Why should you have a 20 year plan? Simon Monger, freelance Internal Communications and Engagement Specialist, is in my hot seat today.

He’s revealed his top tips, the importance of compelling content and why he’s a Simon Sinek fan.

I’ll hand you over to Simon…

1. When did you know internal communication was what you wanted to do?
When I first started work after university. At E.ON I became aware of the internal comms team.

The idea that I could write and be paid for it caught my attention! I quickly realised there was a lot more to it than that. From that moment I knew I wanted to work in comms.

2. What do you like most about working in this field?
Being in the privileged position where senior leaders trust your advice, share confidential information with you, and respect you as an equal.

3. What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?
Have a plan. Be focused. Know where you want to be in five, 10, 20 years time. Have targets and keep track of progress. If you don’t have a plan, it’ll never happen.

4. What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a career in comms?
Do it! But be prepared to spend more time than you’d like explaining to people that you do more than put up posters and ‘comssify’ things!

Become a business expert, not just a comms expert.

Have a good mix of strategic and tactical. Be curious!

5. What does a typical day or working week look like for you?
Clichéd, I know, but I don’t have one. Every day is different. That said, a day where I get to advise a CEO on how best to land the new business strategy, design a creative campaign for a new initiative, and actually sit down to WRITE something…that’s a great day.

6. Name a book you think every communicator should read, and why you’ve chosen it
Start With Why by Simon Sinek. People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. Increasingly working for a company with a clear purpose and values is a must.

This book gives you loads of examples of how starting with why leads to better business results – and it should inform the way we communicate, too. Sinek is inspiring.

7. What’s the one thing you couldn’t do your job without?
Inquisitiveness. If you’re not curious about things, you won’t probe and you won’t get the best outcomes. Being nosy is definitely a plus!

8. What is the future of internal communication?
New technology may come and ago, but the basics will remain key. Content is king. Comms is all about people, no matter where you work. Sure, Yammer and blogs and Snapchat are all well and good and may work for your audience, but ultimately if the content isn’t there, isn’t compelling, then it doesn’t matter how you wrap it.

So people will return to focusing on the basics that have been important all along.

9. Where can people find you online?

On Twitter @SimonMonger and on LinkedIn.

Post author: Simon Monger.

Discover who else has sat in the All Things IC hot seat so far:

  • A question of commsRachel Miller, Director, All Things IC
  • A question of commsLou Robinson, Global Internal Comms Lead, Costa
  • A question of commsSara Luker, EMEA Content Manager, eBay
  • A question of commsGary Vyse, PR & Engagement Lead at Alternative Futures Group
  • A question of comms: Helen Deverell, Director, Helen Deverell Communications
  • A question of comms:  Katy Gibbins, Head of Internal Communications and Engagement, Department for Culture Media and Sport
  • A question of comms: Shona Sullivan, Communications and Engagement Executive, Capita BBC Audience Services
  • A question of commsKeith Lewis, UK Social Business and Channels Manager for Zurich Insurance
  • A question of commsKerry Sheehan, Head of Communications at North East London NHS Foundation Trust
  • A question of comms: Steven Murgatroyd, Communications and Engagement at River Island
  • A question of comms: Justine Stevenson, Head of Group Internal Communication at London Stock Exchange Group
  • A question of comms: Ejaz Khan, Independent Change Communication specialist 
  • A question of comms: Alex MaloufCorporate Communications & Reputation Manager for the Arabian Peninsula, Procter & Gamble.

Want to be featured? Do get in touch and I’ll send you the questions via a link.

First published on the All Things IC blog 16 March 2017.

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