future of comms

What will 2017 bring for internal communication?

Internal Communication blog and movement IC Kollectif closed out 2016 by asking a number of experts around the world the following question:

What would be your greatest hope for the internal communication profession for the year 2017? 


This year, I have had the fortune to work with some excellent communication practitioners. Through IABC and CEB I have also met IC leaders from a range of industries. Common to many of the conversations have been two opposing ideas: we need to manage new challenges facing the world of work, and we still need to improve our core practice.

I thought about how the past year has presented new challenges for communication.

Life in organisations requires us to continue to adapt. At the intersection of the technological, social, and geopolitical shifts of 2016 is a revolution in work. The World Economic Forum describe this as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In the face of these factors, how do communicators look forward, when so much time is spent in the trenches where the battles of value creation, tactical execution, and the push for strategic influence are fought.

My hope for our profession in 2017 is that we develop our practices in ways that contribute: creating connections, cutting through complexity, and growing empathy.

The breadth of responses from communicators including Shel Holtz, Claire Watson, Jim Shaffer, Liam Fitzpatrick and Rachel Miller provides an optimistic take on how we tackle the big picture and the detail of our practice in the new year.

Read my full response, along with 25 others at ICKollectif.com

Engage employees with better communication choice

Technology has changed the way we consume information outside organisations, and it is natural that we want the same choices within. Companies that incorporate channel choice in their communication mix will win the war for engagement.

Find out the seven ways you can improve the choices for employee communication channels in this presentation.

For more information, see the article Changing channels: why employees demand freedom of information choice on LinkedIn Pulse.

Three blogs on the Back to the Future thing that are worth your travel time #bttfd

Topical, light-hearted and listicle friendly. That is why Back to the Future Day has given the whole content marketing tribe a little shot of Pepsi and a jolt of lightning.

Aside from the ‘what they got right and wrong about the future’ trope that has even the scientist-communicators on board, it is an opportunity for reflection on what has changed in culture – and in specific industries – since then.

Communicators and marketers are no exception. Here are three #bttfd pieces that are worth your travel time.

All Things IC

An early contender, Rachel Miller came out strong with a piece on timeless advice for communication professionals.

The future may not be here as it was imagined in the films, but I think it’s an exciting time to be working in the field of communication and be interested in all things technology related.

I agree with much of Rachel’s list of timeless principles for Internal Communication, including

  • Trust is the currency of communication.
  • There’s no such thing as purely ‘internal’ communication.
  • Don’t view communication as something you do to employees, but for and with them.
  • The role of professional communicators has shifted from content creatorsto content curators.
  • Work is a thing you do, not a place you go.

See her full article for more advice.

B and T

B and T have taken the opportunity to look at the marketing efforts around the date, including the emphasis on digital, and the need to develop marketer’s skills in a changing world, through a guest post from ADMA CEO, Jodie Sangster.

It is striking in the number of available and cross-channel consumer touch points the campaign will to reach today versus the number that existed when the movies was released in 1989. Digital, social, video and mobile were, in some cases, decades away (CEO of Snapchat Evan Spiegel was yet to be born) and the idea brands would have access to terabytes of data, most of which has been generated in the last few years alone, would be as fanciful as Marty’s hover-board.

Read the full piece at B&T.

The Conversation

And rather than looking back, The Conversation has invited some of the brightest future focussed researchers, thinkers and academics to consider what will things look like in 30 years time.

Digital everpresence will disturb existing political systems enabling individuals to transcend territorial boundaries and wield digital influence outside of the nation state. Everpresent personas will disrupt domestic political orders transforming the Earth. Thas Nirmalathas, Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Melbourne

A thought-provoking read at the intersection of speculation and technological progress.