Challenging Internal Comms (i)
Following on from the recent launch of our podcast - The Voracious Nomad - we welcomed Harriet Small to our first episode. Harriet is the author of the blog Comms Over Coffee and has worked in internal comms for the better part of the past decade.
What is your favourite part of internal communications, especially since you’ve been in the industry for a while?
I love the people. The people who are in comms a lot of them have a passion for the job and a real passion for making a difference. Regardless of people who I have met working in local government, offering a service, central government or for charities or even the private sector - there is a real love for what comms is about and the impact it can have in a business.
What is the biggest challenge for Internal Communications?
One of the biggest challenges in pace, because we live in a much faster world. When I began my career twelve years ago, you could go out with a dictaphone and the story would be out in two or three days. Nevertheless, now that everything is on social - via social media and the like - you’ve got the pressure of being instant.
Resilience is really important in this industry. It is really important to be able to deal with that workload and pressure, as well as being able to adapt to that change is incredibly hard. Dealing with the uncertainty everything is important, especially in a post-Brexit narrative.
Storytelling is integral to successful internal comms. It is really inspiring how people have found new ways of telling stories and engaging with their own stories. There is a lot of this happening at the moment, for example with HSBC and their recent adverting campaign of 'Europe and the rest of the world'. I strongly believe that we need to be able to tell our stories and in a way that captivates people, getting to the essence of what we do.
What about your industry are you most focused on and love the most?
I recently listened to Russel Grossman's latest podcasts episode and was inspired. I actually met from him in person last year and mentioned something really interesting. The notion that future directors and leaders in Comms need to be well rounded particularly resonated with me.
I really love Internal comms, as you can see impact straight away. I am absolutely fascinated about digital, and at how much you can do in one space at a low cost. One of my favourite parts of this industry is being a part of a project where it requires a bit of every skill set. It’s hard to cherry pick and you need to be well rounded.
Ultimately it is important to be well rounded and be versatile. There is a need to be able to pick up skills in a fast-paced changing environment.