Countdown to Christmas: Day 18 – Elements of IC

Cast your mind back to school and learning the periodic table. How much can you remember?

AlanOramNow imagine if there was one for internal communication, what would be on it and how would the elements relate to each other and the job you do?

Day 18 of my Countdown to Christmas series features Alan Oram from Alive With Ideas, the smart cookies behind my How to write an internal communication strategy infographic, to update us on what’s going on.

Over to you Alan…

The Elements of IC

I recently met Chuck Gose, @chuckgose, Corporate Communications VP, speaker and host of the new internal comms podcast, ICology. (Which is well worth a listen – Rachel).

ChuckGoseOur paths first crossed on Twitter. I’ve got to know a bit more about Chuck (pictured) since then and love his dedication to the communications community as well as his energy and enthusiasm to continue driving the industry forward with new thoughts, concepts and ideas. It’s an approach we share.

After featuring on the ICology podcast talking about creativity in internal communications, we bounced around a few new ideas. Chuck came up with a corker – designing and building the periodic table of internal communications.

We loved it! It’s something that’s evolving and growing all the time. With the input of the comms community we want to extend it further. And with hundreds of downloads from comms pros worldwide, it’s already proving to be very popular…

The Idea

The original idea was to create a table of terms that would bring together all the elements of internal communication under one roof.

We split the table across seven different categories: Strategy, Objectives, Themes, Audiences, Formats, Channels and Metrics and populated each category with a number of common comms terms.

From there, together we have built the Periodic Table of Internal Communication, a copy of which you can download here.


This is just the beginning…

At this point, it’s important to clarify that this isn’t the finished product. Not by any means. This is just the beginning.

For a start, we’d like to gather more thoughts, feedback and opinion from comms pros everywhere.

So we’re asking for your help in shaping the content.

We’d love to know what element you’d add. What’s important to you right now? What’s missing?

When you download the periodic table pdf you’ll be prompted to submit your own element.

So let’s hear what terms should be added to make this the best it can be.

You’ll also be prompted to share the table around your network, which we’d urge you to do in order to gather together as much expert knowledge and input as possible.

If you want some time to think about your element and get back to me you can tweet me @alivewithideas using the #ElementsofIC – we’d love to hear from you.

Next steps

We’ve decided to take the whole thing a step further. Once we’ve gathered in your comments, ideas and additions, we’ll be publishing a fully updated, interactive version that will include descriptions and insight into each term along with some additional thoughts, pointers, crowd sourced material and links to useful resources.

We’ll be calling on the comms community to contribute articles and additional resources to share via the site.

This will become a practical resource for the comms community to refer to, share, enjoy and build upon. And it will be an ever-evolving source of ideas and information.

So whether you’re just getting started in employee engagement and internal communication or you’re an experienced professional, The Elements of IC will bring together many essential building blocks of comms to jump-start discussion and plans, helping to spark and communicate thoughts and ideas.

Thank you for your input!

We’ll let you know when the interactive version is available, in the meantime, download your pdf here.

Post author: Alan Oram.

I love this. Cracking work Alan and Chuck, this is just the start of an exciting conversation. Do keep us posted.


First published on the All Things IC blog 18 December 2015.


  1. Kevin says:

    Brilliant piece of work. Well done Chuck and Alan for collaborating on this. Never before has anything captured the complexity of the science of IC and in a very engaging way. I will use this in my course materials. Thanks Rachel for sharing.

  2. rICH says:

    Agree with Kevin. Great piece of work. Look forward to updates.

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