IC Space: three social media ideas for internal communicators

Apr 3, 2014

Here’s an article I wrote for the IC Space, sharing three social media tips for internal communicator. You can read the original posting over on the Government Communications Service website. The IC Space is a fantastic place for internal communication professionals across government to learn and network so I was delighted to be asked to contribute this post.

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Three social media ideas

Communicators of all kinds are still getting their heads around what social media means for their work.

It’s easy to overlook the benefits public social media platforms can offer internal communications professionals.

We all know about Yammer but Twitter, Google Hangouts and Slideshare might well be tools in your kit.


Uploading a well thought-out, visual PowerPoint and sending a link or embedding it in a blog post or adding it to your intranet is a cheap, easy way to communicate with people who want the basics without a ton of text or a long video.

Not all Powerpoints are boring and need a speaker – for inspiration take a look at creative ways of storytelling and informing through the medium of slides from Gary Vaynerchuk and Paul Taylor.

The same principle goes for Prezi.com.

These platforms also allow staff to comment and debate the topic of your presentation in comments boxes beneath the presentation – a great way to stimulate staff engagement.

I believe one of the great advantages of social presentation platforms is that they are stored online so we can always access them. I hope one day this allows us to get rid of USB sticks! I hate asking speakers if they have brought their dongle with them (I’m childish, I know).

Twitter lists

If you don’t build Twitter lists I think you’re missing amazing power to access knowledge.

When I look at my lists I see all the most recent tweets from that group of people.

I follow well over five thousand people, I could never keep up with what interests me by only checking my Twitter home feed.  I like taking a lucky dip approach by checking my home feed occasionally but I usually check what’s being said by people on lists I’ve built.

Sometimes, I’ll check my ‘funny people’ list if I’m in the mood for a laugh.  And when I’m so inclined I can see what people in PR, the housing sector or local government are saying because I add relevant people to the list as I come across them. You could build lists of other IC professionals so you are always up on the latest case studies, you keep in touch with news and build relationships with other internal communicators. They’ll help you when you need it most.

You could build lists of your staff so you understand the hot topics people are talking about publicly, monitor the staff renegades and research the interests of employees.

True leaders are not always as the top of the hierarchy and you can see who is influencing people within your organisation and outside it.

If you’re an opportunity spotter, up you can pinpoint who will help you spread messages get buy in from the influential people who can add credibility to the message you’re crafting.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts lets you live video call with up to ten other people, for free, from your computer or mobile device.

It would be quite cool to organise a call from your leadership team and broadcast this to staff and interested stakeholders.

You could do Q&A sessions with your organisation’s experts or just livestream your public meetings.

All great ways of giving staff realtime insights into your business.

In this case, the IC role of coordinating, hosting, supporting colleagues and evaluation is really important.

Any more ideas?

Of course there are many other ways and social media platforms that can help the communicator.  I’d love to hear about more interesting ways that social is changing or improving internal communications.

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Hel Reynolds

Hel Reynolds

Author of this post

Hel is social media trainer and boss of Comms Creatives. She has been working in comms since 2005, and has been brushing up her expertise in social media for brands since the good old days of MySpace. She also draws the Comms Cartoons, and is usually attached to a mug of coffee.

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