Getting to know our Fellows: Q&A with Joanna Parsons

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 of IoIC on her career.

21 Jun 2022

Why did you choose to pursue a Fellowship?

I’ve been involved with the IoIC for a long time and am always looking for ways to deepen that involvement. I started as an IoIC member, then got elected to the Board of Directors and then became the IoIC Regional Director for Ireland. Becoming a Fellow seemed like the next logical step.

How does it feel to be a Fellow?

I was so nervous to apply for it – my imposter syndrome kicked in fierce and I nearly didn’t send in an application. Becoming a Fellow feels like the pinnacle of achievement and I’m so ridiculously proud of myself.

Why are you passionate about internal comms?

It gives me such a broad scope to be creative, thoughtful and data-driven, and to try out new ideas, develop a deep understand of my audiences and build trusting relationships right across the business. Being a great internal communicator positions you as a “silo surfer” in an organisation – you work with and across every single team and develop a brilliant understanding of the business from a range of perspectives. This is a privilege and a delight.

What has your career in internal comms taught you about people and business?

This is a great question. I think the main lesson is that assumptions are dangerous and need to be challenged. That senior leader who has been here for 10 years? Don’t assume that they understand the communication needs of their people. That IT team who are blocking your efforts at change? Don’t assume that they understand your vision or your objectives. That organisational strategy that’s mentioned at the all-hands once a quarter? Never ever assume that everyone understands it!


How has the IoIC supported your professional development?

I think so many people who are drawn to internal communication are naturally curious and inquisitive. I love to learn and I get bored if I’m not learning. The IoIC has been brilliant along my career as they offer so many training opportunities, workshops and webinars.

The world today is changing so much and so rapidly that our job as professional communicators have never been more difficult. This makes it increasingly important to keep learning, keep innovating and keep developing yourself and your team.

Related topics