We are experiencing a time in our lives, both personally and professionally, that we will never forget.
The coronavirus pandemic has challenged the internal communication profession like never before, as we work at a different pace with a volume of change that has been difficult to navigate – all while the future and long-term impact remains unknown.
But through this hardship, we have seen a greater recognition and value for what we are capable of – because communication matters. It is continuous action that has enabled us to unite as people, giving clarity in uncertainty (even if we don't have the answers). Through a true sense of community and belonging, we have supported the wellbeing of our people.
At IoIC, our focus has been on supporting our members with the very best advice and practical resources possible, offering spaces to share challenges and concerns and bringing together our community to support each other through these times.
We created our Coronavirus Advice Centre with dedicated IoIC resources and curated content. It now hosts over 75 articles, toolkits and thought pieces. We have transitioned our activities online with a series of webinars and the launch of virtual training, and ensured our qualifications can continue to be delivered remotely. I am incredibly grateful to the team at IoIC and our amazing volunteers and contributors who have made this possible.
During this time, we have also been working as part of the Government Communications Service Advisory Panel championing the views and role of internal communication during the crisis. We have offered input to guidance by CIPD on how to communicate with employees, and we continue to seek new opportunities to support other professions and the wider industry.
Sadly, we have also seen practitioners lose jobs, face redundancy and suffer significant loss in their income. To support them, we launched our six-month free membership offer.
Every day, it becomes clearer that we are not going to bounce back to the way things were quickly or, indeed, ever. But this presents opportunities for us to reimagine how this will change internal communication forever. None of us has a crystal ball and it will be a continuous process of learning, reflecting and adapting alongside our organisations and the needs of our employees – but what we have learned is that human-centred communication has never been more critical.
We will continue to do our best to support you through the challenges ahead and champion your work because #WeMatterAtWork.
Coronavirus Advice Centre
A dedicated space on IoIC's website collates the Institute's guidance, as well as content from other online sources, to help communicators navigate through the crisis. More than 75 links offer insight and tips on topics including mental health and wellbeing, remote working, leadership, platforms and "the new normal", as well as toolkits and downloadable resources.
IoIC ran a survey to find out IC practitioners' priorities and challenges, and the mood of their organisations, in the early weeks of lockdown. Almost 500 people responded, 90% of whom believe the crisis will have a positive impact on the profession.
Government Advisory Panel
The Government Communication Service launched an advisory panel, which includes IoIC, to provide strategic leadership, and career support to comms professionals whose roles have been impacted by Covid-19.
6-month free membership
IoIC is offering six-month membership for free to those who have been made redundant or, as a self-employed practitioner, seen a significant decline in their income as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
Building on the insights from IoIC's Covid-19 survey, Liz Cochrane, IoIC Board director and Masters director, has written a series of commentary pieces on what we have learned and best practice that can help IC professionals move forward.
Covid-19 LinkedIn network
IoIC has created a network on LinkedIn where IC professionals can share – and ask for – advice, best practice and resources to help support their audiences through the Covid-19 crisis.
With social distancing guidelines restricting face-to-face training taking place as planned, IoIC has adapted many of its courses and all qualifications to take place online.
IoIC set up a taskforce of IC experts to better understand the profession's ongoing work in dealing with the pandemic. The group will examine the challenges, the concerns of employees, and how government communication is helping – or hindering – internal comms activity.