Why you need to think strategically about IC

Yesterday I had the pleasure of running a Strategic Internal Comms Masterclass in London for senior-level communicators.

Masterclass 6 October My mind is still buzzing with their questions, challenges and ideas.

I know from messages I’ve received today they are feeling the same.

Why ‘strategic’ internal communication?

This was a topic raised at the ace CIPR Inside conference I attended on Tuesday in a discussion about whether IC is a trade or profession. Which is a whole other blog post.

We focus a lot in comms on the need to get the basics right.

For many communicators that’s the tactical elements, the doing. However, it needs to include the strategic elements, the thinking.

You need to be thinking in the right way about the work you’re doing and how it adds value to your organisation.

I’m going to share two slides from the Masterclass with you.

They quote the Government Communication Service’s view on strategy…

GCS Strategy

I think many companies miss the point that you need to move beyond just communicating what the business strategy is, to outline how employees can deliver it, and the role internal communication plays.

For me, it’s the what and why that are the most important for strategy, largely because the how, where and when are more tactical.

That’s true whether it’s a business or internal communication one.

If your communication strategy doesn’t align with your business strategy, why does it exist?

Everything we do as professional communicators needs to align with what the company is trying to achieve.

Be that sell more widgets, treat more patients or build more houses. Whatever the purpose of your company, that’s the crux of your internal communication strategy.

Or it should be.

If you want to know more about how to write an internal communication strategy, I’ve written about it various times over the past seven years I’ve been sharing ideas via my blog. I’ve included links below.

How to be a strategic partner
Today the excellent team over at Scarlettabbott pointed me towards a blog post Andy Payne, Head of Consultancy, @mcumbro has just published.

It’s perfect timing as it’s along a similar line to my train of thought, and includes this quote:

“Internal Communications teams have to become champions of their work. They’ve got to engineer a common interest in what they deliver – and that interest can start with leaders many rungs below the Boardroom.”

How’s that working out for you? Do you do that?

You can read the whole article via LinkedIn and it includes this model…


How does your Board see your IC team? Or you?

Sign up to learn about Strategic Internal Communication
There are four places left on my next Strategic Internal Communication Masterclass on 1 December 2016 in London.

All Things IC MasterclassesTopics I cover include planning, measurement, stakeholders, how to be a trusted adviser, how to work with CEOs and senior leaders, plus employee engagement.

I’m setting 2017 dates at the moment. Thank you to everyone who has got in touch asking for upcoming dates.

Do keep an eye on the Masterclasses website as it will be updated once I’ve had confirmation from the venue.

HelenDeverellThere’s still time to sign up to attend the next All Things IC Masterclass. It’s on 10 November in London and the topic is Writing Skills.

It costs £399 (+VAT) and is being led by Helen Deverell @helenderevell (pictured). I’m looking forward to attending, you can find out more and save your place via the Masterclasses website.

Read more about creating strategies:

How to write an internal comms strategy – published 2015

A non-scientist’s guide to creating IC strategy.

How to write an IC strategy – published 2014 including an infographic.

Focusing on internal comms strategy

How to achieve social media strategy success

How ODEON designed its employer brand strategy

Learn about strategic internal communication via PR Week
Don’t forget readers of my blog can save money on tickets for PR Week’s upcoming Strategic Internal Communication conference.

It’s on 22 November in London and I wrote about it this week.

Use my code ATIC to save 15 per cent when booking your tickets.


I’m going to leave you with my strategy infographic created by the team at Alive with Ideas!

You can also find it on my internal comms Pinterest board.

All Things IC internal communication strategy

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on the All Things IC blog 7 October 2016.

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