Episode one of my brand new podcast is now live

Today the first episode of FIR presents AllThingsIC with Rachel Miller has gone live.

allthingsicEvery month I will be bringing you the latest news and views from an internal communication perspective through my podcast which is 20-30 minutes long.

As a keen listener of For Immediate Release (FIR) over the years, I’ve enjoyed hearing Neville Hobson @jangles and Shel Holtz @shelholtz highlighting some of the good work that’s taking place globally with employees at the core. The Hobson & Holtz report has been a staple listen for me for a number of years and forms part of my working week.

What’s in my first podcast? The aim of this post is to be the extended show notes to accompany episode #1. You can find more info on the FIR website and links how to access the show below.

In this episode I talk about:

Top 30 under 30 internal communicators

Congratulations to the top 30 under 30 internal comms pros who have been recognised by the IoIC. They are:

30 under 30Amie Mowlam-Tett
Amy Houldey @AmyHouldey
Ashley Sweetland @Ashleysweetland
Ben Hall
Ben Heppenstall @BenHeppenstall
Dillan Shikotra
Emily Atkins
Emma McNicoll-Norbury @Emmamcnic
Faye Hawksby @fayenh
Gerrard Hartland
Heather Barlow
Jamie Pert @jamie_pert
Jenni Becket
Jessie Punia
Katy Stanley @KatyStanleyIC
Lavinda Kaur @LavindaKaur
Mathew Butler @matmakeitmedia
Rick Dooley
Nikki Griffiths
Sam Boniface @sambelina172
Sarah Charig
Sian Cargan @sianydahling 
Steven Murgatroyd @steve_murg
Susan Pape
Tom Goddard
Vicky Riordan @Vicky_Riordan
Victoria Tomlinson @_toritomlinson

 You can follow them all here via this Twitter list

Other IC accolades announced by the IoIC include Karren Brady being named Business Communicator of the Year and Emily Gibbs, Global Head of Internal Communication at the Financial Times named as the IoIC Internal Communicator of the Year. You can find her on Twitter @EmilyJG.

World PR Forum

The world’s largest bi-annual gathering of comms pros is gearing up for next year. The date for the 8th World Public Relations Forum has been set as 21-24 September 2014 and it’s taking place in Madrid, Spain.

The theme of the event is ‘communication with conscience’ and you can find full information at www.worldprforum.com

Watch the World PR Forum video here:

Further information about the 2014 Research Colloquium call for papers. Closing date for 1500 word abstracts on the theme of Communication With Conscience and Consciousness: Self-Awareness and Responsibility is 31 January 2014.

Twitter alerts emergency comms tool

Twitter recently introduced a new tool for emergency communication called Twitter Alerts. Discover more information about them via this article.

A one page guide from Twitter plus my guide for communicators:

Top tips for running focus groups

In this month’s podcast I talk about focus groups and share some tips to consider when holding them. They are summarised below.

Before holding focus groups:

  • Communicate the fact you’re doing them – manage expectations among your workforce by sharing the fact they’re going on
  • Determine who will be invited: either open invitation or choose employees (I discuss the pros and cons in the podcast of both approaches)
  • Ensure you include positive and negatives views in order for feedback to be balanced
  • Participants need to be across all locations, shift patterns, length of service, roles etc
  • Make sure participants know where they need to go for the face-to-face sessions and what’s expected of them – even if that’s just to turn up without preparing anything
  • If you circulate a pre-focus group questionnaire, encourage participants to bring their answers along.

During the focus groups 

Room choice is key – e.g. if it’s informal, don’t hold it in the Board Room!

focus groupsMy top tips are:

  • Set the scene and if appropriate, have refreshments to hand – people love biscuits!
  • Make sure there are enough chairs in the room
  • Ensure you greet everyone as they come in – they may be nervous of you and your role is to facilitate and make them feel at ease
  • As a facilitator, don’t use a computer screen, but make notes on a pad or tablet, people don’t want to be looking at the back of your screen
  • Set the rules of the room – either on a flip chart or talk through them.

Rules are usually along the lines of…

  • Explain why you are there and why they were chosen/invited
  • Ensure everyone has a chance to speak
  • This is a confidential space
  • There’s no right or wrong answer
  • I encourage positive and negative views – sometimes negative are the most insightful

If you are recording the sessions, ensure you tell employees that is the case and how you will use them. For example, if they are purely to help with your own note taking, rather than be shared verbatim.

Post-focus group

I always put my email address up on a flipchart pad and encourage people in the room to write it down. It’s human nature that people remember something they wish they had asked or contributed once they’ve left the room, particularly if people are reflectors. Providing your email means there’s a way for people to get in touch (particularly if you’re a consultant like me and they haven’t met you before).

Post-focus group, communicate with the attendees and wider organisation – feed back (broadly) what was discussed, what next steps are and timelines for action and opportunities for employees to continue to have their say in future.

Historic comms

Internal comms memo after Kennedy’s death
The full transcript of the internal comms memo I mention in the podcast can be read online here.

Dr Who anniversary tweets by @HRP_Palaces:





Thank you for listening to episode #1 of FIR presents AllthingsIC with Rachel Miller.

If you have any thoughts or comments, you can find the FIR Community on Google+, on Twitter @FIRpodcast or can comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Listen here:

Post author: Rachel Miller

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