Industry News

IoIC chief executive Jennifer Sproul appeared on Engage for Success’s radio to talk about her role and IoIC.

Internal communicators must demonstrate their role in making people feel valued at work and the impact this has on productivity, according to IoIC chief executive Jennifer Sproul.
 
Jennifer (left) outlined the challenges facing internal communicators and the vision of IoIC when she appeared on Engage for Success’s long-running radio show.
 
Speaking to host Jo Moffatt, Jennifer talked about the Institute, its activities and profession map, and the partnership with Engage for Success, a growing voluntary movement that raises the profile of employee engagement.
 
Jennifer said communicators need to get better at showing internal comms’ power and impact on business. “There’s a challenge in collating our own evidence. We need to demonstrate how communicating with or making your people feel good or valued really does impact profitability, helps create innovation and productivity, and retains and attracts talent. Having good employee experience creates good customer experience. They go hand in hand.”
 
This is more important than ever, with internal comms having moved from being a functional department of transaction to a more strategic role.
 
“It’s having to work with leaders to say this is how you communicate,” said Jennifer. “If you don’t have honest and open and authentic relationships with your people, you won’t create trust, which doesn’t create commitment, which doesn’t create productivity.”
 
Jennifer discussed her previous role as strategic marketing and sales director at the Market Research Society and explained why the IoIC made the move to hire her as its first full-time salaried chief executive.
 
“IoIC does some amazing things, but the practice of internal communication is growing and coming along in leaps and bounds, and IoIC wanted somebody that had a fundamental understanding of what it means to run and make a professional body succeed. In terms of practitioner knowledge, we have so many volunteers, but my knowledge is how you make the practice of professional bodies really flourish. They needed a dedicated resource and ideas.”
 
Jen outlined the IoIC’s vision for internal communicators to feel they have a body that they can go to that will make them feel nurtured and proud of what they do, and make them be a better professional. And when people are looking to recruit internal communicators in business, IoIC membership and/or qualifications can help them stand out from the crowd. “It makes them a credible and robust individual,” she said.
 
This support for individuals supports another of IoIC’s objectives – to “go out to businesses to say they need to invest in the way they’re communicating with people, because that really adds value to your organisation and its vital if it’s going to succeed”.
 
Talking generally about IoIC, Jennifer discussed the recent IoIC Ireland launch event, and the new profession map and competency framework, and continual professional development (CPD) programme.
 
Jennifer said that IoIC has almost reached its target of 10 per cent of its members on the CPD programme and the positive anecdotal feedback for the profession map has been great. “People have said, ‘I’ve printed it off. I’ve been into my boss and it’s helped me make a case for why you should invest in us and why we need to be doing more.’ And they’ve used it in their own appraisals.”
 
She also reiterated the four key strands of IoIC’s work: promoting the practice of internal comms through standards and accreditations; helping practitioners develop through training, mentoring and CPD; connecting people and peers through events and regional activities; and championing people and showcasing the value of internal comms through awards and Voice magazine.
 
Jennifer also talked about IoIC’s new partnership with Engage for Success and the opportunities for the two organisations to combine messages and strengths to ensure people are happy at work.
 
Listen to the full interview on Engage for Success radio.

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