I’m very proud to introduce my mentee, Sarah Hodges, who has written a guest blog post as she is looking for help from IC professionals. Please read her thoughts below and get in touch with her if you are happy to share your ideas and experience via hodgessarah@hotmail.com.

Sarah is currently working in the in-house team at Ernst and Young as an Internal Communications Consultant – EMEIA Markets. However her previous Internal Communications experience is in the public sector – most recently with Essex County Council. Her first job after graduating from Southampton University was in the publishing industry where she worked as an editor and says this is where her “real passion for clear, concise communications began”.

Over to you Sarah…

Fighting fear for effective communicationIn May, the Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) will host its annual conference, and this year the topic is: Fighting fear for effective communication. In preparation for the event the IoIC are asking practitioners about the kind of ‘fear’ they are experiencing right now and, after completing their short survey, it got me thinking about what kind of communicator I am.

The IoIC suggests that the difference between the fearless and weak communicator is not skill, ability, or seniority, but that the fearless communicator doesn’t allow fear to stop them trying new things. Now six months in to a new role and part way through the IoIC’s advanced level diploma, I have been made all too aware recently of the changing role of the profession within organisations and of the role internal communications professionals’ play. Overcoming the ‘fear’ factor associated with trying new things has undoubtedly played an important part in this change.

Exploring social media
In working towards achieving my advanced level diploma, my research has led me to begin to explore social media – both the tools we can use and their practical application in business.  I have found that underlying this has been an on-going discussion about the role of the internal communications professional in this space, and how the ‘new’ social media tools fit in with the existing framework they have in place.

Arguably, lots of the research I have come across is now out-dated, talking about the ‘fear’ of using these tools– the problems and hurdles organisations might face.

How you can help
I am keen to know how other internal communicators have gone past the ‘fear’ of using social media in their organisation, have tried new things and how they are making social media fit with their existing internal communications model. What is your responsibility when it comes to effectively implementing social media channels in your organisations?
Perhaps even thinking about this question fills you with fear?

The end of IC as we know it…
The role of the internal communicator has evolved as the tools in our toolkit have done. Social media is changing the nature of communications in business and as internal communication begins to give more voice and power to employees, some argue that it spells the end for the internal communications professional as we know it. What do you think the role of the internal communicator is when it comes to using social media in your business and how do you think we can we add the most value in this space by overcoming such fears? I’d love to hear what you think and your experiences.

Thank you Sarah. As a reminder if you have case studies you are happy to share or would like to talk to Sarah about her research you can contact her at: hodgessarah@hotmail.com

Would you like to write a guest post for my blog? If so do get in touch: with me at: rach@rachmiller.com

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