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Getting to know our Fellows: Michala Griffin

Michala Griffin, head of internal communications at Gallagher UK, received a Fellowship from IoIC in 2020. In this Q&A, she shares with us what she finds rewarding about internal communication and where she sees the profession heading in the future. In this Q&A, we find out why he’s remained in the profession for so long, and where he sees it heading in the future.  

What does it mean to you to be an IoIC Fellow?
I’m from Yorkshire and, as they say here, “I’m chuffed to bits”, which means I’m really pleased! It’s a wonderful recognition to receive as it acknowledges my contribution to the IC profession over the years, not only from my peers but also from within my organisation. 
I think any affiliation to IoIC, whether that’s through being an active member or gaining qualifications, really bolsters the work of IC professionals and, of course, the individual.
What do you find rewarding about internal comms?
Where do I start? There are so many rewarding things about IC, but for me, it’s seeing the impact of your communications reaching colleagues and truly making a difference, whether it’s a return on your investment – our inclusion and diversity engagement increased five points in our annual colleague survey last year – or it touching someone who becomes further engaged as a result. 
I get great satisfaction from getting involved with the complex and making it simple; making the less attractive stuff more exciting; and also telling stories.
What has been your biggest achievement working in internal comms?
That’s an interesting question because throughout my career, I’ve felt that just as I’ve achieved something, I look up and there’s something else ahead of me to strive for. 
Most recently, I would say it’s been the huge team achievement of keeping our 5,000 colleagues engaged, educated and informed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. I can safely say that it’s been one of the most fast-paced crisis communications situations that I have ever worked on in my career. 
As all IC professionals will know, there have been long hours, lots – and lots – of meetings, discussions and wider teamwork with the business to keep things moving, responsive and agile to the ever-changing direction lockdown and return to office has brought. 
Where do you see internal comms heading in the future? 
Technology will continue to move on and new trends will continue to emerge, but I expect there to be a lot of the same as right now: what I’ve heard described as “the classics” – the storytelling, the engagement, authenticity and being trusted advisers. 
There will be closer alignments with HR too – things like the employer brand, which is a HR-driven process, such as attracting, retaining and developing talent. IC will be key in helping drive the engagement of that. 
As IC professionals, we need to be considering driving digital as a way to reach, connect and engage colleagues. IC practitioners should continue to remain agile, be business savvy and aware of current affairs and how it impacts our work and storytelling, as well as always remembering to measure so that IC continues to demonstrate ROI. 
We shouldn’t forget to think about our own development too – we can often be so busy helping to drive the business strategy that we can neglect our needs, and that is why IoIC is such a great resource for us all.
What can IoIC do to support practitioners through these challenges, and how would you like to get involved?
I hope I can help IoIC continue to look for ways for professionals to add value, and to share best practice from across multiple industries. 
I also think mentoring is key to supporting the IC community, and not just traditional mentoring. There’s a lot that can be learned from reverse mentoring and I’d like to explore more of that from within IC.
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