It’s just two weeks since I unleashed The IC Citizen and it seems that there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the movement within the internal communications community. A movement needs a manifesto, so Phase 2 of The IC Citizen will be about asking internal communicators what they think should be in our manifesto. The link to the manifesto survey is included at the end of this blog.
The IC Citizen movement has now reached 260 followers on Twitter since it began just two weeks ago and I’ve received many messages of support for, and interest in, the movement.
Last week I was out and about in London with other members of the CIPR Inside Committee promoting our work to internal communicators at a conference and an awards dinner. I was delighted that some people came up to me to chat about The IC Citizen, or made the connection between me and the movement when I introduced myself.
The conversations I’ve had have sparked a few ideas, particularly the questions from internal communicators about how they could join the movement and actively support it to demonstrate their own IC Citizenship, or help others to do the same.
As I’d encountered such enthusiasm for The IC Citizen concept, I ran a quick Twitter poll to see if others felt it was worthwhile taking the movement into a ‘Phase 2’ to develop it further. Although the number of responses was small, over 80% who responded indicated that they think it’s a great idea and worth taking forward.
How can I ignore the obvious enthusiasm for a movement I have unwittingly unleashed within the internal communications profession, or resist the opportunity and potential of taking it to the next level?
OK, I give in, onwards to Phase 2 then!
The IC Citizen Manifesto
A movement needs a manifesto. A statement of intent which sets out what the movement stands for and what those who follow can do to support it. I think Phase 2 of The IC Citizen should be about creating a clear manifesto which sets out how all internal communicators can potentially participate in the movement.
In my earlier blogs about The IC Citizen, I’ve set out seven characteristics or activities which I think can contribute towards IC Citizenship.
- Networking more to make connections and support others.
- Participating in debate whenever we can to share and test new ideas.
- Offering constructive challenge to stakeholders when they make tactical requests with no clear business objective, so that we educate them about the true power of internal communication.
- Entering and winning awards for the right reasons, so that we can unlock the potential of award competitions to add to our collective body of knowledge and actively raise capability.
- Mentoring others formally and informally.
- Engaging in regular and meaningful continuous professional development.
- Being a member of a relevant professional body.
These characteristics seem to me to be as good a place as any to start to develop The IC Citizen Manifesto.
However, I want the manifesto to be created by internal communicators for internal communicators. Although I am the one who unleashed it, the movement is not just about me, it is about us. So, until the end of May I’ll be offering internal communicators the chance to influence what goes into the manifesto, if they want to.
Before I tell you how you can get involved, I’d just like to recap why I think The IC Citizen is so important for the internal communications profession and our future.
Why do we need The IC Citizen movement and the manifesto?
Being supportive towards and sharing knowledge with other internal communicators defines the internal communications profession. It is what makes us special and it is our biggest strength.
Like most other professions we are faced by an uncertain and challenging future. The world of work is changing fast, with increasing digitisation in the workplace, the march of artificial intelligence and the convergence of internal and external communication. Every internal communicator must adapt to these changes and others if our profession is to evolve its purpose and capabilities, remain relevant and be fit for the future.
However there are many internal communicators who are ‘in’ the profession but are not ‘part’ of it. For example, they are not active in continuous professional development, don’t regularly or ever connect with networks of other internal communicators to share ideas and they are not a member of a relevant professional body. This holds back our profession as a whole and diminishes the capability and power of our collective.
The IC Citizen movement is about encouraging all internal communicators to participate in activities which reinforce the sharing and supportive behaviours which define our profession. It is a key which I believe could unlock a more secure and fulfilling future for all internal communicators, and improve their capability for the benefit of businesses, organisations and society.
Creating the manifesto
Until the end of May I’m offering internal communicators the opportunity to participate in a short survey to establish the appropriateness of the seven characteristics and identify any others which could be included in The IC Citizen Manifesto.
If you are an internal communicator, I hope you will take up my offer to participate in the survey. The more responses we get, the more representative of the profession The IC Citizen Manifesto will be. The link to the survey is at the end of this blog. It will take less than 5 minutes of your time to complete it.
What ‘The IC Citizen’ is and isn’t
I’ve been asked over the last couple of weeks if The IC Citizen will become an internal communication award, or if I’m setting up a new membership or professional body for internal communicators to join. The IC Citizen is neither of those things and I have no intention of suggesting that we take the movement in those directions.
The IC Citizen movement is open to participation by any internal communicator regardless of status or level of experience. All you have to do to join the movement is to commit to one or more of the seven characteristic and eventually, whatever appears in the manifesto. Any internal communicator can be The IC Citizen if they chose to be.
The IC Citizen website
I’ve now set up a permanent home for The IC Citizen in my website. Here you’ll find information which summarises what The IC Citizen is all about, links to the blogs, latest developments and how you can be a part of the movement.
Although The IC Citizen is not an award, I’ve included some of the internal communicators who the movement have already recognised as being role models. If you know of any others, please give them a shout out on social media using the hashtag #theICcitizen. I’ve also listed some of the events and places where I’ll be in the next few months if you’d like to have a chat about The IC Citizen.
Thanks to everyone I met last week and those who have messaged me, shared The IC Citizen concept, or liked the tweets and posts on social media, for your support and enthusiasm.
Join our growing movement and be part of the internal communications profession, not just in it.
Who knows where this could take us?
I mentioned CIPR Inside which I’m currently a committee member and treasurer for. CIPR Inside is the Chartered Institute of Public Relations sector group for communication practitioners working in internal communications and employee engagement. We support the internal communications community by researching and producing content for blogs, webinars, conferences and events, and promote continuous professional development. Visit the CIPR Inside website to find out more.