AB Thinks  →  25th February 2020

‘Give a sh*t’ – six tips from the cheerleader for internal comms, Chuck Gose

AB Thinks

Duran Duran, Comms and Cocktails and a few IC home truths – the character that is Chuck Gose comes to life during this fascinating conversation with Katie for the launch episode of season 3 of The IC Podcast.

Chuck talks about his early inspiration, work and how he’s a bridge between comms and tech. He also shares his hopes for the future of IC and offers some wise words of career advice for internal comms folk.

Tune into the full interview for more.

#1 – Don’t be overwhelmed by tech
“People do like to talk about ‘oh my gosh there are too many channels’. And my point is ‘no, there are so many channels – there are so many opportunities’.

“It shouldn’t be overwhelming because as employees they are going to consume content, they are going to get information, they are going to connect with what they are most comfortable with. As communicators, it’s our responsibility to build those bridges to connect.”

#2– Let’s evolve from being button pushers
“We need to empower communicators to let them share, so we no longer have to be the button pushers and the order takers. We’re facilitating conversations and truly being that trusted advisor that we hear everybody talking about that they want to be. Be that trusted advisor by advising and getting the hell out of the way and letting other people do their own communication but giving them the guidance to help them be better communicators.

“That’s what I would like to see from the internal comms world, to stop being that gateway, stop being the ones that say ‘we are the ones that send it out, we are the ones that publish’. I still think communicators should be publishing somethings, communicating other things. But I really would love to see us be that facilitator and advisor on communications and not the button pushers.”

#3 – Be a problem solver
“One piece of advice I give to communicators, especially if they are struggling with leadership, is to go talk to them and say to them ‘what keeps you up at night? What are your big issues?’ [Find out] what angle is going to work with that leader and then use communications to solve  those problems. Whatever their issue is, help them solve a problem, don’t just be a communicator – be a problem solver for the business.

“That is when you start to deliver value back. Really focus in on how you can use communication to solve a problem they’re facing – that’s when you start to build that relationship and be that advisor. We want leaders to come to us eventually, but it’s okay if we go to them at the beginning.”

#4 – Stop ‘commsplaining’
“We came up with this ‘commsplaining’ term because there’s been this epidemic use of ‘well we can’t do this because of that’.

“I hear it all the time from communicators: ‘oh my gosh, my employees will never download an app’. But they’ve never asked their employees if they would. We’re just projecting our own fears, biases – whatever word you want to use.

“It drives me crazy when you hear communicators say today our attention spans are shrinking or we’ve got a shorter attention span than a goldfish. When you look at it, that’s a completely BS data point. There’s no science behind it. Of course, we don’t have the attention span of goldfish. We will binge watch hours on Netflix… Your content is really boring, that’s what it is.”

#5 – No-one is perfect and there’s no perfect career path
“You are never going to get perfection. You are just setting yourself up for failure if you think you are going to get there. Don’t focus on being perfect.

“And another piece of advice I have is, don’t remotely think you know what is going to happen. There is no way I could have mapped that journey to where I am now. Take those opportunities that are presented to you, really seize them, maximise them and focus on what is best for you in your career. All opportunities, all experiences, are there for the taking. Leverage each one, max an opportunity, keep building on the opportunity, even if it means you leave IC for a little bit then come back. It is going to make you a better communicator overall.”

#6 – Be a hungry communicator
“Hungry communicators care – when you give a sh*t about something you care about it. I love to see when people really care, whether it’s a really big thing or a little thing. I like it when people give a sh*t because they put emotion, passion and interest into it.”