How to explain what you do in 10 words or fewer

How do you explain what you do in 10 words or fewer?

Here’s mine: I help companies communicate internally through personalised consultancy and training.

Today I’ve got an excellent resource to help you create your own. I’d love you to share yours by commenting below or Tweeting me @AllthingsIC.

We are often asked to describe what we do, whether in a professional networking situation or with friends and family.

What does yours say? Does it accurately reflect what you do?

*The original version of this article said 10 words or less, but having received countless comments, (thank you) am happy to update it, so it now says 10 words or fewer. 

How to explain what you do in 10 words or fewer

Want to create your own? PR Expert Janet Murray @Jan_murray can help you. It will just cost you 21 minutes of your time and I promise you it’s worth it.

Janet (pictured) and I met at #SocialDayUK conference a few weeks ago. She is the author of the ace book Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart and runs Soulful PR.

How to blog

I’m a regular listener to Janet’s brilliant podcasts and had the pleasure of recording one with her today, which was great fun and will hopefully prove useful for her listeners.

During our conversation I shared my experiences of writing 1000 blog posts since 2009 and offered advice for anyone who is thinking about starting a blog.

You’ll be able to listen to the episode in a few weeks’ time. Thank you for asking me, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation.

I told Janet I listened to her latest podcast yesterday: How to explain what you do in 10 words or less and thought I would share it with you, my lovely blog readers.

You can listen online and below:

How to explain what you do in 10 words or fewer

Regular readers will know I’ve recently redesigned my whole website and blog and given it some love after eight years of serving me well.

Part of that work included looking at how to communicate my personal brand and hiring experts including Jackie Le Fevre to help analyse my values, impacttologist Martin Brooks, and website and marketer specialist Martin Huntbach.

After hearing Janet’s recent podcast, I realised I could improve the way I describe what I do. The wording on my website was too long, and based on the feedback from that episode and Martin’s advice, I’ve condensed it to:

I help companies communicate internally through personalised consultancy and training.

I’ve also got a second line (cheating!) which is…

Internal communication practitioners say working with me increases their knowledge and boosts their confidence. 

What’s yours?

It’s helpful to have a statement. Some people call it an elevator pitch (what you would say when you have the short time it takes to go somewhere in a lift, about what you do) and it’s useful to have an answer up your sleeve that you’re happy with.

I’ve now updated my LinkedIn profile with the same wording to ensure I’m consistent in what I’m communicating (which is what we do after all!).

I’ve no doubt I will keep an eye on that statement and refine it over time if I feel it needs updating. I encourage you to do the same.

What is internal communication?

We often have to describe what internal communication is, I certainly do. Janet asked me only today to describe what it is.

This is one of my definitions I use (am aware it’s more than 10 words!)…

“The purpose of internal communication is not telling people what to do. It’s to create shared understanding and meaning. Only when this happens can employees work together towards a company’s goals.”

Does that work for you? I always share it with my Masterclass attendees and gather their feedback, and practitioners say this definition works for them.

Further reading: You can read more definitions and bust comms jargon in my internal communication glossary.

What is employee experience?

I’m musing writing another post on employee experience as I keep hearing people getting muddled and I feel like it would be beneficial to provide some clarity around it and how it differs from employee engagement.

Further reading via the All Things IC blog: Why you need to focus on employee experience

Maybe I’ll do 10 words or fewer statements for common definitions in internal comms. Hmm. I feel another blog post brewing.

Let me know if you’d like me to write it – you’re welcome to comment below, contact me or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Tuning in

In the meantime, do check out Janet’s extensive library of podcasts, they’re a regular soundtrack for me when I’m working in my office.

I’ve just invested in a set of AirPods and am finding them brilliant for being able to listen to podcasts and call clients. They’re bluetooth enabled wireless headphones. They’re working well for me as there aren’t any wires to get twisted up when I inevitably fail to sit still in my office, bonus.

If you’ve ever seen me present at a conference or attended one of my Masterclasses, you’ll know how much I move around while thinking and working.

Having teased my husband for having them (sorry Jon!), I’ve now discovered them for myself and won’t be looking back. No more carrying around two different sets of headphones to fit all the different technology I use every day, hurrah.

I hope you enjoy Janet’s podcast about describing what you do in 10 words or less. Feel free to share your description with me if you’re feeling brave.

Janet is also encouraging people to Tweet them. If you do, please tag her @jan_murray and use the hashtag #HelpStatement.

Thank you as ever for stopping by and happy US Independence Day to my American readers and those celebrating today.


First published on the All Things IC blog 4 July 2017.


  1. Kath Lavelle says:

    Firstly, yes please to the blog on common definitions in 10 words or less!

    I’ve been thinking all morning about how would I describe what I do in 10 words or less and this is what I’ve come up with so far:
    Advise on content and create opportunities to engage with employees
    I am sure that I will review and tweak further but as an initial thought I think it captures what I do.

  2. Thank you for your comment Kath. I like what you’ve written, how will you use it? Rachel

  3. Great post, very useful definitions, Rachel! I can explain easily what I don’t do:). Some tasks that land on my desk marked ‘this is definitely something for internal comms’ often have nothing to do with what I do. I’ll work on these 10 words and have them ready.

  4. Thank you for your comment Natalia. I like your thinking in turning it around. Do let me know what you come up with.

  5. Kath McCarthy says:

    I’ve used my 10 word descriptor for the first time today. I was leading staff induction and rather than trot out my usual line about doing internal comms and employee engagement and not explaining what I do I used the 10 words I had been working on and luckily it didn’t draw too many blank faces! Time to update my CV and LinkedIn profile now!

  6. Hi Kath, this is brilliant! Well done that’s excellent, I’m pleased to hear you’ve been able to put your thinking into action. Thank you for letting me know, Rachel

  7. […] ever to know how to say “hello” depending on who you are speaking to. I read a great blog from Rachel Miller featuring Janet Murray – both comms professionals who are brilliant at telling their story. I’m improving how […]

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