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Missed our first FutureNet event? Here's a quick rundown of what we got up to

From the iceberg of ignorance to ‘drinking with dignity’ (not as weird as it sounds, we promise), our first FutureNet event covered a range of issues relevant for IC ‘newbies’.

Held at VMA Group, London, the event brought internal communicators from across the UK together to listen to talks from Glenn Elliott, co-author of The Rebel Playbook For World Class Employee Engagement, and Justine Stevenson, Head of Group Internal Communication at the London Stock Exchange Group.

As it happened
FutureNet committee members Becky Leonard and Kate Sheriff kicked things off, with Becky explaining why the network is so important for young IC professionals: “While learning from more experienced industry people is of course important, we want to create a supportive environment where we can swap ideas and issues with people at the same stage of their career – almost like a therapy group!”
Kate added: “As a committee we’re all keen to make sure FutureNet is what you need it to be. We’ve got some ideas for future events and opportunities in motion, but please let any of us know what you want to see and learn from the network.”

Then it was over to the speakers. Glenn, Founder and former CEO of Reward Gateway, shared insights around open communication from his Rebel Playbook. “With around half of employees saying they don’t trust their CEOs, it’s never been more important for leaders to be as open and honest as they can with their people.”
In fact Glenn finished by saying the most important takeaway for internal communicators looking to improve their position and skills is to have a strong connection to the leadership in the company.

Justine gave us a humorous look at her career so far, crammed full of top tips about how to make it as a ‘Head of’ in this industry. Her main advice: “Build a network by attending events just like this one. And get involved! You can sit passively and let it all come to you, but I found you get out what you put in.

“Invest in yourself through professional development and training. Even now, I’m always learning! And ensure people can find you. Whether that’s on LinkedIn or Twitter, make sure your network know where you are – and you know where they are – for times when you have an issue or need some inspiration.”

View from the audience
Paige Hooton, Assistant Communications Manager at Boots UK, gave us her thoughts after attending the event:

“I’ve been working in internal communications for two and a half years and even though I’m not ‘new new’ to the world of comms, I still class myself as very much a newcomer. I thought FutureNet was a fantastic opportunity to meet
 and network with fellow newcomers, and hear about the experiences of people in similar situations to myself and how they found themselves in a comms role. It was interesting to find out that the majority of the room happened to ‘fall into a comms role’ within their organisation.
“As the role of communications varies from business to business, I really enjoyed learning from the experienced Gregg Elliot and Justine Stevenson. They gave great honest presentations on their experiences of working in internal communications, the challenges they’ve faced over the years and where they see its true value. It was a great event and as a first for me, I really enjoyed the chance to get to know more people just starting out in the profession.”

Written by Rebecca Leonard

Wondering if FutureNet is for you? Have a look at the video below to get a feel for the network dedicated to people who are new to the world of internal communication or find out more here

  • 21st June 2022
    Our latest IoIC Fellow Joanna Parsons, head of internal communications & culture with teamwork, discusses overcoming a case of imposter syndrome, being a “silo surfer” and the impact...
  • 14th June 2022
    After over 20 years of working in internal comms, Jo Bland, head of strategic engagement and internal communications at NHS Digital, has received a Fellowship in the profession. She tells us why...
  • 9th June 2022
      IoIC has produced new guidance on ethical communication as part of a renewed focus on raising standards in the internal communication profession. IoIC has published a guide for members on...
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