What makes a great Internal Communications Manager?

Date posted: 10 May 2021  |  Posted in: Communication

What do you look for when recruiting internal communications talent? As an interim internal communications leader for businesses across multiple sectors, I’ve often had to build or rebuild internal comms teams. Here are the skills I look for when recruiting an internal comms professional.

1. Commerciality and Business Acumen

CEOs and leadership teams want communicators who are on their wave length. That means people with strong business sense who can tap into the leadership team’s view of the organisation, its strategy and priorities and talk their language. To earn a voice at the top table, today’s IC managers need to be able to link internal communications plans intrinsically with the business strategy – actively supporting delivery of business priorities.

2. Strong people skills – at all levels

Of course internal comms specialists need to be able to work confidently with leadership teams and stakeholders across their organisation, and be a trusted advisor… but they also need to be equally adept at connecting with the front line and staying in touch with their issues. A key part of our role in IC is to improve connectivity between leadership teams and front line employees so an ability to relate to all levels is essential. You have to be a people person!

3. Brilliant writing

It should go without saying that an Internal Comms Manager must be able to write well. So I’m amazed when I come across internal communicators who lack this basic skill! From key message development, telling business stories and drafting blogs, the ability to create accurate, compelling content is fundamental to the role. And the first ‘red flag’ is often a poorly written CV…

4. Expert channels management

A great IC pro needs to be able to develop and manage an effective suite of channels. It’s no longer simply about face-to-face, email and intranet, but in the digital era we have a much broader spectrum that now includes platforms such as Yammer and Workplace. Making them work together is a key skill. And creativity is key – particularly with millennials who are looking for more creative, engaging comms.

5. Great at planning change comms

Change is a constant know in many organisations and major transformation programmes are common place. Internal comms managers need to be great at pulling together change communication plans. This means factoring in multiple and diverse audiences, cross-geographical teams, resource availability and timing around other business activity, giving the comms maximum chance of a successful landing.

The Internal Comms Team can provide you with brilliant internal communications resource, through a day rate contract with one of our experienced, trusted associates, or by sourcing IC talent for your FTC role. Check out how we can help here.

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