AB Thinks  →  29th September 2022

How to combat IC isolation

It’s no secret that many internal comms professionals work in isolation. Often the sole practitioner in the business, a lack of understanding of the role or how it fits into wider business objectives can make it a lonely position. But, as employee engagement enters the zeitgeist, it’s time for internal comms professionals take their rightful place at the table both in the office and beyond.

In the kick-off episode of The Internal Comms Podcast season 8, host Katie Macaulay sits down with Kristin Hancock, co-founder and VP of Community and Engagement at ICology. ICology positions itself as “a resource for corporate communicators looking for the latest advice and information on internal communication”. And in the spirit of fostering community across the function, Kristin shares some invaluable advice for those seeking to combat ‘IC isolation’.

Here are four tips for combatting IC isolation:

#1 Leverage measurement to your advantage
Now more than ever, employee engagement is integral to business success, as productivity, talent retention and wellbeing all serve to boost the bottom line. Use measurement to land the message with your superiors about just how important the internal comms function is. “The more that we focus on what we measure, the more that we will be able to produce ROI on our activities and show value for our roles,” says Kristin.

#2 Build your knowledge in other disciplines
Another factor that will help the C-suite and executives understand your role is if you understand theirs. Kristin counsels that IC professionals should learn “just enough” about other disciplines – finance, HR, IT, etc – to have conversations about those topics with people at executive levels.

#3 Seek community – both inside and outside of work
Having someone to bounce ideas off is vital, says Kristin, but difficult to do if you’re the only person from an IC background in your business. Seek community through social media groups, become a member of communities like ICology, and attend industry events. It’s well worth your time to make connections with those who understand what you do – and can offer useful hints and tips.

#4 Approach a mentor
Reach out to someone you admire in the industry to see whether they’d be open to becoming your mentor. When doing so, Kristin advises to state your intention clearly – whether you’re seeking advice, want to run a creative idea past them, or have a particular question – and ask for 20 minutes of their time. Most will be more than happy to oblige.

Tune into the full conversation between Katie and Kristin on The Internal Comms Podcast, and don’t forget to subscribe!