If you were asked to describe internal comms in one sentence what would you say? Last night I went to the launch of Share This with the other book authors (check out a photo of us all by @spwalker). It was great to meet the other authors in person rather than purely via social media, and you can see what we got up to by viewing the Animoto slideshow on YouTube. Pictured l-r at the launch are: me and my guests, IC pros Sarah Hodges and Jenni Wheller. You can watch the slideshow via the image on this page.

An after party was held at a curry house in Brick Lane, London, and during dinner I had a conversation around the definition of internal comms, which got me thinking. Earlier this year the definition of PR was debated and agreed, but do internal comms pros feel this applies to them? As a reminder it is: Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and their publics. I’d love to know your views, please do comment below or tweet me @AllthingsIC.

All things internal comms
Back in 2009 I helped instigate and organise a comms flashmob to define all things internal comms on Wikipedia, as information on IC was severely lacking. Fast forward to now and comms recruiters VMA Group has today launched their new internal communications survey for 2012-2013.

They ‘take the pulse’ of the internal communications profession every 18 months, focusing on careers, budgets, the influence of internal communication and professional development. This year’s survey is the most extensive to date, it takes approximately ten minutes to complete, and includes qualitative and quantitative questions. VMA Group says that input from IC pros will help them continue to advise Directors of Communications and Chief Executives of the importance of IC and the impact good IC can have on the performance of their businesses.

I was sent and completed the survey this morning and noted that they addressed definition, asking: How would you describe internal communications in one sentence? Plus If IC was renamed today, what would it be? The survey is open until the end of August 2012 and I’m particularly interested to read the results of those questions. If you’d like to take the survey and not received it from VMA Group, you can request it here.

What do you say?
If you work in internal communication, what do you say when people ask what you do for a living? Do you talk about writing newsletters, being an ‘internal journalist’, advising and coaching leaders – what’s your one sentence answer?

My answer has changed over time. I started my career as a journalist, joining the newsroom of my local newspaper the week before I turned 19.  So when I moved into internal comms three years later, I found myself describing the role as me being an ‘internal journalist’ as none of my friends and family had come across IC before.

Do you vary your answer depending on who you’re talking to? Do you focus on the tactical when you’re actually strategic? Please do share your thoughts with other readers by leaving a comment. I’d definitely encourage you to complete VMA’s survey. They had 500 participants last year, let’s see if that can be beaten this year to really have a good representation of our profession, Rachel