Who's who in IC?

Welcome to our regular profile about who's who in internal comms.

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Name

Laura Desert

Company

Tata Consultancy Services

Job Title

Internal Communications Executive

Time with company

3 years

Connect with Laura

Take five

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A lorry driver. Because for some reason I always knew that I would love driving, even before I knew how.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

I recently went trekking in the mountains of Peru, and absolutely loved it, so I would say the base of the Ausangate peak.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Fake it until you make it. I’m not the most confident person, but I’m learning to push the boundaries of my comfort zone, and it seems to be working.

What's the one thing not many people know about you?

I love trying new things, and recently competed in a white collar boxing match for charity.

What's the secret to a good life?

Be grateful for what you have, and always strive to be a better person.

Tell us a bit about your role:

I take care of all internal communications for TCS in the UK and Ireland, which makes up around 13,000+ employees. I mainly manage this through a communications calendar, which has inputs from all the stakeholders I work with. I also prepare a weekly newsletter summarising the key updates for our employees, and try to make it as short and fun as possible. Once a quarter I run a leadership broadcast, which is live streamed across the country to all our employees, and covers key business updates, strategy, and thought leadership.

What’s on your internal comms agenda right now?

We are about to launch a new internal social media platform, which has been built with user experience at the forefront, and has some powerful analytics in the background. I’m really excited to see how we can use it to better engage with our employees, tailor our messages more specifically to certain groups, and measure the impact of the news we share.

Who, or what, has had the biggest impact on internal comms in your organisation in the past year?

I would say that the rise in the need for digital training has taken a huge importance in our organisation as a tech company. We need our workforce to be future-ready, and our consultants need to have the right skills and adaptability in order to respond to the needs of our clients. Internal comms plays a huge role in conveying that message and sense of urgency. We can’t afford for our employees’ skills to become redundant, so we are running campaigns and advertising new training courses on a regular basis to give them the tools they need to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies.

What’s your proudest achievement or best day in your current role?

Earlier this year I worked with a couple of comms colleagues to launch a brand new employee-focused magazine, with inspiring stories and personal insights into what our colleagues are passionate about. I am so proud when I hear people talking about it around the office, or asking to be featured in the next edition. I think it really brings out the human part of our organisation, and showcases the different talents of the people around us.

How would you advise someone considering a career in internal comms?

Give it a go and you might find yourself becoming quite passionate about it! It’s not really the type of job you would know about before entering the workplace, but I find that many IC professionals are very passionate about what they do, and really believe in the power and value of internal comms (as do I!). Which is one of the reasons I enjoy attending external events for internal comms professionals, as I always meet friendly people, who are happy to share their experiences and provide excellent advice.

What do you think the top three trends in internal communication will be in the next year?

Measurement: as we see more and more internal comms people sitting at an exec level, I think we will be pushed for more data to back up our budgets and value to the business.

Word of mouth & influencers: although our cultures are moving towards digitally-enabled communication, it seems like the good old grapevine is still a common way for employees to find out company news. If communicators can tap into this, by building a network of influencers to spread the word, I believe this has a lot of potential as a ‘soft’ channel.

Fun: I see many organisations moving from a corporate tone of communication to a more fun, millennial-friendly, informal approach, and I think this is the way forward.

© pfk the communications agency.