My first gig in internal communications (IC) was a real eye-opener. As a journalism graduate, I was surprised by my senior colleagues’ reluctance to get involved in the ‘message creation’ part of our job. They claimed it lowered their value and distracted them from the strategic priorities they felt they should be focusing on.
Their advice was that I should pass this responsibility to stakeholders across the organisation. This horrified me. I didn’t agree that creating engaging content was a craft that devalued our position. In fact, the skill of storytelling should, in my opinion, be our magic wand.
A couple of decades later and much has changed. But my opinion remains that the core focus of internal communicators should be the creation of superb content. Sure, it needs to align to strategic business priorities. And, of course, we need to track its uptake and measure its impact. But I remain sceptical that delegating content creation is in the internal communicator’s long-term interest.
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t about the IC function controlling all communications. Our role in the modern workplace should be to facilitate conversations and encourage collaboration. It is also about coaching and guiding leaders to become brilliant communicators. So while we cannot and should not control, we definitely should curate.
A passion for and understanding of the art of storytelling is more critical now than it has ever been. I’d go so far as to say it is the only thing that ensures we stand out from the crowd, cut through the noise and make a lasting impact on the organisations and audiences we work with. It remains our magic wand.
Our Content with Purpose workshop, being held in October, is designed to support IC practitioners to make the most of that magic wand. Why not join us in our office near London Bridge? You just might learn a few new tricks.