7 May 2018

Internal Comms is boring, isn’t it?

Internal communications is often referred to as ‘the poor man’s comms’. In fact, we can’t count how many times we’ve heard people say it’s not as sexy, interesting, or creative as the world of advertising. Well, we hate to break it to you, but internal communications is far from boring

To tell us why, we caught up with members of team Synergy who left the glitzy world of advertising to join us on the ‘dark side’. But first up, Synergy’s Strategy Director Nicky Clark tells us why it’s important for brands to stop thinking internally/externally – and just think ‘comms’. And why recruiting from the external comms world could be the secret to making this happen. She says: “Companies are increasingly recognising the importance of treating their employees as consumers, and applying the same principles of external comms to internal strategies is a big part of this. “That’s why we’ve always recruited from external marketing and brand backgrounds as well as IC. They bring their ‘external world’ insights and best practice to the table. Which is hugely valuable. “Learning from IC and employee engagement in other organisations isn’t enough. It’s learning from the external marketing world that helps ensure we stay at the top of our game. It’s this that ultimately means that we truly understand how to treat employees as customers (because that’s what they are!). That external view is fundamental to our ‘Brand Engagement – Inside Out’ philosophy and it’s exciting to see that clients are really starting to be brave and try new things to engage candidates and employees. Crossing over to IC is the chance to make a mark and use comms expertise in a completely different way.”   Here’s what some of the rest of the team had to say….   James Marsden, Account Director  “So many people still think of IC as being simply an employee newsletter or magazine, but it’s so much more than that. There’s scope to do really interesting projects using truly innovative channels and mechanics. We’ve even done VR campaigns recently. “I certainly didn’t expect it at the beginning, but IC campaigns can often be more creative because external comms is usually subject to incredibly stringent guidelines. Internally you usually get a bit more flex. “The work is far more rewarding in the long run as you’re working to make people’s working lives better. I’ve seen this in action a few times now, especially with our work with Argos where we got to see (through our immersion programmes) a real increase in morale. “Although I loved my previous role in retail marketing, I didn’t get that same sense of purpose from putting POS designs through studio as I do in IC. “It’s an exciting time to be involved too. We really get to help shape clients’ strategic direction, far more than external comms. So many clients are at the start of their employer brand journey, which means they need as much help as they can get. It’s a huge opportunity.”   Emma Holland, Client Services Director “I definitely thought internal comms was poor man’s comms before I joined Synergy. I was used to working for large ad agencies in London and Amsterdam, running huge European accounts. To be honest, I thought I was above IC.   “So, when this role first came up I didn’t really give it any thought. But then I started looking into Synergy properly and I did a complete 360°. It wasn’t just the impressive client list, but the diversity and creativity of projects, and the fact that we’re true leaders in the space. The philosophy of ‘Brand Engagement Inside / Out’ also really resonated with me.   “That was two years ago, and I haven’t looked back. Now, I’m a true advocate of IC and firmly believe that there’s far more soul (than external comms) because we’re genuinely trying to inspire and engage people in their jobs through being truly creative and innovative.   “I also find it fascinating and truly differentiating that we work with psychologists to make sure that our behaviour change campaigns really deliver. The future is exciting too – we’re moving into external audiences, with talent attraction projects such as our recent Lidl grad campaign.”

Gary Walder, Account Director

“Before discovering Synergy, my focus was brand, so internal communications was generally below my radar. For me, each project was like peeling back the layers of an onion. With every one, I could see how important internal communications is, and the opportunities we have to make a difference. “We get to be creative on a really granular level. One of the best things (that you don’t always get in brand) is that you’re working with a definitive audience. It means you can be super-focused and, if you get it right, the results can be amazing. No more ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half’ (John Wanamaker). “We had this recently with a client of ours, Sovereign Housing. The feedback from a new internal TV show for their employees was ‘love it, love it, love it’. It may not be the same buzz as broadcast media, but it’s a major rush as you know what you’re doing is making a difference.” Come over to ‘the dark side’ Bored in your current role and fancy a move to the creative, soulful, fast-paced world of internal comms? We’re hiring across the business, check out our current opportunities here and #lifeatsynergy across socials.

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