IC is for internal communication…

Do you know your All Hands from Brown Bags and ESNs? The language of internal communication can be tricky, but thanks to my internal comms glossary, there’s help at hand to guide you through.

Alphabet I created the page a couple of years ago, and yesterday’s announcement from Sergey Brin and Larry Page revealing Google Inc is now part of Alphabet Inc, reminded me of it.

In a blog post called G is for Google, they unveiled their plans, with Larry as CEO and Sergey as President.

What is Alphabet?
Page states: “Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead.

“For Sergey and me this is a very exciting new chapter in the life of Google—the birth of Alphabet. We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search!

Alphabet“We also like that it means alpha‑bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for! I should add that we are not intending for this to be a big consumer brand with related products—the whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands.”

I’d love to know how they communicated the change internally, I imagine it’s been a chunky, and ongoing, piece of work.



So if G is for Google, IC is most certainly for internal communication

Here’s a taster of some of the words and phrases in my glossary. Its aim is to demystify and unlock some of the phrases and acronyms commonly associated with the profession.

Many are my own explanations, some are the most-common descriptions or references are cited. Some are colloquial, but will sound familiar to many comms pros:

Brown bag: Usually refers to an informal meeting over lunchtime where employees bring their lunch (from the American brown paper bags) to eat while the session takes place. See also CEO breakfasts.

Comms police: Not a real role! However, it’s a phrase that’s often used to (usually unfairly) describe comms pros. Refers to the fact IC pros are guarding and editing the grammar and branding guides etc in a company, and are enforcing the laws of language. In other words, we say no a lot for good reasons, which leads to the moniker.

Face-to-face or f2f: When conversations take place in person between two or more people. Also referred to as ‘white eyes chats’ – literally meaning seeing the ‘whites of eyes’ when you talk as you are so close.

Holding statement: Short quote that is communicated in lieu of more information. Often used in crisis communication situations to provide information quickly, which is then followed up with more detail.

You can see the whole list via the IC glossary. (Tweet this)

Got a better description for a word or phrase? Do comment below or Tweet @AllthingsIC if you have a suggestion of something you’d like to be considered/edited, or if you’re stuck on a word or phrase and would like my take on it.

Further reading about Google via All Things IC

How to use Google for internal communication
How Google recruits
Google your way to improved cross-location communication
Watch the talk Rachel gave at Google in 2014
How Google+ is benefitting a disabled staff network in Leeds
Coming full circle using Google+ (published in 2011).

More free ways to learn about internal communication with All Things IC

Thank you for stopping by,


Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on All Things IC blog 11 August 2015.

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