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Broadcast is over as a form of communication – that was the blunt message from IoIC’s Business Communicator of the Year Justine Roberts as she collected her prize at a ceremony in London.

“There’s no such thing as broadcasting any more,” the founder of online discussion group Mumsnet told those gathered for the Institute’s Communicator of the Year lunch at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel.

“Everything is a dialogue and everyone has a say,” she continued. “That’s probably quite hard in the business world, but also unbelievably empowering. If your customers are stakeholders as well, you can really build something.”

Justine received her trophy from IoIC president Suzanne Peck who pointed out that Mumsnet has five million visitors a month and 60 million page views – all started from an idea and an initial organisation run from Justine’s back bedroom.

“Mumsnet shares advice on everything from parenting to products and services,” said Suzanne. “It’s really like all those conversations that take place every day in our places of work.

“It’s a long way from internal communication but we can all learn from what’s she’s done – have an idea, believe in it, build it, make it a reality and communicate it clearly.”

Justine added that she was accepting the award on behalf of everyone working at Mumsnet, which has a bloggers’ network of 5,000.

“I feel a little bit fraudulent being up here for my communication skills which are generally known as quite blunt and direct,” she explained. “But I feel it’s about Mumsnet really – and that’s about having a conversation.

“I’m much better behind a keyboard having a conversation. But this award is for Mumsnet, a tremendous group of women who deserve this much more than me.”
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