As 2014 draws to a close, I have two special reasons to celebrate how my year is ending.
I gave birth to my sons, non-identical twins Charlie and Jack Miller (pictured) on Christmas Day. We’re all doing well and are now home. Alongside Daisy, our two-year-old daughter, my husband and I are discovering what being a family of five is like.
Short answer? It’s exhausting but we’re feeling elated.
What stands out for you from this year?
As 2014 reaches its conclusion, thoughts inevitably turn to reviewing the year that was.
What went well for you, what will you be doing differently next year?
For me, the pleasure of running my own consultancy continued. I’ve had the privilege of working alongside some brilliant communications professionals to help them individually and their teams achieve communications excellence.
Client work included internal comms audits, channel reviews, coaching, strategy creation and offering advice and guidance at all levels of the company on communication, employee engagement and change.
Highlights have included creating and running social media training sessions for clients and their employees including Cambridge Assessment, Heathrow Express, Northern Trust Bank and St Andrew’s Healthcare. Plus continuing to work with the team at Notting Hill Housing Trust on all things internal communication.
I was delighted to be asked to work with some new clients and comms teams for the first time this year, including the Jamie Oliver Group, London Ambulance Service, Steria, Skills for Health, Taunton Deane Borough Council and the University of Wolverhampton.
I devised and delivered a brand new course for the Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) on Social Media Strategy and enjoyed judging various industry awards including the Melcrum 2014 awards.
I’ve also worked closely with the ace comms team at Tullow Oil throughout the year, helping them think through all things enterprise social networks and intranet related.
Back in May I ran a team-building day for the Internal Comms team at Telefónica (O2) at another of my client’s venues, London Zoo. I really enjoyed working with the team and tailoring a day for them in such a unique location.
Professional highlights include being made a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, which is a real honour, I was delighted to discover I’d been nominated.
Winning the inaugural Outstanding Individual Contribution to Internal Communication award at the CIPR Inside awards was a brilliant way to start the year.
I’ve also enjoyed recording my monthly podcast All Things IC with Rachel Miller, as part of the For Immediate Release podcast network. You can listen again to all of my shows.
In April my blog was Highly Commended in the UK Blog Awards 2014 for individual blog in the Media/PR category.
It was also shortlisted in the UK Social Media Awards #somecomms, in October for Best Business Blog, plus named by Communication Director magazine as One of Europe’s Best PR/Media Blogs.
All Things IC on the road
My speaking schedule saw me take to the stage as part of the Government’s #ICExcellence to talk about my thoughts on the role of IC professionals now and in the future.
I was asked by Google to present on the role of social media inside organisations during their #Atmosphere event for HR and Comms pros in April. You can watch my whole talk online via their YouTube channel.
At the start of the year I was a guest speaker at Kingston University’s Internal Communication Management Masters Course. I led a session on social media now and in the future and talked about how I see the role of internal communication changing.
The Big Yak
In the Summer I brought together 150 comms professionals alongside my fellow @theICcrowd co-founders Jenni Wheller and Dana Leeson for our second unconference, #thebigyak (pictured). This was a chance for people working in comms, predominantly in-house, to come together and network, learn from each other and have fun.
It was free for them to attend and I thoroughly enjoyed planning and welcoming so many people to eBay’s offices in London on a sunny Saturday.
You can hear my podcast from the event here. Everyone is welcome to join The IC Crowd – it’s a place for comms pros to connect and communicate and our predominant channel of choice is Twitter. See our blog or find us online @theICcrowd.
My voluntary roles on the CIPR Social Media Panel and Inside committee continued. I’m on maternity leave from the groups at the moment, and encourage you to check out the good work they’re doing via @ciprsm and website, plus @ciprinside and website.
Find a new role
This time of year is when thoughts start turning to careers and roles – see the jobs page I introduced in 2014 to keep an eye on what’s around. All the roles are direct from the employers rather than via recruitment agencies. I get contacted regularly by companies looking to hire good IC pros and by IC pros who are looking for work.
My popular communications calendar is filling up fast for 2015 – it’s the place to see what awards, conferences and courses are happening for comms pros globally.
The year ahead
I would love to continue featuring comms pros during the upcoming year. Do please thoroughly read my guidelines before getting in touch with an idea of how you can feature. You can subscribe to my blog to never miss a post.
I’m looking forward to spending the majority of 2015 with my children, and will be sure to keep you posted about my return to work later in the year.
Finally I’d like to thank you as ever for stopping by and being loyal readers and wish you a healthy and happy 2015.
Published on All Things IC blog 31 December 2014.
Post author: Rachel Miller.