A minor reinvention

ggelf IC has had a reinvention and is now The IC Citizen. What The IC Citizen stands for isn’t a ‘stupid idea’. It’s important for all of us that work in internal communication and who are serious about doing a good job and becoming better at what we do. A compass guides the way.

Last month, like an ageing pop icon, I decided that it was time for a bit of a reinvention.

Mine is a little less glitzy than Madonna or Gaga of course, and in comparison, more of a minor makeover of my website and social profiles, but for me it’s an important one.

ggelf IC is now The IC Citizen.

An accidental birth

I literally stumbled across the concept of IC Citizenship whilst writing one of my occasional blog rants in early 2019. That one was about the growing ubiquity of internal communication awards. I guess it had been in the back of my mind for a while and suddenly it came to life as I wrote.

In the blog, I made the point that those internal communicators who had the ability and money to enter and win awards should think about being a good ‘IC Citizen’ by giving something back to the internal communications community (and in particular those who did not have the ability and money) in return for the recognition they had received.

With that, The IC Citizen was born and it spawned a few more blogs as I explored the concept, and with the help of other internal communicators, developed a manifesto which defined what it meant in practice  

A stupid idea

I have to say that I don’t think some people in the internal communication community quite got it.

Some thought it was a new award (like we needed any more of them!) or perhaps a new professional body or ‘club’ for internal communicators, or yet another ‘IC talking shop’. Some helpful people suggested that I should leave the professionalisation of internal communicators to those who ‘knew what the were doing’ and that I shouldn’t get in the way or become a distraction for that.

A few others just told me it was a stupid idea, and to stop going on about it and embarrassing myself.

Actually, the concept is quite simple. It is really just about encouraging internal communicators to invest in themselves, and also in others who work in our community, so that we can all become better at what we do. One way or another.

As 2019 drew to a close I lost interest in promoting the citizen, but it has never gone away entirely. I’ve returned to the broader issue of the professionalisation of PR and internal communication a few times, in things I’ve since written.

It’s important

Actually, The IC Citizen and what it stands for, isn’t a stupid idea. It’s important for all of us that work in internal communication and who are serious about doing a good job and becoming better at what we do.

It’s about setting ourselves apart from the people who work in internal communication who can’t be bothered to invest in themselves or anyone else in our industry, and perhaps encouraging them to see the light. It is about being collectively better, so that we can finally all be taken seriously as professionals in the places where we work and practice.

It is about becoming more that just the thing that ‘sends out stuff’ in organisations or that makes things look pretty. It’s about getting hired for being a qualified and accredited internal communicator, rather than just someone who can talk a good game or who has ‘experience’.

It’s important to me.

After over 20 years in this business I now have too much skin in this game to sit back and to just accept the status quo. That’s why I decided to subsume ggelf IC into The IC Citizen and make that my modus operandi.

So, sorry, not sorry…The IC Citizen is back!   

A compass guides the way

One of the fun things about a minor reinvention is picking out a new brand design and logo. I debated incorporating the red ‘revolutionary’ star into the design (my rebellious streak getting the better of me), but settled instead on a compass.

I think that internal communication is an increasingly complex environment to work in. There is now a multitude of different providers, consultancies, vendors and professional bodies offering internal communicators products, tools, content, training and development. The pathways to becoming better and The IC Citizen are sometimes obscure and confusing, and some of what is offered is frankly of poor quality.

That’s why I think it’s important for there to be people and providers who can act as a compass to help guide and show internal communicators the way. I hope that I can be one of them.

I am The IC Citizen, and you can be one too.

Martin

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