We are excited to introduce Shelby Loasby, internal communications manager at The University of Hertfordshire as the first guest blogger on Horizon Comms.
Shelby started her internal comms journey twelve months ago and has shared her advice to help you out.
As someone who recently joined the internal communications network, I can’t even begin to explain just how many resources and people that are out there to help guide you through your career.
The internal comms network is huge, and you may be wondering where to start. You don’t have to bang on the door, you just need to give it a gentle tap and the whole world of internal comms is at your disposal.
My own journey this past year has seen me reach out, read around and start my own blog. This has helped so much with my personal brand, as well as developing my knowledge and helping other communicators in the process. I’ve even enrolled on the CIPR Specialist Diploma: Internal Communications! I’ve achieved all of this by following three simple steps; Chat. Write. Read. Repeat.
Talk to people who are already in the business. Internal communicators are not hard to find; a few searches of the hastag #InternalCommunications on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn will open you up to all the people you need to follow and get to know. And don’t just follow or connect with people; reach out to them, comment on their posts and blogs, and start conversations with them. Everyone in IC is so willing to share experiences and help each other out. Just look at Annique Simpson’s recent blog celebrating the wonderful world of IC and the people who are a part of it
Top tip – Search #CommsChat or #internalcomms on Twitter and engage with the weekly conversations. This is how I ended up writing for the fantastic Dan Holden.
As an internal comms newbie, the best thing you can do is practice what you preach. We are all about engaging and connecting people through words and campaigns, and, as practice makes perfect, start writing posts and articles on LinkedIn or Medium, or even set up your own blog! The more you write about IC and communications in general, the more you learn and immerse yourself in your passion.
If there’s one thing you take away from this post, it’s that you need to read. Firstly, just read books – fiction or non-fiction, and start finessing your vocabulary, your tone of voice and get some flow to the way you write. Secondly, there is a huge library of books, ebooks, blogs, articles, infographics and websites out there with a wealth of knowledge about internal comms, employee engagement, storytelling, channels, strategy…the list goes on.
As with writing, the more you read, the more you learn and develop. Even though I’m only a year into my career, I already feel so empowered and connected to IC and it has shown me that this is exactly what I want to do with my life.
Finally, just keep going. Every day you can find new things and new people who can help you through. Internal comms is a growing profession with an increasing level of support from not only peers, but also from businesses and senior management as a whole. This means you will never be alone and there will always be someone you can turn to for advice and ideas.
Go and have a browse online, but if you’re stuck for where to start, here are three sites
definitely worth your time:
And if you’re interested in some free resources and a whole range of articles about IC and wider communications, check out the blog I co-founded with my friend, Brad Johnson; CommaComms
Brad Johnson and Shelby Loasby of CommaComms