A question of comms: Margaret Oscar

What do you like most about working internal communication? Margaret Oscar, Head of Employee Communications and Engagement, is the latest professional communicator to sit in my #questionofcomms hot seat.

She’s revealed what she likes most about working in IC, the best advice she’s ever been given and much more.

I love publishing content that helps professional communicators transform their internal communication and learn from each other.

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

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been working in IC for a day or more than a decade, I know you have insights to share to help others.

Be brave. Here are those questions again.

I’ll hand you over to Margaret…

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

I’ve always done it. I have always made sure the people around me knew and understood what we needed to do and why. Even at school. This will sound odd, but it wasn’t until I started working that I discovered it had a label!

Before focusing on internal communications, my main role in marketing teams was to ensure Comms teams understood the product, its key proposition and how we wanted to articulate the key messages.

So even before I recognised it, I always worked to build things from the inside out.

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

Watching the lightbulb illuminate above peoples’ heads when they realise there is power in their words, and how they then begin to take responsibility for those words as a direct result of that realisation.

For me, it’s almost evangelical the way people convert. That makes it all so satisfying.

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

If you don’t have a destination in mind, you don’t know where you’re going. If you don’t know where you’re going why would anyone follow you. Someone said this to me a long time ago, and it stuck with me as I found it applies to most things in life…

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

Measure, measure, measure. Make sure you can demonstrate the value of your work – no-one else will. It’s easy for people to dismiss internal comms as a channel to just distribute information to people, and they will continue to do so until you can show the value and impact of the work.

Further reading: How to measure communication..

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

The only thing ‘typical’ about any working day for me is that whatever the plan, the plan will change. I have to be agile, adopt the pace of the moment – sometimes I’m an adviser, sometimes I’m coaching. But I’m always on hand to ensure we get the desired result from a communication and that the message is meaningful to our people.

Further reading: How to be a trusted adviser.

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

I know most people will be raving about Simon Sinek’s Start with Why and it’s a great read, but the book that has always had the most impact on my thinking in my career was Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point.

It taught me that ideas and trends are nothing without social behaviour and influencing behaviour is a large part of what I do. It’s been around for a while but it’s still very relevant.

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

Relationships built on mutual respect. It’s impossible to get things done without those relationships built internally.

8) What is the future of internal communication?

IC has evolved from information to understanding to engagement, and it will need to grow again as engagement starts to become integral to organisational decision-making. A seat at the strategic table will be the next evolution as more and more businesses begin to recognise the power in building a brand from the inside out.

9) Where can people find you online?

I have a LinkedIn profile and I like to dabble on Twitter @OscarScadding. I’m also a Co-Founder and regular attendee of the events and projects 26 (not-for-profit organisation) drives which is a members network for writers and anyone with a love of words.

Post author: Margaret Oscar.

Thank you Margaret.

Get help from professional communicators

Thank you to everyone who has sat in my hot seat. I’ve enjoyed reading your views.

Would you like me to continue it during 2019? Do let me know, you can find me on Twitter @AllthingsIC or comment below.

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

Sign up to learn about internal communication

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 £599+VAT.

Yesterday I ran my latest Strategic Internal Communication Masterclass, pictured below.

Sam Boniface, Internal Communications Manager at NHBC came yesterday. She said: “It’s hard to put into words without sounding cheesy, but the Strategic Internal Comms Masterclass was some of the best training I’ve ever received. Sometimes with these things you have moments of “I’ve heard that before” or “I’m already doing that” but I can honestly say that even if there was something familiar to me, Rachel approached it in a whole new way that challenged my thinking on it.

I was made to feel both reassured that I’m doing all the “right” things but also pushed to think about whether they’re working and to consider new approaches and ideas.

“Rachel has such an easygoing way that is really inclusive and involves everyone, so you feel comfortable sharing your own experiences. She offers lots of solutions, ideas and advice too. The course covers a lot of ground but I didn’t feel rushed through or like I was being bombarded with information at any point – in fact Rachel was really good at giving us the time and freedom to talk around each topic while always managing to stay on track with the content! The tools and resources that Rachel leaves you with are invaluable and I’m already planning how to use some of them! I left the Masterclass with a notebook full of notes, loads of postcards of ‘bright ideas’ and a renewed enthusiasm for making the comms in my workplace all that’s it’s meant to be!” – Sam Boniface, Internal Communications Manager, NHBC.

Thank you Sam! I’m so pleased to hear your feedback and that you got so much out of our time together yesterday.

Internal communicators say working with me increases their knowledge and boosts their confidence. Come and invest a day in your career. I’ll help you analyse the way you’re working so you can leave with tools and techniques that you can act on immediately.

Search the Masterclasses website and save your place today.

The All Things IC Masterclasses website contains all the information you need to know to explore what’s on, read feedback from other communicators and save your place.

First published on the All Things IC blog 19 October 2018.

Disclosure: Amazon links go to my Affiliate account.


Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How can we help?

All Things IC helps practitioners around the globe increase their knowledge of internal communication.

There’s a variety of ways we can support you including trainingconsultancy and 1-2-1 support to boost your skills and confidence.

Or visit the shop to see everything we offer.

Who has hired All Things IC?

Clients say working with All Things IC leaves them feeling inspired, motivated, full of ideas and ready to turn plans into action.

We’re proud to have been invited to work with, and advise, some of the world’s leading brands.

Get in touch...

Would you like to work with All Things IC? Do get in touch below. Please note we only accept guest post ideas from in-house IC pros who have read the blogging guidelines.

Asking for advertising, back links or pitching services? We do not offer these and will not reply. Thank you.