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Experts’ verdict: what makes a good internal communications manager?

Experts verdict: what makes a good IC manager?

July 15, 2014

What are the key qualities we need as IC professionals to help drive engagement and business results across our organisations?

We asked members of the IC community for their thoughts on what makes a good internal communications manager…

IC educator Kevin Ruck believes understanding, courage and curiosity are the key qualities needed for successful internal comms professionals.

In one of our most popular news stories in 2014, Kevin, the founder of the educational body PR Academy, claims great internal communications manager can translate corporate messages into easily digestible content for employees.

He said: “Understanding what employees want to know is the key – don’t just tell them the information that you think senior managers want to tell them.

“For example, if you’re asked to send out an email briefing about change comms, you might feel it’s better to have a face-to-face discussion instead.

“Being a good IC manager means you have to be confident in your position.”

So what does make a good IC manager? Do you agree with Kevin’s verdict?

Here are some of your opinions:

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Debra Forte, Savills UK internal comms manager.
Debra Forte, Savills UK internal comms manager.

Debra Forte, internal communications manager, Savills UK

“A good IC manager needs to be a good listener, have strong negotiation skills and to also be a bit of a risk taker – they have to push for new ideas rather than doing what has always been done.

“Senior management are often adverse to change, so make sure you understand the culture of your organisation and what’s important to them.

“Then you’ll know how to sell the benefits of internal comms to them.

“Understand what drives your organisation and constantly seek feedback.”

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Viktoria Tegard, head of internal communications, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd
Viktoria Tegard, head of internal communications, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd

Viktoria Tegard, head of internal communications, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd

“A good IC manager will quickly build rapport with people at all levels, and will have strong influencing skills as getting stakeholders to by into your suggestions for change can be a challenge.

“It’s important to be tenacious and not give up on ideas for improvement too quickly.

“Having a collaborative approach is key, as is attending networking events to get updates on the challenges that other IC professionals are facing in their companies.”

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Kinga Nagy, internal communications manager operations Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Kinga Nagy, internal communications manager operations Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Kinga Nagy, internal communications manager operations Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

“A well-rounded, courageous, confident and proactive person is what’s needed to be a good IC manager.

“It is important that you are constantly willing to explore and to understand the different audiences within the organisation in order to decide what communications tactic needs to be used for the best outcome.

“A good IC manager needs to have the gravitas to promote the communications strategy that supports the business objectives.

“More importantly you need to be measurable. Leaders are interested in hard numbers. In order to show the value communications can add you need to identify KPIs that are clearly linked to business objectives.”

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