Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Year, new energy....but slacking clients

So I was back at my desk at about 8.30 yesterday morning, ready for the first piece of work of the new year - a structured research interview with a banker in Malaysia as part of the diagnostic phase of a piece of work I'm involved in. The phone rang....and rang....and rang....and switched to voicemail.

She'd delayed her return to work by a day leaving me an hour of thumb twiddling. Actually, she set the pattern for the day and for today too. I'm here, ready to pick up and run with three on-going projects, and pretty much all my clients are seemingly still tied to their duvets. Most finished work between December 20 and 22, and some won't be back for another week. In fact the common break seems to be December 22 - January 8! All right for some....

Anyway, it gave me time to think about what I'd like to see in internal comms on 007 (that's this year, not James Bond).

First, I'd like to see IC properly embedded in the business - not as the stand alone function that's approached for set-piece communication, but as the lubricant that helps to enable an organisation to be successful. That means being a key part of the business decision making process - not being an in-house publisher for previously minted decisions. That means enlightened leadership in organisations - and the resource to ensure IC can be a player not a wallflower.

Second, I'd like to see communicators think impact first and output second. Let's focus on what we need to achieve for the business and why first, and then look at how afterwards.

Third, I'd like in-house communicators to shift from thinking that they own the media to thinking about how they can encourage everyone in the business to communicate better. We're far stronger as facilitators and expert helpers than simply as writers and editors.

Fourth, I'd like to see a far greater take-up of the new tools inside organisations. Too few think beyond the newsletter and intranet - now we've got to look at horses for courses - far more audience segmentation, and far more effort to reach all our internal communities and create the right conversations with them.

Slowly it's happening. Slowly we're inching forward.

Anyway, happy New Year.....that's if you're back in the office yet.

1 comment:

Tom Keefe said...


I've enjoyed reading your blog posts, and will bookmark your site for return trips.

Your frustrated attempts to connect with clients at this time of year is understandable. But as a worker who also is a husband and father, I have to say that I would choose time off with family over work any time. I did mistakenly believe that I would find time while on vacation to post to blogs. That didn't happen.

I agree with the strategic direction to communications that you highlight in your list of "what I'd like to see in internal comms." My company is moving VERY slowly in considering new communication methods, like blogging and podcasting, for its internal communications. As you said, we're slowly inching forward.