Diary of a French communicator

Over the past few months 20 year old French student Aurore Cazal has been working for me at London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (LOROL) and she recently returned home and sent me this post for my blog. Aurore is pictured undertaking a communications audit at one of our stations.
Here is her post:

Successful companies communicate. The company must be considered as a skills network, allowing every individual to know her/his place, to feel valued and useful to the company and the society. This is the role of internal communication: developing a corporate culture. The internal communications manager must be aware of all the company’s strategies to inform the employees. This is why they have to be really close to the work, they have to implement a corporate language, a corporate culture, in order to create a real cohesion within the group.

LOROL began in 2007 and created its communication department in August 2009. The Head of Communications is Rachel Allen, my tutor. I think the creation of this position was obvious; LOROL is a company with two really distinct departments. One working from offices, with computers and another working on trains or in depots, often without computers and never going into offices, which makes the contact with the Executive team and managers hard. My two month placement led me to believe that the internal communication mission at LOROL, led by Rachel, is to create a genuine corporate spirit even if the structure of the company could be seen to make it complicated.

While I was there Rachel challenged me – newsletters already existed but how could we make them accessible to every employee? How could we make employees feel close to executives and valued? How could we evaluate their satisfaction? This is the role of internal communications and during my placement, I was asked to help solve these problems and find solutions…in English of course! (Which wasn’t always easy, particularly at the beginning…).

Internal communication is an essential tool for a company to run smoothly and I found the work placement very interesting as I arrived at the beginning of the communication strategy being created. Everything had to be set up, particularly explaining the role of internal communication to employees and making them understand that it is for them to feel as involved as possible in the company. Thank you Rachel, it has been an incredible experience. I learnt a lot and had a lot of fun, I hope we meet again. Sincerely, Aurore Cazal.


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