#IChoseIC Ambassador Stacy Gibbs shares her insights

As part of our #IChoseIC Campaign Ambassador Stacy Gibbs spoke to students at Strathclyde University about her IC career journey and the reality of the role day to day. In this blog Stacy reflects upon the event and the insights she shared with students.

01 Mar 2024
by Stacy Gibbs

Stacy took part in a Careers in PR & Communications event with Strathcylde University at the end of January 2024. The session helped students and graduates explore new career ideas and enabled them to hear from industry professionals about their real-life experiences of a role.  

In the process of preparing to share my career journey, challenges, and a typical day with students at the University of Strathclyde, I naturally reflected on what I’ve learnt and how I could pass on my experiences to others.

I tried to put myself in their shoes. What would I have wanted to know as I was nearing the end of my formal studies? What’s it like to work in internal communications? And how could I prepare for the job market?

It’s important to declare upfront that nobody has all the answers, and every situation is different. However, I do believe there are certain principles you can apply to your search.

Build your networks – now’s the time to send direct messages, be proactive on social media, and talk passionately about something related you’ve read or done and it will help you stand out from the crowd.

Join the comms community - it’s really important to know that you are not on your own. There’s an amazing sense of camaraderie with fellow communications colleagues and fantastic resources available for free. So don’t be afraid to search and join any relevant groups to learn and share together.

Keep learning - in our world the pace of change is fast and it’s essential to be aware of trends and techniques. You don’t have to be an expert, but a good overview is important. You’ll quickly establish that skills like writing, organising and influencing are transferable whether you specialise in media, digital, or internal – and I’d suggest you need to have an open mind to continuous improvement in order to stay fresh.

In my case, it took me quite a few years to establish that internal communications was an area of particular interest for me and it happened quite accidentally when redesigning an intranet in a former role. This led me to working more closely with all parts of the organisation and recognising that our employees are also our advocates and champions - if we get it right and look after them.

It solidified my love of communications because I was doing something to directly impact and affect my colleagues, and I could see and follow-up with how any news or change landed with them much more than I could with an external audience.

Working in internal communications has given me a huge sense of satisfaction when I’ve been part of important messages around pay, hybrid working, and launching new strategies and policies. I really am at the heart of the organisation working with leaders and peers alike to shape, test and deliver communications in a variety of ways. We’ve trialled new approaches with interviews, videos and podcasts, and I’ve been lucky to work in organisations that aren’t afraid to experiment with different techniques.

So, in summary, what has it done for me? It has given me a sense of pride that I can play a part in providing the right information, at the right time, in order to help people to do their job. I also recognise the support that communications can bring to the culture of the organisation to be inclusive and champion the employee voice. I am in a privileged position getting to hear about changes in the organisation before implementation and that’s where I can add value about how best to share that information in order to have the biggest impact.

My career journey was a bit slow and meandering at the start, but I’m sure I would have always found my way to a communications role eventually, as it is a perfect fit for my creative and collaborative skills, but I’m happy to talk about this with others who may not have considered it before. I still choose internal communications and I hope that you will too. #IChoseIC

Find out more about #IChoseIC Campaign and how to get involved here.