By Aysha Ahmed on August 09, 2022
4 minute read
Become an IC Superstar: Advice from Some of the Best in the Field  

Welcome to part two of our internal communications advice series designed to help internal communications professionals unleash their superstardom.  

Internal communications professionals truly are superstars. Now is the time to fully unleash your superstardom - and be recognized for it!  

We tapped in our network of top internal communications professionals and gathered their best advice on how to do this.  

Here’s who they are and what they had to say: 

Abhijit Shankar On Being Top-Of-Mind 

Founder of ZEducatr Global I Ex-Chief of Communications, UNICEF

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Expert Advice  

“Having a seat at the table or not, you definitely need to be top-of-mind recall for the senior management of the organization. I'll give you a quick anecdote. 

I received it from the executive director who is sort of the CEO of UNICEF. He emailed me late at night about a certain initiative that he wanted to see implemented. He sent me an email saying, can you make this happen? The next morning, I went to his office before everybody else came in, and I told him that I did not have the budget to make this thing happen. And he just gave me a few words, he said that I may not have the budget, but I do have the influence to make it happen. And eventually, I was able to.  

That is the rule that I would want to see for internal communication in all organizations - that you create an influence for yourself, whether or not you have a seat at the table or a throne.” 

Source: The Strategic Case for Internal Communication: Six Reasons for Ramping it up now. 

About Abhijeet  

Abhijit is the former head of communications at the United Nations where he established and led the internal communications function for more than a decade. His experience over the years has increased employee engagement and bridged the gap between the front-line and the C-suite with meaningful ripple effects in the organization. He is now spearheading an EdTech venture, ZEducatr, whose mission is to make education equitable and affordable for every student globally. He is also a geopolitical commentator for several global newspapers.

Jonas Bladt Hansen On Thinking Holistically 

Partner at ConnectMinds

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Expert Advice  

“Think holistic. Try to see the business as one whole piece. Also, do not assume that your leaders (the CEO, and so on) know everything about internal comms. Ask questions. Be curious.  

Make sure to challenge people because sometimes people assume that internal comms can do specific things. But, if you want to jump out of the hamster wheel, you must dare to ask some more questions and challenge people.” 

Source: Employee Engagement or BUSINESS IMPACT? It's Time to Choose. 

About Jonas  

Jonas Bladt Hansen is an award-winning consultant and top internal comms leader from Denmark. He is also a partner in a global peer-learning organization, ConnectMinds, where he facilitates peer learning groups focusing on employee experience and internal communication in Germany and Denmark. He has been in the internal comms space for close to 20 years now and has a relentless focus on linking internal comms activities to business outcomes.

Priya Bates On Focusing On Strategy  

President and Owner at Inner Strength Communication

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Expert Advice  

“Focus on the strategy, not the tactics. Internal Communication is an integral enabler of business success, but only if Internal Communication is approached strategically versus tactically and only if Internal Communication believes it can use communication solutions and expertise to solve significant business problems.  

Internal communication professionals are working long hours running on hamster wheels, doing a lot of stuff, but not necessarily having a lot of impact. We really need to be very, very purposeful, and very strategic about our approach so that we're creating that alignment for the organizations and ending in the results, and the impacts the organizations will see as valuable.” 

Source: Employee Engagement or BUSINESS IMPACT? It's Time to Choose. 

About Priya  

Priya Bates is an award-winning professional communicator with a passion for driving robust performance from the inside out. As President and owner of Inner Strength Communication, Priya builds strategic internal communication, engagement, branding, and transformational change plans that help connect the dots between business strategy and employee delivery. She aims to help shape the future of internal communication tools through the knowledge and experience she has gained in her 20+ year career, which will further help organizations enable, engage, and empower employees to manage change and deliver results.

Mike Klein On Being Prepared 

Founder of #WeLeadComms 

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Expert Advice  

“With all the talks going around about a global recession, chances are we may hear it officially by the federal government in the coming weeks or months. As communication pros, we don’t always have the power to select the best circumstances for ourselves and our profession.  But we can always be prepared for whatever circumstances arise.   

The fact remains that we can continue to offer great support, and even improve that support, in times of financial challenge.  But we need to be able to make that case convincingly, both to the people we report to, and to ourselves.    

Don’t be afraid if you don’t have everything in order.  This year has been hard to predict and prepare for. But do try to make up for lost time.  And this is the time to be proactive - expect that everyone we compete with for resources will be ready to ride.” 

Source: Recession Proofing the Internal Comms Profession  

About Mike  

Mike is the founder and principal of Changing the Terms, a consultancy focused on internal communications, change, and social communication. For more than 20 years, Mike has worked with organizations in the United States and Europe on pressing strategic communication challenges and has become a prolific writer and commentator on internal communication strategy topics. He believes that internal communication professionals deserve better - better tools to do their jobs well, a better way to understand the impact that their work has on significant business outcomes, and a seat at the executive table. 

Chris Izquierdo On Stepping Up 

CEO of Sparrow Connected 

CEO, Chris Izquierdo quotes MS integration tool for internal comms pros. (1)

Expert Advice 

“Recent studies have made it absolutely clear that the employees are disengaged and stressed out. 

As an internal communications professional, you may be wondering what low employee engagement and high employee stress mean to you and your role. The way I see it, the current state of today’s workforce means that as a diverse, global community of smart, talented internal communications professionals, we can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing.  

We have an opportunity to affect real change in our organizations and the lives of employees by stepping up and sharing new ideas and strategies with our leadership teams. We need to collaborate more within our organizations – with leadership, HR, marketing, operations, etc. and with one another to share ideas and work together to improve the state of the global workforce.“ 

Source: Employees Are Disengaged & Stressed Out: Why Internal Comms Should Care  

About Chris  

Chris is a celebrated Canadian business leader, founder, and CEO. Currently, he is the CEO of Sparrow Connected, a workforce communication platform that transforms the employee experience and helps communication professionals send the right message, to the right employees, on their preferred channels. He works to elevate the internal communications profession and supports internal communications professionals by sharing his insights and challenging them to embrace change, be more agile, and measure outcomes. 

Looking for more great advice from IC pros? Get more here. 

Get to know Sparrow Connected 

Sparrow Connected gives internal communications teams across the globe the tools they need to measure AND be recognized for what actually matters - business impact. Let's elevate internal communications together. Book A Demo today! 

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