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IoIC members were promised “exciting plans” for the years ahead as the Institute’s annual conference opened in Birmingham.

New chief executive Jennifer Sproul welcomed more than 100 delegates to IoIC Live 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and said she was planning to build on the IoIC’s reputation and credibility.

“IoIC has championed the importance of professional standards for over 65 years and our aim is to ensure this profession is both credible and recognised, and be the voice for internal communication,” she said.

“We have some exciting plans ahead for IoIC to build on the fantastic work that has already been done by (previous chief executive) Steve Doswell, the Board, volunteers and head office team.

“They will include clearer membership narrative with pathways to demonstrate individual achievements, expansion and development to our professional development portfolio, increased regional and national events, new content and improved digital services and communications. So watch this space!”

Welcoming delegates to IoIC Live, she added: “This year’s conference is about ‘Humanising internal communication: it’s a people business’. Throughout the event we will examine how we connect across our functions and audiences to bring people to the forefront and make our communication more relevant, more engaging and more human.

“As a profession we face continuous challenges and opportunities. In the annual 2016 IoIC trends book we highlighted the yearning need for more authentic and human relationships, particularly in response to the growth of digitalisation.”

Jennifer said other challenges included:

1) Recognising the full capabilities of digital communication and its potential to support even the most remote employees.

2) The shifting role of the communicator to be more of a curator, enabler, facilitator and coach.

3) The power of data and the huge potential to gather data more regularly and offer greater depth and breadth of insight.

4) The need to overcome the constraints and bureaucracy of existing cultures, to strengthen reputation and trust to inspire people.

“With all this in mind, people are at heart of everything we do and the lifeblood of organisations, with the ONS report of the UK labour market in April 2015 stating there were 31.05million people in work,” she added.

“Today we hope to inspire you and offer practical strategies and tips to enable you to bring that human touch into your internal communication activities.”
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