Founder and director at Inside Out Communications Consulting Danielle Phillips has recently received her IoIC Fellowship. Here, Danielle discusses her passion for internal comms and highlights the skills and interests that have helped her succeed.
How did you end up working in internal comms?
My first graduate job was in marketing and I loved it. The thing I really enjoyed was the people side of things, so when I was given the opportunity about five years into my career to work exclusively in internal communications, I seized it.
A lot of people say they fell into comms but for me it was a natural fit. I’m a people person and really feel passionately about people understanding why they do the work they do. I also love being creative and internal comms gives me the chance to do both things every day!
Why did you choose to pursue a Fellowship?
I started my business at the beginning of the pandemic – and only a year after moving back to the UK from Australia – so I’ve had to work hard to quickly build my comms network in this country again. The IoIC has been there with me throughout, providing me with lots of support, networking opportunities and professional development, so the Fellowship felt like an opportunity to give back.
One of my colleagues told me that IC was something that she’d never come across at a careers fair or talk at university, and I want to be part of the movement that will change this. Becoming a Fellow feels like I’ve now got the mandate to be part of the change I want to see, to continue to develop awareness of our profession and to ensure it has the ongoing career credibility it deserves.
What has your career in internal comms taught you about people and business?
It’s taught me that we as IC professionals have an absolutely privileged position within organisations where we have oversight of just about everything that’s going on. But with that comes great responsibility. We need to be equipped to understand organisational issues and offer strategic communication solutions, so it’s vital that we combine our comms training with study in business, leadership, management, psychology, strategy and more.
I firmly believe that IC training never ends, and we need to constantly hone our skills in all facets of business. I’ve recently completed an MBA to give me greater insight so I can have absolute confidence that I understand our clients’ issues when we’re consulting with them. By focusing on these skills, we will be able to elevate our profession and build on the fantastic goodwill that has been generated throughout the pandemic.
What advice would you give to internal communicators who are at the beginning of their career?
Firstly, congratulations on choosing an outstanding career! If you want it, your career in IC will be incredibly varied, demanding and stimulating, and can take you all over the world.
Secondly, to really get on, you must be prepared to keep learning: read widely, learn new tech, trial ideas, shadow people in your team and other departments and ask questions. There is no such thing as a silly question.
And finally, listen. Your audience will tell you how to do your job well and get results. Make sure you’re always asking for feedback and put it into action. That way you’ll be sure to get results.