A question of comms: Stephen Golding

Discover Stephen Golding’s alternative career choice, plus the books he thinks every communicator should read.

Stephen is Communications and Engagement Lead at Diageo and was one of All Things IC’s first clients when he was at Tullow Oil a few years back.

He’s immensely smart and I thoroughly enjoyed working with him. Stephen is the latest practitioner to sit in my #questionofcomms hot seat.

Do get in touch if you’d like to be featured.

I’ll hand you over to him…

1. When did you know internal communication was what you wanted to do?

Not sure I ever have – It’s not too late to be a Hollywood leading man right??? In all seriousness, I enjoy it and I think when you find something you enjoy you generally work at it and it eventually becomes your career choice.

2. What do you like most about working in this field?

Variety of the work and the transferable nature of our skill set – works in all industries and with all audience groups.

3. What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?

I guess I have a couple – both related to asking questions

1. Ask lots of questions – especially with people that work for you, people are pretty smart and generally know the answers and it lands better if they are not being told the answer. 2. Don’t be afraid to ask the question for clarification, people won’t be offended.

4. What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a career in comms?

Work on your writing skills and work hard on getting to know your organisation – ask for help on your weaknesses and try to keep learning.

Your network is your source of content and guidance – make sure it’s working with you!

5. What does a typical day or working week look like for you?

In my current role it differs week to week, but broadly, 20% creative – writing/ designing editing, 20% advising and mentoring both up and down the organisation, 30% listening to what people are trying to achieve and seeing if I can help.

The last chunk of time is administrative, attending meetings, writing up notes, measuring and auditing comms/ channels, writing reports etc…

6. Name a book you think every communicator must read, and why you’ve chosen it

I think Learning to fly by Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell is a really great book, it sets out learning styles and explains how to connect with different people.

During my post grad course at Kingston I also used Communicating Effectively by Harvard Business Review as reference material and liked Leading Change, by John Kotter, it’s a bit old school but the sentiment is still valid.

I recently read TED Talks storytelling by Akash Karia, which has loads of interesting content for communicating in a different way.

7. What’s the one thing you couldn’t do your job without?

Sadly my electronic devices or pen and paper notebook!

8. What is the future of internal communication?

No idea, I am terrible at predicting how things will turn out, I expect that technology will continue to blur the lines of internal and external comms, engagement will die off as a term and I hope that people re-discover the art of talking on the phone or in person….

9. Where can people find you online?

I use LinkedIn and Twitter @Steg1977.

Thank you Stephen, I enjoyed your answers and particularly like the sound of the TED book you mentioned.


Post author: Stephen Golding.

First published on the All Things IC blog 13 April 2017.

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