5 ways internal communicators can boost their impact

Being part of the engine that drives cultural change and fulfills the organization’s mission is compelling, perhaps even addictive. Here are whys and hows for increasing your career buzz.

How to drive comms change

Most writing about internal communications focuses on how internal communicators should do their jobs, and how they can justify their existence to their employers.

Very little, though, is written about why they chose it as a line of work or, for that matter, a calling.

Consider two factors:

  • Seeing the impact of your internal comms work, live and in real time, is addictive.
  • There’s a certain bravery in altering the flow of history, regardless of whether the change is minuscule or massive.

Here are five tips for internal communicators to help you maximize your impact:

1. Ask the best questions.

Two “tricks” yield stronger, less predictable responses.

First, ask for three answers: “What are your three biggest challenges?” or, “What are your three biggest competitive pressures?”

Second, ask the same basic question from different angles: “What are your biggest challenges?” and, “What are your most pressing challenges?”

2. Generate and share insightful data.

Senior leaders love measurement—not just eyeballs and hits—but real numbers that accelerate understanding and conversations. Measure changes in attitudes, and track the extent to which your stakeholders embrace or reject your depictions of proposed changes in your organizations, markets and communities.

3. Seize the power of the pen (or touchpad).

As internal communicators, we propose new ideas, create language and sharpen messages and actions.

Words have influence. Even in a world that prizes digital and visual brilliance and the certainty of numbers, words are our currency, giving internal communication lasting impact.

Writers should draft ambitiously and gracefully accept editing. Those who edit are not here to edit texts, but to edit the world in which those words are received.

4. Be crystal clear on your organization’s goals and ambitions.

Once you are clear on where the organization wants to go, you can drive it there—perhaps more quickly than your peers and colleagues think possible.

5. Mobilize your satisfied customers.

These people can testify to the impact you deliver and to the value your interventions create for their organizations and for them individually. They can provide access to new networks and function as sources for case stories you will share.

If you are seeking more impact, ask yourself what more you can do, what more you can learn, and who else you can join forces with.

Have courage. Be willing to take the initiative in propelling your organization beyond where it normally goes—in pursuit of its own objectives and ambitions.

Mike Klein is an internal communicator, writer and owner of Changing the Terms. A version of this post first appeared on the H&H blog.

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