IoIC top 30… five months on

IoICUsing video for communication, communicating pensions, and agency life are just some of the hot topics among the Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) 30 under 30 group.

It’s been nearly five months since the IoIC crowned its first 30 under 30 internal communication (IC) professionals. What has happened since and what do the group think is important for internal communication?

If you missed news about the 30 under 30 contest, you can read my previous article about the scheme and why I supported it.

The 30 are:
Mathew Butler (Make It Media),
Katie Coleman (The Co-operative),
Alistair Dewar (Lloyds Banking Group),
Sophie Quartley (Aster Group),
Fraser Wilson (University of Nottingham)
Rebecca Mercer
(Turning Point),
Laura James (Peverel Property Management),
Sophie Hewitt (Capita Life & Pensions),
Heather Griffiths (Gatwick Airport),
Helen Deverell (Sequel Group),
Caroline Dawson (National Grid),
Caroline Cohen (Blue Goose),
Sophia Cheng (Simply Communicate),
Neil Burgess (RWE nPower),
Hannah Brocklesby (ScarlettAbbott)
Emma Woodward (Siemens),
Jenni Wheller (SSP),
Victoria Stuart (Post Office Ltd),
Gary Moss (AB Comms),
Sarah Hodges (Ernst & Young),
Vija Valentukonyte (Barclays),
Oliver Forrester (CW Content Works),
Rhona Deb (Capita Life & Pensions),
Ben Heppenstall (Trinity Mirror Regionals),
Ellie Bringes (AXA Wealth),
Andy Bacon (E.ON UK),
Harry Waddle (University of Nottingham),
Alan Coates (44 Communications),
Chloe Shanahan (AVEVA Solutions)
Alice Waterman (Marston Group).

I created a Twitter list so you can follow them all here. You can also watch a video of all the winners.

Why am I writing about the group?
I think it’s important to highlight these 30 IC pros and continue to congratulate them on their achievement.

Regular readers will know that I enjoy highlighting what is happening in the world of internal communication and showcasing success. I think this group is one to watch.

I heard on the grapevine that some of the group were meeting up, so I asked one of the winners, Mat Butler, Managing Director at make it media to write for my blog to keep us updated with their progress. You can find him on Twitter @matmakeitmedia Over to you Mat…

Hot topics for IC pros… IoIC top 30, five months on…
In late-November 2012, the IoIC announced its top 30 under-30 internal communicators. This was a group of us chosen for the success of our initiatives within the internal comms community and was intended to be a great platform for each of us to learn and develop further from each other.

The group (pictured at their awards night) has been active on LinkedIn and Twitter since November, but Hannah from Scarlettabbott must take credit for setting up our first gathering, earlier this month. A group of us met in the Merchant Pub at London’s Liverpool Street railway station to get to know each other and learn more about our roles, challenges, successes – and travels.

As the one man among seven women, I was completely out-numbered! However in the interest of those who came along, I want to keep the topics raised as anonymous as possible. Here is a short overview of the topics and questions that were discussed.

Auto-enrolment and the new pension scheme
To begin with a successful project was shared demonstrating how Scarlettabbot worked alongside Morrisons supermarkets on their internal campaign entitled “Save Your Dough.” The project aimed to help Morrisons colleagues get into the mind set of saving money today and planning for the future, before pension auto-enrolment.

The initiative saw them teaming up with financial ‘guru’ Alvin Hall, running a money-tip competition to give colleagues a chance to win a free month’s wages, a payday podcast and a host of money-saving tips. Visit to see more. (This is another great example of internal communication being shared externally, I’m gathering examples at the moment for a future article, and will include this. If readers know of any others, please contact me – Rachel)

The challenges of in-house vs agency
One of the group is soon to take on her first role in-house and wanted advice on what the main challenges were. A conclusion seemed to be that you need to prepare for almost endless re-writes and reviews of project work. Cultures and processes vary wildly from business to business so the first step really is to learn about your team and be clear on your role. Being clear on your role and what you are trying to achieve will get you a long way to owning your internal comms. Jenni Wheller shared with us a ‘must-watch’ video, which I have tracked down, entitled Simon Sinek’s, how leaders inspire action.

It is all about being clear on the Why? How? and What? An interesting watch for external and internal projects.

30 under 30 Keeping up with the Jones’
Gamification, social channels, video, intranet…..whatever is the next big thing – “how do you keep on top of the latest trends and tools in the IC arsenal?”

How do you know what is best to use for which purpose? Are you using a particular communications technique because you want to be an early adopter, or because it actually works?

I believe you have to learn from the unbiased advisors and researchers in these areas. Join LinkedIn groups, read relevant blogs, case studies discussing the topics and set time aside every week, or even every day, for learning about new and current techniques. Rachel’s resources page is a great place to start.

Internal comms video webinar
I have a webinar presentation taking place in April in conjunction with MediaPlatform, a USA based technology company. As research, I asked what challenges the group faced when using videos as a communication channel.

I was bombarded by questions including:

  • What are the best ways to learn video production skills
  • When is it appropriate to use in-house videos rather than outsourced videos from professional companies
  • Why do some video companies charge so much
  • How do you distribute on mobile devices
  • What makes good video content
  • What is a good length for a production which won’t leave your team yawning

The answers to these questions are for another blog, but it certainly showed me that there is a lot of thirst for this type of knowledge (Mat – you’re very welcome to address these questions via my blog – I know readers would love to hear your insights into these areas – Rachel)

“Cascade blockages”
One of the last topics brought up was regarding cascade blockages where the message gets lost the further down the line they go. Are there any tips for finding the blockages and overcoming them? When face-to-face meetings are not always possible how can we share those messages clearly with everyone and overcome blockages?

All in all, it was a great meet-up with a whole host of discussions. Please feel free to put your thoughts and answers to any questions raised in this post, as we’d be grateful to hear further input.

The ‘30 under 30’ intend to meet up again in May 2013 and I’ll be sure to share any updates from the group.

Post author: Mat Butler

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Mat. Is there anything there that surprised you in terms of the hot topics for IC pros at the moment? Do comment below or tweet Mat @matmakeitmedia

Rising Stars
This week I’ve been putting an entry together to nominate an IC pro I mentor, for a new contest, Rising Stars, by VMA Group. You can watch a video about it below and there are four Rising Star categories: Internal communication, Marketing communications, Digital communications and Agency.

If you have a member of your team or network that you would like to nominate, I’d encourage you to do so to ensure that people who are working in internal communication continue to have their voices heard and be recognised. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the IoIC top 30 are nominated.

The process seems straight forward and the deadline is Friday 7 June. VMA Group has a pretty comprehensive website and I’ve found the team to be super speedy at answering questions too. Find them on Twitter @VMAGroup and #VMARisingStars, Rachel.

First published March 2013.


  1. Sarah Hodges says:

    It was a great first meet up! I was travelling at the time of the awards night, so it was fantastic for me to be able to get together with some members from the group and have an open, honest and frank discussion about IC in our respective workplaces.

    It was also encouraging to know we are facing similar challenges and it’s great to have the support of the group to offer advice.

    I can’t wait to hear how Mat’s webinar presentation goes – I know that video and the use of flip cams and iphones to record messages was a hot topic for a few of us.

    Can’t wait for the next meet up in May!

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