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Video Interview | Agata Mazepus | Episode 57 | Continuous Learning Important to Stay Relevant as an Internal Communicator

Presenting the 57th edition of Intraskope’s Spotlight on Internal Communication Series featuring Agata Mazepus, Communication Specialist – Brand, Marketing and Communications and Supervising Associate: BMC Leader for Talent in the Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe & Central Asia (CESA) Region. Agata is a communications professional, based in Poland, with many years of experience in internal and external communication, event organization, community building and project management.

In this interview, Agata makes a case for investing in upskilling and staying relevant in the role and as a valued advisor. From her vantage point, she believes that helping connecting staff to the organization’s mission and aligning them to the values can benefit in the long run. She is a firm believer of investing in skills as an internal communicator to be relevant in the future. Often, the internal communicator may not have the luxury of funding, large teams or resources to manage the show. It requires ingenuity, tenacity and rigor to be ahead of the game.

Watch the complete video interview on YouTube or read the transcript below.

Interview

1. What does internal communication mean to you?

Internal communication means helping employees stay informed about what’s happening in the company long and short term. It’s about enabling people in the company to understand and relate to company’s strategy, mission, vision and values. It’s about making sure that each employee can learn about programs and initiatives that they can join and benefit from. It’s about celebrating successes of the company and each individual. It is also about informing, inspiring, motivating and engaging employees.

2. How is it practiced in your organization?

In a global organization like EY, this is hard to define. There are differences in each level of management, each team. When it comes to the communications on the regional level in CESA, we try to raise awareness about global, area and regional initiatives through a mix of communications shared via email, articles on the intranet and producing audiovisual content. We have leadership as well as function communications.

3. Please share an example/campaign that you are personally proud of working on and that made a significant impact to an organization in the recent past

Communication around steps challenge; communications on International Women’s Day (podcast). More in the video interview.

4. What is the biggest challenge you face while going about managing internal communication?

Communications overload, lack of proper management and limited global CE strategy – i.e. we can decide on the regional level to focus on articles, but local level can continue to send emails every day.

5. What according to you is the biggest opportunity that internal communicators have?

Communications measurement. You have access to a diverse audience – make sure you understand it well and listen to the data which can clearly tell you what its needs are.

6. How can internal communicators add more value to the business?

Have a proper strategy and define goals and what success looks like.

7. What skills must they have or develop?

The skills of internal communicators which I often see in the skills matrixes do not fully match my experiences of a communications professional. Writing, of course, is important and often underappreciated. But in all the places I’ve worked at I wouldn’t be able to do my job if I didn’t have solid technical skills, basic understanding of graphic design, project management skills, understanding of change management, analytic skills, crisis management, event organization, stakeholder management… and soft skills like assertiveness, negotiation and persuasion. Sure, it would be great to have a big IC team in every company where everyone can specialize in a different area, but the reality is quite different.

8. What is your advice for people who are keen to join internal communication and make a career?

IC as a field is constantly evolving. This is a career that requires constant learning and development. Be ready to constantly update your skills and knowledge if you want to stay relevant.

9. What is your advice for women who want to make a mark in this domain and what must they do differently?

Develop your leadership skills. Stay assertive!

10. With COVID-19 and other crises, how must internal communications engage? What has changed or will change? Examples of how your organization has helped reassure employees and navigate the crisis as it unfolds.

I think that it’s organizations that need to change first – be more inclusive, more empathetic, more transparent, more human. Internal communications can then be too.

11. Can you share one trend that you spot with internal communications?

Podcasts. Haven’t found the audience to enjoy them as much though 🙂

12. If there is one aspect of internal communications you would like to change, what would that be?

Measurement. More data! And I want to be able to properly benchmark it.

Liked the interview? Post your comments and share it with your network. 

Keen to contribute and participate in the ongoing series on Intraskope where we put the spotlight on thought leadership, great ideas, and practical solutions?

Look up the previous stories from organizations featured on the Intraskope’s Spotlight on Internal Communication Series  here – Northern Trust, AXA Business Services, Subex,  global insurer, Standard Chartered Bank, BASF, Applied Materials India,  Microsoft UK, Times GroupSamsung, FalabellaCisco, Brillio,UAE Exchange, Apeland,M.H. Alshaya Co, Proctor & Gamble,Infosys, SOBHA Ltd., ICICI Securities, First Advantage, CK Birla Group, TVS Motors, GE,  Suzlon, Tata Sons, Percept, Knight Frank, TCS Europe, Vedanta, Oxfam, Danske Bank, Diageo, Pandora, Symantec, ISS Global Services, Telia, Thomson Reuters, IBM, General Motors,Intelligence India Software Solutions, Philips, Refinitiv, Mastercard, VFS Global, Ittiam Systems, Bridgestone India, Indian automotive company, Uber, L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited, Microsoft India, Hitachi Rail, OYO, Alfa Laval, BD and SITA.

Intraskope (www.aniisu.com) is the first blog on internal communications in India and among the earliest around the globe. Begun in 2006, the blog has over 1000 posts on topics such as employee engagement, leadership communication and employee branding and receives thousands of visits from across the world. The blog, receives over 1,50,000 visits every month from over 50 countries globally, offers learning resources for practitioners, academicians, and students including industry workshops, research reports, and checklists. 

Intraskope has been featured on leading global internal communication forums like Simply-Communicate, IC Kollectif and International Association of Business Communicators. It is hosted by Aniisu K Verghese, author of Internal Communications – Insights, Practices & Models (2012) and Get Intentional (2021).

If you are an internal communication leader working in a firm or a not-for-profit anywhere in the world and have an internal communication case study, campaign, research insight or a guest blog post to share please contact me on [email protected] 

Here are Internal Communications resources you can use: 

You can also visit my website www.intraskope.com and You Tube channel to know more about my work. 

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