AB Thinks  →  4th December 2023

Three ways to find the time to be more strategic

Are you in an internal comms team of one? Many are, and it can be a lonely place when fielding requests from all corners of the business, trying to think strategically and maintaining that steady drumbeat of organisational updates.

To snag our seat at the strategy table and really make an impact in an organisation, we must find a way to streamline the always-on updates, bulletins and need-to-knows, and free up time to build stakeholder relationships and focus on the bigger picture.

On a recent episode of The Internal Comms Podcast, Katie Macaulay was joined by Emily Hecker. Emily is the author of Me, Myself and IC: A Guide to Building Internal Communication as a Team of One.

An internal communications strategist, author, and certified communication management professional, she has a decade of experience of single-handedly running the IC function for a range of organisations. So, who better to give us a lessons in how best to succeed as an internal comms team of one?

Here are her top tips.

Get to the point
A lesson Emily learned from her training in journalism is to employ the inverted pyramid in every piece of comms. That means putting all the important messages up front, so your audience can take in the message without too much effort. There are a range of key messages you need to get out to your colleagues, and a long piece of prose is not always the answer.

“It’s about removing that idea of a scavenger hunt from your content,” said Emily. “You want it to be very straightforward for your audience, so they know what they’re getting and why it matters to them right at the outset.”

Ask yourself the ‘five Ws’
Go back to the basics.

Why does your audience need to know this? Who is it for? What does it mean? When must it be actioned? And where does it apply?

“You’ve answered all the questions before the audience has an opportunity to ask them,” says Emily. And that’s key to landing your message.

Keep it simple
Accessibility should always be at the top of mind. You’ll often be writing for colleagues from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences, for whom English may not be their first language. Or perhaps they simply won’t have time to sift through jargon and find the main takeaway. You should make sure they don’t have to. As Emily told Katie: “Just focus on core accessible language.”

Discover a huge variety of tips, tricks and advice in episode 91 of The Internal Comms Podcast.