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How to be a strategic internal communicator

What does it mean to work strategically in internal communication?

What skills do you need? How can you work well with leaders and what’s the best way to structure an IC team?

I’m delighted to announce the latest All Things IC Online Masterclass has just gone live. How to be a strategic internal communicator addresses these topics and many more.

As with all our Online Masterclasses, it’s your course, done your way. There are no live lessons, so you can take this course at your own pace, over 12 months.

The curriculum includes chapters on:

  • Busting the jargon
  • Developing your strategic skills
  • Working as a trusted adviser
  • How to work well with leaders and employees
  • Creating a vision for internal communication
  • Proving the value of internal communication
  • Creating an effective IC team
  • Creating a Masterplan.

It is full of bespoke videos, workbooks, text lessons, quizzes and surveys. See the dedicated website to find out more and enrol today.

How to be a strategic internal communicator

I’ve been working on this course for a long time alongside Comms Consultant Debbie West. She’s interviewed me for this article, so you can discover what to expect from this Masterclass.

CIPR members can earn CPD from this course and team licenses are available. Your investment is £799 for the standard version and £999 for the VIP option.

We are running a promotion to save you 15% off this or any other All Things IC Online Masterclass. Simply use the code summersaver at the checkout until 30 September 2021. Please note this cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Debbie: I’m so happy to see this course go live. We’ve been talking about making this course on being a strategic internal communicator for two years! Why was it one of the first you wanted to make and why has it taken this long?

Rachel: Me too! I’m so pleased it’s now available for internal communicators to access. It was one of the first courses I wanted to make because the areas it covers are constant conversations with professional communicators.

We talk a lot about the need to work strategically; this course busts through the jargon, defines and refines perception and reality and guides IC professionals through their own decision making.

I’ve been teaching this course in person since 2016 and knew recreating and reimagining it for an online experience needed a huge investment of my time.

I wanted to get it right, because I know how valuable it will be for IC professionals. It deserved the focused attention and energy we’ve both put into it. It’s our largest course to date, with 97 lessons on the standard version and 100 on the VIP version.

All Things IC Online Masterclass

Debbie: Who is the course aimed at?

Rachel: How to be a strategic internal communicator is ideal if you have three years’ experience or more in internal communication. There are other courses available if you have less experience, that cover brilliant basics:

This new strategic course builds on your existing knowledge of channels and day-to-day life as an IC pro, and helps you take the next step. It cranks the teaching up a notch to focus more on planning, advising and setting standards in internal communication.

I wish this course existed when I was at this level during my in-house career!

There is also a VIP option available, which means learners submit two assignments to me during their course. I will come back to them with personalised feedback.

Whether you aspire to work at a strategic or senior level, or are already there and want to deepen and refine your knowledge, this course will help you.

I’m proud of the content as it’s been written based on the conversations I have with All Things IC’s clients, Inner Circle members and Comms friends and addresses the topics they struggle with the most.

How to be a strategic internal communicator

Debbie: What resources and best practice were you able to draw on to build the course?

Rachel: This course is full of resources and best practice. I’ve drawn on theory and coupled it with reality.

The fact you have studied Learning for 20 years Debbie is so useful for me when planning the content. With your expertise and guidance in the mix, I’ve been able to create the right balance of structured and reflective learning.

I’ve brought it bang up to date and highlighted recent resources within the world of internal communication, including many of my own resources and podcast episodes.

I particularly like the workbooks in this course as I’ve included different models and ideas to help learners increase their skills, knowledge and confidence.

Points to consider

Debbie: We’ve spoken about making your podcasts accessible. What steps have you taken to make the course accessible too?

Rachel: Every video within the course has captions and the ability to toggle them on and off. I’ve looked at the size of the text, inclusiveness of imagery and photographs and made conscious decisions throughout this course.

Debbie: I know you used to deliver this course in person. How well does it fit being an online version?

I did, I always enjoyed teaching this course face-to-face pre-lockdown. It always sparked thoughts for the Comms pros in the room and we had fantastic discussions.

I wondered how to translate it into an online course and what would need to change. I realised through our conversations about Learning and Learning Styles there was an opportunity to create something truly useful for Comms pros.

The joy of being in a room together is sparking ideas and hearing from peers. However, the hard work starts again once you leave the room as you then need to take time thinking through what you’ve learnt and translating it into reality for your own organisation.

There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just a different experience.

This How to be a strategic internal communicator Online Masterclass guides you through at your own pace. You learn something, then have the chance to pause, reflect and analyse your own situation. You can immediately apply what you’ve learnt and think about how to adapt it for your company.

This is where the workbooks and checklists come in. I’ve included examples within them to help learners get a head start and know the type of content that works well.

Debbie:  I really love the fact you’ve included topics like how to demonstrate the value of IC and how to build an effective team. What are your favourite parts of the course?

Rachel: That’s a tough question to answer! I also like those lessons, but I think the chapters that will resonate with learners the most will be creating an IC vision, writing a strategic Comms Masterplan and working as a trusted adviser.

I really enjoyed writing those parts of the course as I know how useful they will be to support IC professionals who are stuck or want to know more about these topics.

The chapters include:

  • Busting the jargon
  • Developing your strategic skills
  • Working as a trusted adviser
  • How to work well with leaders and employees
  • Creating a vision for internal communication
  • Proving the value of internal communication
  • Creating an effective IC team
  • Creating a Masterplan.

Debbie: Reading and reflecting are important parts of the learning journey, but nothing beats bringing your learning to life and growing with experience. What do you hope IC learners will do as a result of taking this course?

Rachel: I hope IC learners will take action as a result of working their way through this Online Masterclass. There’s a checklist at the end of the course, which captures just some of the things they’ll be able to do because of the course.

How to be a strategic internal communicator

They include:

  • a definition of strategic internal communication that is meaningful to you, your boss, your stakeholders and your business
  • knowledge of the skills a strategic internal communicator needs
  • a summary of your own skills, strengths and weaknesses
  • a definition of what it means to be a trusted adviser and clarity around how that will help you to be seen as a more strategic internal communicator, in your business
  • a draft, or some ideas for a draft, of your internal communication vision
  • fresh ideas on how to prove the value of internal communication and greater confidence to discuss this, using evidence
  • notes on how to create an effective internal communication team
  • a draft, or some ideas for a draft, of your strategic internal communication Masterplan.

Debbie: This course would give a communicator a great grounding in being more strategic, and help them develop the confidence they need to get involved actively in more strategic discussions about their organisation. What would be the natural next step for them?

Rachel: The natural next step would be writing a comprehensive internal communication strategy. This is a distinct topic in its own right and is one of our upcoming Online Masterclasses. Every time we hit publish, work begins again to add to the suite of courses we offer.

I’d love internal communicators to finish this How to be a strategic internal communicator Online Masterclass feeling confident operating at that level. I hope they focus their energies on what’s happening with their own mindset and abilities, and how that benefits their employees and organisation.

CIPR members can earn CPD from this course and team licenses are available. Your investment is £799 for the standard version and £999 for the VIP option.

We are running a promotion to save you 15% off this or any other All Things IC Online Masterclass. Simply use the code summersaver at the checkout until 30 September 2021. Please note this cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

What happens inside is reflected outside

What other courses are available?

See the dedicated website to access all the latest courses. They are packed with bespoke text lessons, videos, workbooks and quizzes to help you learn about the wonderful world of IC at your own pace. They are pre-recorded, which means you access the content at the time you choose.

Choose from:

Thank you for stopping by.

Rachel.

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on the All Things IC blog 30 July 2021.

Candid Comms Podcast

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