Startup comms, headline writing, events
Insider Comms for internal comms
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Five things every internal comms pro needs to know about ESG (Vision2Voice)
Part 1. Why Startups Should Prioritize Comms
Startup founders and co-founders must make communication an integral part of their business processes from the onset, says Tosin Adejuwon, a Lagos-based PR consultant.
It starts with an open business environment where feedback and criticism are welcome. It covers the dissemination of the firm’s message through the right channels, media and at the appropriate time.
Rightly and importantly Adejuwon says communications “should be 360 degrees; covering all key stakeholders both internal and external [my emphasis]. It should also be planned, consistent and strategic, with emphasis on strategy.”
With effective internal communication, employees become advocates, ambassadors and cheerleaders for the firm even when they leave the firm for another.
Part 2. But What Else?
I reached out to a couple of internal comms pros at startups to get their reaction to Adejuwon’s article.
Jeff Rutledge, senior manager of comms at Metromile:
“Two things that Adejuwon gets very right are:
Comms is about connecting employees to each other, not just up and down the ladder. A big part of our role is creating space for those lateral connections, which have an impact on all the outcomes we’re concerned about: productivity, retention, engagement, etc. Supposedly having a friend at work is equivalent in satisfaction to a ton of extra money.
Comms is about achieving business goals. This is the first lesson every ICer takes to a reluctant executive. I heard someone say it like this at a conference once, and it’s become a bit of a mantra for me since: ‘Our core competency is not sharing information; our core competency is changing behavior.’ Or, in other words, information is a means, not an end.
“In terms of what’s missing, I’d suggest a focus on authenticity and sincerity. This is SO important—inauthenticity sticks out like a sore thumb.
Employees who are in the trenches know right away when they’re being bullshitted. It’s hard to imagine a bigger turn-off. I’d give that advice to a leader of any size company, but I suspect it might be even more important at a startup where the team is smaller and the leaders more accessible.”
Susana Barcelos, senior manager of internal comms at Carbon Health:
“Adejuwon says that internal comms is relegated due to lack of appreciation or full understanding. I don't think that's always the case, because:
Most of the time it's because everyone is moving too fast to keep up with communicating.
Or the company grew faster than they could build the comms muscle. At one point the entire company fit in one room and everyone knew what everyone else was doing, organically. If your start-up grows fast suddenly you've got hundreds (possibly thousands) of people working on different things and there may be a lag in getting new habits and communication mechanisms in place.
“Why does this distinction matter?
Sometimes you don't need to spend energy convincing leaders why it's important, they already know. Your energy is better spent building the infrastructure, habits, and skills to enable effective communication.
Be vigilant about the changing needs of the org and always think ahead to the next phase. What got the company to this stage won't be the same to get to the next level.”
Editor’s note: Your commentary on and reaction to internal comms media is always welcome. Hit reply or email email@example.com.
Internal Comms Adjacent
⚠️ Why Most Companies Should (Not) Publicly Celebrate History, Heritage & Awareness Months (Brilliant Ink)
📰 NYT award-winning headlines (Will they inspire your headline writing?) (NYT press release)
Lots of employee engagement job openings in England
Cohesity - People Communications Manager (Remote or in-office, USA, Canada)
Hugo Boss - Senior Manager Internal Communication Platforms (Stuttgart)
Lafayette College - Assistant Director, Internal Communications (Pennsylvania)
Patreon - Internal Communications Associate (SF, NYC)
Salesforce - Senior Manager of Internal Communications (San Francisco)
Engage 2022 (by Poppulo) explores burning issues and overcoming comms challenges (May 10-11, virtual)
simplyIC (by simplycommunicate) is for Europe’s internal comms and digital workplace scene (May 16-17, London)
Voices (by Staffbase) is your chance to hear from industry leaders (May 19, hybrid, London)
The Science of Engagement mixes comms, tech, and science (Oct 18-20, hybrid, Chicago)
You’re all caught up!
Disclaimer: Besides running Mister Editorial, I work in employee comms at Splunk. The views in this newsletter are my own.