Discover why Dee Ann Adams thinks communicators need to spend more time getting to know employees, plus the importance of style.

Dee Ann is Global Internal Communications Manager at Allegion in Carmel, Indiana and the latest professional communicator to sit in my #questionofcomms hot seat.

Allegion is a provider of security products and solutions for homes and businesses, with 31 global brands and 8000 employees.

Here’s Dee Ann…

1. When did you know internal communication was what you wanted to do?

Early in my career, I worked in several communication generalist roles where I was responsible for both internal and external communications. When I accepted a position that focused primarily on internal communications, I knew it was the right fit.

With internal, we have the ability to influence people’s daily lives by providing them with the right information at the right time to do their jobs better while also driving the company’s priorities.

We spend the majority of our time at work, so if I can do something through communications that makes that experience better for others, I’m happy.

2. What do you like most about working in this field?

I never get bored because there is always a new challenge. And, I love to write and edit!

3. What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?

Pick your battles. If something is important, I will push back on it. But if it doesn’t really matter in the bigger picture, I will make my point and move on. This advice doesn’t necessarily help with career advancement, but it will make your life easier and save precious time to work on the next initiative.

4. What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a career in comms?

Be flexible and adapt quickly. Learn as much about the business as you do about communication theory and best practices.

Always look at your communication through the eyes of your audience.

If you can’t do that, spend more time getting to know your audience.

5. What does a typical day or working week look like for you?

One of the best things about this job is that I don’t have a typical week. On a daily basis, I work on ongoing projects like our intranet content and newsletters, but I never know what new communication challenge is right around the corner.

6.  Name a book you think every communicator should read, and why you’ve chosen it

I fell in love with The AP Stylebook when I was in college because I appreciate structure. Consistency is important.

When someone asks why I didn’t capitalize their title…I can just flip to that page in the stylebook.

7. What’s the one thing you couldn’t do your job without?

My strong relationship with our IT team. Being responsible for the intranet requires constant collaboration with them to keep everything working well and to continue making improvements for our users.

8. What is the future of internal communication?

I think more executives are understanding the value of internal communications and its impact on the business. It’s not enough to focus on investor relations or public relations.

With social media, an insensitive or uninformed message to employees will go viral and can have a devastating impact on the company’s reputation. On the other hand, a well-formed, strategic message can drive positive employee engagement and productivity.

Investing in a team of expert internal communicators is critical.

9. Where can people find you online?

Twitter: @DeeAnnAdams1 and LinkedIn.

Post author: Dee Ann Adams.

Thank you Dee Ann. Would you like to sit in my hot seat? If you’re an in-house practitioner, here are the questions you need.

Read more #questionofcomms answers from comms pros

  • 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: Simon Monger, Internal Communication and Engagement specialist.
  • A question of comms: Emma Rodgers, Head of Communications at Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
  • A question of comms: Gillian McGillGlobal Head of Internal Communications at Aviva.
  • 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.

Sign up to learn about comms

Want to learn more about internal communication? I’d love you to join me at my upcoming All Things IC Masterclasses. Search the Masterclasses website to discover full information about my one-day courses in London.

CIPR and IoIC members, plus nonprofit organisations, can save 20% by using discount codes and earn CPD points/hours. Courses cost £499+VAT.

The All Things IC Masterclasses website contains all the information you need to know to book and save.

I hope you have a great weekend,

Rachel

First published on the All Things IC blog 27 October 2017.

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