IC AROUND THE WORLD
Views on internal communication from
Senior Partner at Axis Consulting
IC Around The World is a series of interviews with communication professionals from around the globe working in the field of internal communication.
They share their views on the practice of internal communication in their countries, and tell us who and what they are paying attention to in the world of IC.
How has internal communication developed in your country in recent years?
There is an increasing number of medium and large companies who have introduced IC as a new position, where previously it was integrated in PR or Marketing. The investment in the development and introduction of new channels is notable, as well as in education of internal communicators. Digitalization implies the need to introduce additional profile in the form of the Digital IC expert, in order to develop internal digital channels: like improving existing intranet portals, developing new mobile applications for IC, starting the Facebook Workplace adventure ... Along with the development of new channels, fostering "traditional" old school ways is still important, because the mindset change is a process that lasts a while. Omnichannel in IC is therefore a "must have" in multinational companies in Serbia.
What do you currently see as the greatest challenges for internal communication in your world?
Measurement is still a problem that afflicts internal communicators. That is why video is becoming increasingly popular - because it can generate a simple and immediate follow-up viewing report. Also, as in all other segments - information overload shortens the attention span of the employee, so the internal communicator has an even shorter period and a much larger amount of information to assess the relevance of each message, adapt it and choose the most appropriate channel to transmit a final message to the employee. Besides all this, despite the visible progress in the development of IC, we continue to fight with the "personal marketing" and still current prejudices that internal communicators "are just owners of the intranet, who know how to nicely pack emails and make photographs for internal magazine " - educating management about the importance of internal communication and ensuring its involvement in each project and business plan is our eternal challenge.
What do you see as the biggest opportunities for internal communication to make a difference in the next year or two?
New digital channels. Internal social networks simplified the formation of groups, video content upload, and above all the feedback and collaboration. Mobile applications, for example, improve the organization of internal events to the next level and provide the participants
with a new digital experience - from participating in the creation of conferences or workshop content to sharing selfies and deepening connection with other participants, while at the same time, live streaming on the internal social network this event itself can be enjoyed by those who were prevented from coming – it allows them how to actively participate by submitting questions and comments online ...And of course, the breaking of prejudices, the expansion of the boundaries - that is what builds a successful communicator.
What internal communication resources (websites, conferences, associations) do you make the most use of, other than IC Kollectif?
Quadriga conferences, EACD, IABC, Serbian Public Relations Association, Ragan, Poppulo (formely Newsweaver) and IC Kollectif.
If there was a piece of data that would make your bosses/clients take notice, what would it be?
A short but effective message on a cool and useful gift. But if we talk about everyday communication, it would be a short & witty video with Management Board members or employee “brand ambassadors” as main actors.
ABOUT Andrea Brbaklic
Andrea Brbaklic is a Senior Partner at Axis Consulting. Until recently, she was an executive director in Erste Bank Serbia, where she was in charge of two departments: Communications and HR. She focuses on developing the leadership potential and general development of people within the organisation.
“The bank, it is the people” - She often draws attention to this and believes that the corporate environment can be ‘humane’ as well.
She is a founder or a board member of several multi-stakeholder organisations and associations – United Nations Global Compact in Serbia, Serbian Public Relations Association, Places in Heart by Jefferson Institute, Catalyst Balkans, Trag Foundation, Junior Achievement… She is co-author of educative the textbook “Media Relations”.