Once upon a time there was a company…

How do you communicate the story of your company and how it started? Is your history consigned to a downloadable pdf on your website, is it a slide or two in your induction presentation or mentioned as part of your recruitment process?

Storytelling is becoming increasingly popular in internal comms and the lines between internal and external continue to blur – but that’s a whole new article and I’ll pick up on that in a moment. I’ve featured storytelling a number of times on my blog and you can read a round-up here.

Today Royal Mail published an interactive timeline showing the history of their organisation through the centuries by telling the story of their company. I like the style of it and am sure it will be used both internally to create a sense of pride, and externally it makes interesting viewing and brings you right up to date, including the Olympics activities. It’s also a powerful tool to use for recruitment. What do you make of it? Would something like this work for your business?

Bright sparks
Another company that’s been a hot topic among the comms community today is Philips. A YouTube clip of employees from the consumer electronics, healthcare and lighting company is being circulated via Twitter. It features an ’employee jam’ and includes employees lip dubbing their way through the film to encourage participation in the event. You can’t help but smile when watching it, and get the tune stuck in your head.

The jam was a global online crowd-sourcing activity designed to create dialogue, debate and discussion about Philips’ Mission and Vision. You can read an overview of the whole event via Simply Communicate’s website and view the film below.

Do you like this approach? Can you imagine your company doing something similar? Have you already done something like this? If so and you’d like to write about it here for other comms pros to read, do let me know.

As internal comms pros, we know that when planning a campaign or creating a comms plan for a new initiative, there’s always the possibility of information finding its way outside the organisation. Do you proactively work with colleagues in the external comms team to ensure your messaging is consistent?

I featured a guest article a few months ago by Alex Smith, in which she said within the charity she works for, no distinction is made between internal and external comms. As more internal comms pros use ‘external’ channels and post information so it can be publicly available, such as using YouTube, what’s your take on the future of the relationship between internal and external comms? Do you think they will be separate functions in five, 10, 20 years time?

Do comment below, tweet me @AllthingsIC or contact me with your thoughts. I’d like to write an article about the perceived blurring between int/ext and feature your examples. Equally if you think they will always be separate, I’d love to hear from you, Rachel.

As promised, here is the Philips clip, enjoy…

Post author: Rachel Miller


  1. Karl Roche says:

    Of course this is a great way to bring employees together, IBM has been doing this internally and externally since 2001 in our first “World Jam” and since then we have had about 22 Jams, some cross IBM such as “Innovation Jam” and others within specific areas such as our “UK & Ireland Transformation Jam.”

    IBM also organises Jams for clients, with all size of organisations up to the UN. In the UK we held a public sector Jam with Coventry City Council ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-11501073 ) to engage with citizens and in 2011 we held the Start Jam on Sustainability http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etgTjWGnLps

    This week we start our latest Jam on Client Experience, https://www.collaborationjam.com/IBMJam/ which is across all of IBM globally. There will probably be a bit of chat on Twitter about it this week https://twitter.com/search?q=%23IBMJam

  2. Hi Karl, thanks for your comment. Best of luck with the Client Experience jam and thank you for sharing those links, Rachel

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