What is your top tip for being a trusted advisor?

Our recent Association for Strategic Practitioners in Internal Communications (aspic) seminar focused on the role of communicator as trusted advisor and featured speakers Kate Jones from E.ON UK and Sarah Lazenby from VMA Group.

Following the event we asked the attendees:

What would be your top tip for being a trusted advisor within the internal communication industry?

Here are some of their responses:

  • Have a good understanding of the business and the sector, and being able to deliver.
  • Building a sound knowledge of the following two items as all advice given would be based on the below:

a) Have a basic understanding of the industry you’re in and keeping up to date of the events within your macro and micro environment.

b) Gain an in-depth understanding of the demographics of your work environment.

  • Every decision made should have two focuses – what’s of benefit to the organisation in line with its objectives and what’s of benefit to the end user (employees).
  • A wide skill set and building relationships
  • Build a network of other IC professionals, and don’t hesitate to share your ideas and experiences – you’ll get more than you give!
  • Have the confidence (in yourself and your knowledge/skills) to challenge requests to get the best business outcomes.
  • Be business savvy (don’t be fluffy) – everything you agree to get involved with should be strategic, and you should deliver and be able to show your contribution to the business outcomes.

Other ideas that have been put forward as part of this discussion are – 

From Jenny Solomons on Twitter:

twitter trust

From Simon Henning (National Grid):

I work on a team that crosses both internal and external comms. I think it’s becoming increasingly important for organisations to think strategically in terms of what they say internally and externally – working in silos simply won’t work. That’s particularly important when you consider that we live in a rapidly changing communication environment. So many things make managing our reputation complex and challenging – the digital revolution and rise of online communities; twenty-four hour news; rapid evaluation of public issues of concern; more vocal and active investors and single issue lobbyists among others.

All this means that traditional corporate communication – where ‘the company’ is the sole voice of authority on itself and hands down messages on tablets of stone to defined stakeholder groups (both internally and externally) – no longer applies. Don’t forget, employees are just as likely to follow the social channels and broadcast services I mentioned above. To influence the ‘story’ and how people talk about us, internally and externally, we have to be consistent, coherent, responsive and adaptable in the way we communicate – promoting a strong, single narrative of our purpose, aims and direction.

But, what do you think?

If you have any tips or ideas you’d like us to share here then please email Sally.Longstaff@sequelgroup.co.uk or tweet them to us on @Sequel_Group.

You can see a summary of the event, with tips from Kate and Sarah by clicking here.