An interview conducted by Student Comms Chat on the 24th of May 2020 by Chatter Yulia Zaytseva with Rita Zonius on Instagram TV.
Internal Communications (IC) is a c-suite function, a management function designed to mobilise people around the things that matter the most to an organisation and to have the right people to be doing the right things inside the organisation.
The role of Internal Communications in organisations:
“Bottom line, as communicators, we are not just communicating.
We communicate with the purpose of helping out organisations to progress”Rita Zonius
Organisations have a business strategy whether it is a government agency, corporate or NGO. We have a strategy and communicators are there to implement that Internal communications is a very important part of that.
- Outside organistion: Interface with the external world with providing a narrative to tell outside to stakeholders
- Inside organisation: There are the people who either bring strategy to life and fulfil it or be a hindrance to it
At its core, that is what good strategic internal communications is:
- Facilitating business strategy, rather than writing stories to put on the front page of the internet cause we want to have stories there.
- Internal communication is imperative to bring to life the business strategy.
The role of Internal Communications considers employees, friends, colleagues and co-workers who are the most important stakeholders.
Benefits of working in Internal Communications:
It is a great way to learn the intricacies of an organisation better is by spending time in Internal Communications. Additionally, you get exposure in media relations but it’s only surface level and not at a deeper level.
A joy of Internal Communications is about knowing something deeply by getting inside the organisation. You get to understand how you could help people connect the strategy on a personal level (its a great place to start your career).
Connecting with senior practitioners in organisations because you’re helping the organisation tell their stories.
Building culture within organisations with Internal Communications:
Internal Communications enables strategy with the objective to build a more open and collaborative culture in the organisation. It’s not only a tool for enabling culture but also a tool to enable hard business.
The culture has changed where it was previously about controlling the message, managing the message and how we would present certain things to people. The reality is now the barriers of internal and external communications are down. People want to work in organisations that have a purpose, that mean something to them and that they can connect with. People shop around to work in organisations that align with their values, what that organisation is doing and selling, and importantly the contribution that organisation is making in the society today.
Additionally, great Internal Communication is having open transparent dialogue on an on-going basis with your people through good times and in bad. Your people are with you, walking down that road with you and enabling you to continue to run your business and to progress things. Connect with people in order to get them to connect on a personal level, or help them understand how their job contributes to the strategy and what ultimately helps to drive a cultural change as well.
IC has the power to influence leaders within org to do certain things, advice on important communication decisions feeling empowering and wonderful.
Link to IG TV: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CAjlEBel_6c/