The biggest communications job I had to do was with our own people in order to get information
Jack King “The voice of NASA”
Jack King died earlier this month. For 12 years he managed communications at NASA’s Florida spaceport, serving as the voice of launch control for every human mission from Gemini 4 to Apollo 15.
His quote reminds me of the thought that internal communications isn’t rocket science. I agree with the statement because internal communications is a social science and, in my experience, far more complex than aeronautical engineering.
But I can see why practitioners remain divided on this view. For the practitioners that act as “the voice of the company” internal communications is really quite simple compared to the practitioners that facilitate “the voice of the people”
The corporate mouthpiece keeps a safe distance from operational comms, preferring to launch their comms in the comfort of mission control HQ. Don’t get me wrong, launch comms are important but operational comms are mission critical.
How much time do you spend facilitating meaningful conversations compared to making internal announcements in your organisation?
Have a look at the Internal Communications Kaleidoscope below and think about where your focus is.
What percentage of your time and effort do you spend facilitating conversations on the right (leadership and functional comms) compared to your time and effort facilitating conversations on the left (team and operational comms)?
If it’s disproportionate, then I’d suggest “Houston, we have a problem”.