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In 2021, Heather Armond, head of internal communications for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, joined IoIC’s impressive list of Fellows. In this Q&A, Heather shares what it means to her to be an IoIC Fellow, and why a commitment to continuous personal development is so important.


What does it mean to you to be an IoIC Fellow?

I was really excited to hear when it was confirmed that I was officially an IoIC Fellow. Those of us in internal comms often spend a lot of time working behind the scenes, so to be recognised by my peers and by a respected organisation such as the IoIC means a huge amount to me.

I’m always very proud of what I do for my company, but having it recognised externally and being extended the professional respect that what I’ve been doing over the years has been meaningful is a good thing. Many of my colleagues and connections have reached out and said very nice things as well, which feels great.

 

What led you to a career in internal comms, and why have you chosen to stay in the profession?

Around 20 years ago, I was living in Canada and looking to relocate to the UK. I worked at a small visitor attraction in Vancouver at the time as a marketing officer, and my role involved a lot of different comms elements.

I applied for a variety of jobs over in the UK that I had the right skills for, and I managed to secure a job in internal comms working for the Natural History Museum in London. Honestly, it wasn’t part of any grand plan – the right opportunity just arose, and I took it. I’ve been in the industry ever since.

There’s always something new and different to do in IC, with constant new challenges and things to learn. It keeps me curious, and I’m always learning, and that’s something I really value. I’m always looking to understand what people are thinking and how they’re processing information – and you get that every day in IC.

 

Why is a commitment to continuous personal development so important?

Our audience and the people we work with and support are always developing and changing, so if you’re not evolving yourself – and understanding how your industry is evolving – then there’s a risk you won’t be able to support and drive internal comms within your organisation effectively.

You’ll also likely be left behind. Almost every person I’ve met in this industry is very learning-focused.

 

What does the IC profession need to do to continue to support businesses in 2021 as we emerge from the pandemic?

One of the big things from the last year or so is the need to be responsive and flexible. The future is so uncertain, and you can’t really do long-term planning – you can only plan for the horizon in front of you.

I think internal communicators need to place their weight behind sharing, connecting and networking so that we have an understanding of how companies are facing challenges.

We’re all learning as we go and figuring things out one day at a time.


Read our Q&As with our other recently appointed Fellows: Dan Smith and Zoe Shaughnessy
 

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