With the advent of artificial intelligence-based content generation tool ChatGPT, you can now safely say that content is no longer “king” — at least when it comes to the skills that internal communication pros bring to the table.
So, what are some skills that can help you increase your relevance?
As content gives way to context as a driver of action, thinking and sentiment in organizations and communities, here are three skills that IC pros can learn and put into practice quickly — and strengthen their case for being seen as strategic assets rather than mere content generators:
As organizations lose more and more control of the flow of messaging, they need to get much smarter at measuring what messages are cutting through. That means tapping into the word of mouth situation — the organizational conversation — what it looks like in reality, and how it aligns with manager and leader expectations.
Engagement surveys and embedded analytics are notoriously poor in doing this — even ChatGPT itself can tell you that..
Instead, you need to be able to assess the gaps between organizational, team and individual priorities in order to be able to address them in creative and resonant ways.
Fortunately, these skills don’t require a command of exotic mathematics. They simply require you to ask some good and proven questions, and turn the answers into numbers that can prompt leaders to enable you to take the right actions..
Internal communication pros are fairly late to the segmentation party — but the targeting of messages to specific relevant audiences becomes imperative as stakeholders start generating content freely and distribute it indiscriminately.
Rather than focusing on trying to “engage everyone equally”, focusing communication on what specific people need to do and giving them the context and knowledge that enables them to act with confidence becomes paramount.
This requires a rethink of strategy and a new emphasis on pinpointing messages and reducing organizational noise — a rethink that comes from looking at comms strategy in terms of what people need to do, know, feel and say to create the conditions for success.
In stepping back from our content generation roles, what else can internal communicators do to improve communication and better integrate their businesses? Identify the influencers who drive word-of-mouth, the most powerful communication channel there is.
Understanding the social connectivity of your enterprise is not an AI operation, and it’s not obtained by asking HR or the senior team who they think the influencers are (as HR and management often confuse “influence” with “cooperativeness”). Instead, it involves some specific and proven processes which, while rigorous, are actually fairly easy to learn and implement.
Why are these skills easy to learn?
What connects these ideas together — aside from the fact that I’ve developed training approaches for each and am currently offering a public Measurement Masterclass, and a one-on-one Internal Influence Masterclass — is that they require us to actively reject our preconceived and outdated notions about what our roles are in the organizations in which we operate, and then practice new skills that can create the basis for more powerful actions that build greater competence and credibility.
That’s the hard part: our professional identities and the main transactions we are used to having with our stakeholders.
Once that’s overcome, the easy part is adding some short, practical, and actionable lessons and exercises. These enable you to immediately take replicable, visible, and tangible steps that will produce new results and add proof points to your narrative about the value you add and the impact you make.
If you want to register for either the Measurement or Internal Influence Masterclasses, visit www.changingtheterms.com/masterclass.
If you are interested in a company-specific training program — send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.