Inspiring a generation of IC pros

This week the Institute of Internal Comms (IoIC) launched a contest to find the Top 30 under 30 Internal Comms professionals.

I think this is a fantastic idea and I welcome this move by the IoIC. For too long there has been a gap in similar schemes as there hasn’t been one purely for IC.I know there are lots of strong Internal Communications professionals around who deserve to be named in this way, and I look forward to seeing the IoIC 30 under 30 contest grow over the years and develop to be the leading accolade for younger IC professionals.I tweeted my support yesterday and spotted a number of comments from IC pros who are questioning whether it is ‘ageist and elitist’ for IoIC to organise such a contest.

My personal view (and I am over 30, if that’s worth knowing!), is that the IoIC, along with Melcrum and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has plenty of ways to recognise Comms pros of all ages and seniority. You could argue with the wealth of choice around, such a scheme isn’t necessary, but I believe it is
Being able to honour IC pros who are demonstrably making a difference where they work is a smart idea, regardless of age. This contest just happens to be for people born within the last 30 years and I struggle to see why it’s an issue.

Being 30 could mean they’ve been in the workplace for around 12 years if they left school for work immediately, as I did, so in my mind it’s not about ‘junior level’, not that one can say that nowadays, but appears to be a desire to honour people who are doing well, who also happen to have been born in a defined timeframe.

I know that the IoICs scheme was requested by younger members to “support career progression and recognition”. We’ve all read and heard a lot recently about inspiring a generation; why should IC be any different and why can’t it be the younger one? One would hope the older generation would be inspired to encourage the entries and see them do well

Back in 2009 I was named in PR Week’s Top 29 under 29 professional communicators in the UK list. It meant a lot to me to be to be named alongside PR and Marketing professionals, and has proved to be a point of interest with prospective employers. Peer recognition is one of those rare beasts, but when it happens it is incredibly rewarding. It has certainly enabled me to benchmark myself and strive to improve further

The IoIC scheme is by the IC industry and for the IC industry and certainly gets the thumbs up from me, particularly as it’s the only one solely dedicated to the profession of internal communication

So I’d encourage you to enter yourself if you’re eligible, or do talk with members of your team or network and encourage them to consider it too.

Who can enter?

  • You must be aged under 30 on 31 December 2012
  • You can work in-house, for an agency or be freelance
  • You must be UK-basedHow to enterSend in a 60-second video (in a .mov file format) in which you outline to the judges why you think you should make the ‘30 Under 30’ list.

    Accompany the video with a document (no more than 400 words) that gives an example of how you’ve demonstrated expertise and how you’re making a difference to internal communication. You also need to send in evidence to support your work example and don’t forget to add your name, date of birth, job title, organisation, brief career details and contact details.

    What happens then?

    Entries will be judged by a panel of experienced senior practitioners from industry and academia, and the top 30 announced at a special reception in London on 21 November 2012. The entry deadline is 20 September 2012 and entries should be sent to

    See the IoIC website to find out more info – and good luck! Rachel.


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