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2019: An opportunity to pause, reflect and plan our future

The end of any year always provides opportunities to pause for a moment and reflect on everything that we have achieved over the last 12 months as well as look ahead to the future. For the IoIC, the end of 2019 provides an even more significant opportunity to just do that as we come to the end of the year in which we've celebrated our 70th anniversary as a professional body.

This year, we have continued to see our membership increase, welcoming over 700 new joiners and seeing over 450 delegates attend training courses, alongside continued growth in students undertaking our qualifications. This in itself tells a great story of our growth as a defined and credible profession building our skills and competencies to deliver the highest possible standards of internal communication.

Our 70th anniversary has been a fantastic opportunity for us to look back at our journey in establishing the internal communication profession. I have loved hearing about our evolution from broadcast to playing a role in unlocking the voices of employees and being at the forefront of driving conversations that have been critical to our society, and although I still feel we're in the beginning of a growing and exciting profession, we know that our foundations are built on a rich tapestry of knowledge and experience. As we look to the future, we know that truly feeling that we are part of something is central to our needs and we look forward to driving forward our #WeMatterAtWork campaign to advocate for the ways in which successful internal communication can foster that feeling in organisations. We fundamentally believe that how we communicate at work has the power to transform working lives by helping people feel engaged and purposeful - that they matter at work - and these are the attributes an organisation is going to need to be successful and achieve its goals. To help drive the conversation, we have hosted a range of thought pieces, personal blogs and stories and launched our card game to members to give them the tools to have those conversations. We also decided to support Mind as our chosen charity this year and raised over £1,900.

We also turned our focus to listening to our members' feedback and what they need to help them feel informed and supported in their IC work. Providing more guidance documentation has been the standout request and so we developed and implemented our content strategy which saw the launch of our new peer-reviewed factsheets. So far, with the support of our expert trainers, we've produced factsheets across topics to include Measurement, Diversity & Inclusion, Mental Health, Understanding Internal Audiences, Making Complex Messages Understandable and Planning, all of which have been reviewed by our Fellows to ensure we are giving the best possible advice. We're also working on creating more case studies from our award winners to give members the opportunity to see what others are doing and share ideas.

Another incredibly proud moment this year was brought to us from our FutureNet committee, our network dedicated to IC newcomers, who have given up their time to create the first ever IC Careers Guide. As a network they want to change the narrative from 'I fell into internal communication' to 'I fell in love with internal communication and chose it as my profession'. We have already leveraged the guide to deliver talks to undergraduates thinking about the communication career paths and look forward to driving our outreach agenda even further in 2020. We were also delighted to partner with the Taylor Bennet Foundation this year - a charity that exists to encourage more black, Asian and minority ethic (BAME) graduates to pursue a career in communications - and for whom we delivered an introductory session to the wonderful world of IC.

With all the new activities this year we have also continued to deliver our regional events programme with events in locations to include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, York, Birmingham, Oxford, Telford, Coventry, Bristol, Dublin and London. I am always incredibly grateful to the amazing volunteers who work with the IoIC to deliver these activities - their passion and dedication is just amazing. Our annual conference, IoIC Live, which focused on our #WeMatterAtWork agenda, saw its biggest attendance to date and our awards programmes reached stellar numbers to celebrate and showcase the very best in internal communication. Let's not forget Voice magazine too! We have delivered another year of fantastic features to help tackle the current and future challenges we face from future trends, employee voice, creating successful working environments to the blurring of internal and external communication.

We are also pleased to share the highlights of our Future of Work survey, which you can read here.

So, as we end 2019 I feel really proud of what has been another great year of achievements and I am incredibly grateful to the team at head office who work tirelessly alongside our volunteers to make all of this happen.

As we look to next year, we have lots more planned. We have been working with our new professional development advisory board to review the IoIC Competency Framework to ensure it is up to date with a profession which is continuously evolving in its skills and gravitas. In early 2020 we will be launching the latest version and embedding this across all of our professional development activities. We have also been undertaking some research to really understand what professionalisation means to people and how we can do more to support and advocate for internal communication as a defined profession, so watch this space as we report back in 2020.

Another key role of the IoIC is to scan the horizon, see what is happening in the wider world and help prepare everyone for the future with confidence. In 2019 we started our programme to look at the Future of Work, which is happening now. With change comes disruption but also opportunity and as organisations need to shift and adapt to maintain pace with the market it will require a greater emphasis on looking inwards to ensure they are building an organisation that will thrive, and that comes from working with its people. So in 2020 we will be giving you the insight into the trends, what this means for organisations and how internal communication will play a pivotal role.

Those are just some of the key highlights for 2020 with more projects in the pipeline to help support this amazing profession, so watch this space! To help make this happen we are also growing the team at head office in 2020 to help us reach out to more organisations and engage and work more effectively with our volunteers.

The IoIC is growing, as is the profession, and in 2020 we will continue to work to deliver the very best in professional development, events, networks and content to help you feel supported and proud of what you do every day.

Finally, I just want to say a big thank you to you, our members, for your support; all of our volunteers; the Board for giving up their time to drive us forward; and the team at head office who do an amazing job every day.

I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and New Year and we will see you in 2020 for what will be another fantastic year.

​Internal communication in 2020 - finding the midd...
The highlights of our FutureNet journey in 2019
 

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