Who's who in IC?

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

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Name

Saskia Jones

Company

Job Title

Communications Consultant & Coach

Time with company

Since 2018

Connect with Saskia

Take five

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

A writer.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

The Alps. Fresh air. Peace. Beauty. Summer or winter, I love being up in the mountains.

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

Do not blindly take everybody else's advice. Trust your own judgement and have confidence in yourself.

I really value advice from friends, colleagues and leaders I work with. I love reading about best practice. But I don't take any of this advice as a blueprint for how I move forward. I take it all in, remember what I've learnt from my own experiences and make a decision that feels right for me. Whether that is how I lead, communicate, or act as a parent, this advice holds true.

What’s the secret to a good life?

Balance.

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

I've lived and worked in Beijing.

Tell us a bit about your role:

I’m a Communications Consultant and Coach, specialising in internal communications. I help leaders engage their teams and communication professionals increase their influence. I love working 1-2-1 with clients, giving them coaching to address challenges and make the most of opportunities in their role. I also regularly write articles and blogs on internal communications for leading publications and agencies. My blogs have been featured on Ragan, All Things IC, H&H agency, Poppulo, The IC Space and more.

What’s on your internal comms agenda right now?

Right now, I’m enjoying coaching professionals to help them succeed in their role. One of my blogs has just been released: '6 ways to engage remote employees', via H&H agency. I‘ve got another blog coming up soon via All Things IC. I've also just been interviewed for an article for the next IoIC Voice magazine. It’s been a fun month so far.

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

There are so many valuable inputs from different organisations and individuals that I use to inform my work, that I wouldn't say one thing has had the biggest impact. I regularly follow IoIC, All Things IC, CIPR Inside, Ragan, H&H agency, IABC and Poppulo amongst others. I’m also particularly enjoying the work of IC Kollectif, run by Lise Michaud. Lise is fantastic at curating content from around the world. She created a great e-book called ‘Disrupting the Function of IC’ with experts from across 6 continents, giving a global picture of what lies ahead for IC practitioners. I was one of the 30 co-authors for this. She’s just launched another global IC report, called ‘The Next Level’. My favourite section contains personal insights from top in-house communicators around the world. It’s well worth a read.

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

My proudest achievement in my current role is quite simple. It was getting feedback from one of my coaching clients on what an inspiration I’ve been to them, and how much coaching has helped them progress in their role. To know that I've kept them motivated and energised in turn keeps me energised. I’ve benefited from having coaching from an early stage in my career, and I’ve always found it valuable. It gives me so much pleasure to help others and to see them happy and progressing.

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

Go for it! I think it’s such a fascinating area to work in, straddling different areas of the business, including HR, Marketing, Strategy and Communications. Every day is different and exciting. My strongest advice would be to stay strategic under the weight of tactical demands. Think about how you can contribute to the organisation’s goals. Create a clear strategy for your area, and measure and collect data to show how you’re progressing. Once you start showing results, you will get more respect, more budget and have more impact. Strategy and planning is what my coaching tends to focus on.

What do you think are the top three trends in internal communications to watch out for in 2018?

Employee advocacy

A focus on employee advocacy and storytelling as a way to build trust in the brand amongst current and prospective customers and employees. I share my thoughts on this in the eBook by IC Kollectif, 'Disrupting the Function of IC' here: https://www.ickollectif.com/ebook

Measurement

This becomes ever more important, as it is vital that we define how internal communications adds value to the business by measuring our impact. Poppulo have some excellent best practice case studies and resources on this.

Role of internal influencers

There has been some really interesting work done recently on internal influencers and how they can drive organisational change. Mike Klein, Principal of 'Changing The Terms', has shared valuable research and ideas on this, and Innovisor focus their work on how to leverage interpersonal networks in organisations for business benefit.

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