AB Thinks  →  17th April 2019

Five tips from a communications guru – Mark Davies

Post Office group communications and corporate affairs manager, Mark Davies, popped in to talk to AB’s Katie Macaulay for episode seven of the Internal Comms Podcast.

The communications expert had plenty of advice to share, drawing on his background in local newspaper journalism, public policy and government, as well as his love for Middlesbrough Football Club.

Here are our top five quotes from a lively conversation covering everything from delivering some of the biggest change communications in the Post Office’s history to the importance of social purpose for commercial organisations.

#1 The importance of social purpose
“Being a business that is socially responsible and community-focused is really good for the business. The two are not separate things.”

#2 A risk for corporate communicators
“One of the risks for corporate communicators is that we move on from an idea too quickly. We find something we like the sound of, which works well and tests well, so we go for it. But then we get bored of it, because we forget that the rest of the audience is still in receive mode – they’re just starting to get it, but we’ve moved on.”

#3 Getting your message across effectively
“One of the critical things in any kind of communications – a bit like Tony Blair’s ‘education, education, education’ –  is you’ve got to repeat something 100 times before people receiving the message have heard it once or twice, or probably 1,000 times before they’ve heard it as many times as you need them to.”

#4 Closer integration between internal and external communications
“Unless you get the internal comms right, it’s very hard to get the rest of it right. If we can’t engage our colleagues in the story and the change, or simply tell them about it effectively, then it’s going to be difficult to do it with anybody else.”

#5 The power of listening
“By collaborating with people across the business, and listening and understanding what they want from their communications, you’re in a better position to influence them about what is potentially more helpful for them.”

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