guru panel?

They are:

Tom Crawford, over 18 years at the sharp end in HR, internal communications and engagement, with a passion for brands and their relationships with employees. He’s worked with Deloitte, Eon and Telefonica-O2. Now he’s the brains behind The Brain Miner, extracting your ideas and polishing them into shiny diamonds.


Dana Leeson, is the Intranet Project Manager for BSI (British Standards Institution) and currently implementing the new global intranet on SharePoint 2010. Her 10 years experience have included work with an NGO, and then working as Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of WWF. Alongside this role she became president of a small charity and managed a small team in her spare time. Now Dana has immersed herself in BSIs business, revamping the newsletter, briefings and managing the global upgrade of the intranet as well as a ‘little’ blogging on the side for Intranetizen.com


Jenni Wheller is Internal Communications Manager at SSP UK, The Food Travel Experts and has worked through corporate communications and media relations for local government and BAE, and dipped her toe into agency life but has come back to her passion for internal communications. At SSP she has built the function from scratch, strategically aligning the communications to the direction of the business and meeting this fast-paced business’s needs. She has introduced a social intranet, a new internal magazine and is on the cusp of launching a new channel to manage crisis communications.


So come and get the inside track on how to make things happen and take advantage of their experience. What’s more, it’s just £15 for members and we’ll give you drinks and nibbles to keep you energised.

Book your place here


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Here are some of the questions posted so far in advance of our Ask the Guru event on 29th May. How many do you identify with?

  1. How do you define where internal communications sits in relation to other departments? HR or Comms, or other?
  2. “Here’s a piece of copy – pop it on the intranet please….”  What? What do I do with a piece of writing that is full of typos, out of touch or worse off message – especially if it’s come from a senior manager?
  3. How do I get across the ‘heavy’ HR messages across in a way employees will listen and act upon them?
  4. I keep reminding people we need to be open to expect employees to be open with us and trust us. I feel like it’s an up-hill struggle at times. How can I manage this dilemma?
  5. How do I balance the expectations of the senior leadership with the expectations of the staff?
  6. We use surveys to measure results and opinions. What else can we use?
  7. How do I start to measure the ROI of internal communications?
  8. How do I juggle the strategy, the tactics, the expectations and execution of all that’s required of me and a very small team?
  9. How do I set clear boundaries for internal communications functions without upsetting stakeholders who have a history of ‘managing’ that communication channel? It’s very hard coming into an organisation balancing being efficient, helpful and professional while getting the results you know you can deliver.
  10. How do I find out what the company and managers ‘really’ need me to do, rather than what the ask me to do? The objectives rather than the tactics.

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When you start out in internal communications it can feel a little bit like everyone wants everything. They want it now and they want you to do it. Or sometimes worse, they want to write it and sing it all themselves and want you to deliver it.

And you’re thinking to yourself: “How do I juggle all this, get some projects delivered and keep sane?”

Or maybe you are thinking: “How do I manage the CEO wanting to write everything in his style, when his style is just going to fall on deaf ears among the twenty somethings who work here?”

These are subtle things that you learn to manage through experience and making mistakes. Sometimes, it’s good to learn from other people’s mistakes, or at least have an idea of real solutions, rather than make the blunder yourself.

That’s why we’re giving you the chance to put all your questions to a panel of experts who have been there, done it and got the t-shirt.

When it comes to providing practical solutions to daily dilemmas our trio of Gurus will deliver the goods.

So book your place – it’s just £15 for members and £20 for non-members, bring your questions and find out more from the Gurus.

And there will be nibbles and drinks to keep you energised for the evening.

Book your place here

Ask the Guru – practical answers to Internal Communications daily dilemmas

Tuesday, 29 May 2012 from 18:30 to 21:30 (GMT)

52-53 Russell Square
United Kingdom, WC1B 4HP

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Can the IC profession step up to the mark and shape their own destiny or will it be forever subservient?

Our latest research report poses that questions for a copy register here

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Sometimes our profession takes itself a little too seriously.
Communicating in tough times, raising professional standards, improving skills, influencing leaders, blah-blah-blah.
If providing clarity amongst the ambiguity is our key objective, can we sometimes be part of the problem not the solution? How often does IC spread the corporate BS?
I think a core quality of any IC pro is a good sense of humour, so we’ve added a bit of humour to our Annual Conference next Thursday. (there’s still places available)
The back page of our beautifully crafted conference newsletter gives conference participants the chance to win a star prize by spotting the BS expression the speakers will inevitably use throughout the day – from “Critical Point of Infexion” to “Employee Value Proposition (EVP)” the bovine excrement will be flowing. Hope to see you there for a little respite.



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The CIPR Inside committee have worked exceptionally hard this week to get our conference newsletter “Turbulent Times” to press. Mark Applin has pulled the rabbit out of the hat with some great work from his team at Intermedia. James Debens done a great job as editor.

The best bit has been reading the quality of the content. It’s rewarding to provide a platform for speaker who actually have something to say about the practice of employee communications and engagement rather than the standard conference model of speakers paying for self-promotion and sponsors who push their services on an unsuspecting audience.

That model of yesterday has prevented best practice from organisations like DWP and the British Army seeing the light of day. Ironically, the same model attracts hefty conference fees for delegates and the whole thing becomes a bit elitist. Organisations with big budgets talking to each other about how to spend their big budgets.

The good news is you can still subscribe to that old model; despite times of austerity, choice hasn’t been taken away. If you’d like a high quality experience on an exceptionally low budget (£280 – £450) look no further CIPR Conference

If you have a bigger budget and need to use it up, have a look at these
£1,300 – £1,800 Osney Media
£1,400 – £2,300 Melcrum
But don’t discount this
£280 – £450 CIPR Inside
You can bring another 3 people for around the same price of the other offers. Book direct here or here…

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