New communications network is now live

Are you an internal comms professional working in the UK and a non-native English speaker?

Did you know there is support available for you?

A new communications network has been set up by Anna Newsome, a specialist internal communications recruitment consultant at VMA GROUP.

The second Non-Native Communicators Network (NNC) meeting took place on the 17 August. Attendees heard from Talita Abrantes, Internal Communications Coordinator at Oxera Consulting LLP, about her personal experiences as a non-native English speaker working in internal communications.

We asked Anna some questions about the role of the network, for the All Things IC blog.

New communications network is now live promotional image featuring a photo of Anna Newsome , Specialist Internal Communications Recruitment Consultant at VMA GROUP

Can you share a little about yourself?

I’m Anna, a musician, language-lover and, most importantly, a specialist Internal Communications recruitment consultant at VMA GROUP.

Having graduated from the University of Birmingham with Modern Languages and Translation last summer, I completed a short stint working at a technology recruitment firm for French markets, and then subsequently joined the wonderful team at VMA GROUP in November 2022. This has enabled me to learn a great deal about the marketing and communications industry already in a short space of time, and I can genuinely say it’s a great place to work.

What is the purpose of the NNC Network?

The Network is designed for non-native English speakers, working within internal communication to share their experiences in the UK market, offer peer-to-peer advice and support, and ultimately to raise the profile of multilingual talent within internal communications. On the run-up to the launch event on 21 June 2023, I had several conversations with non-native English speakers and worked closely alongside Ofcom’s Internal Communication Manager, Coco Garcia Acevedo, to start shaping the NNC Network.

How did the idea for the NNC Network start?

Whilst I don’t currently use my language skills, I was keen to find a way to continue fulfilling my personal interest in working alongside non-native English speakers and providing something for those in the communications industry. Following my first few months at VMA GROUP and several discussions with my manager, Crystle Pearce, I soon recognised an opportunity to establish a group to support and promote non-native English speakers in the internal communications market, and with that (and many months of planning later!), the NNC Network was born – the Non-Native Communicators Network.

What has the NNC Network achieved so far?

With over 70 non-native English speaking internal comms professionals now part of the community, the NNC Network has already united for two in-person events. Most recently, hosted at the beautiful offices at Hanover Communications, I had a fireside chat with a recent placement candidate, the Brazilian IC Pro, Talita Abrantes. In this conversation, Talita highlighted the cultural differences in interview style, her self-consciousness stemming from her accent and the challenges in trying to explain Brazilian nationally renowned brands in a different country. NNC Network members were then given the opportunity to network and touch on some interesting topics of conversation, including workplace cultural differences and interviewing experiences.

Attendees of the NNC Network event sitting at round tables, all facing a stage, listening to a speaker.

Attendees at the second NNC Network event

What future activities does the NNC Network have planned?

To be honest, the NNC is a ‘work in progress’, but the feedback has been positive. At our most recent event, attendees were invited to post a note in the NNC Post Box to share their ideas and thoughts for the future of the NNC. Our next (free and in-person!) event is lined up for the evening of 19 October 2023. This will be a comms mash-up event with our Meet the Author series (designed, organised and hosted by my colleague Crystle Pearce). There will be more information to follow… so watch the VMA Group social channels!

Who can join the NNC Network?

The NNC Network at present is designed specifically for non-native English speaking internal communication professionals. One of the Network’s aims is to raise the profile of multilingual talent in the IC industry. With that in mind, I would be delighted to hear from others who would like to know more about the community and any suggestions you may have! Feedback and ideas always provide food for thought.

How can communicators find out more about The NNC Network?

The best place to start is by following VMA GROUP on LinkedIn. We also run several industry events, so keep an eye on our LinkedIn page to stay in the know. Hope to see you soon!

Thank you Anna for sharing with us. You can connect with Anna on LinkedIn.

If you are interested in the NNC Network or other networking events offered by VMA GROUP, email thenncnetwork@vmagroup.com.

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Post author: Dan Holden

First published on the All Things IC blog 30 August 2023.

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