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Podcast: How to do an Internal Comms audit?

Podcast: How to do an Internal Comms audit?

Jonathan Davies


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51 mins read

Thu, May 27, '21  

As you probably got from the title, today we're talking about doing Internal Comms audits. Before we start, we're just going to give you a little spoiler...audits are not as scary as they sound.

Today we're joined by Internal Comms consultant Helen Deverell, who's here to take that scary bit away and tell us everything we need to know on Internal Comms audits. 

Watch or listen to the episode right here, or simply scroll down for the full transcript. 

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Jonathan Davies:
Alright, welcome! We are back with another episode of the Internal Communications podcast. Today I've got an exciting guest because the stars finally aligned. Everything came into place. Mars and Jupiter are in the right position because we have Helen Deverell today on our podcast!

This is a particular guest that I'm very excited about. I don't actually know why this didn't happen before. We tried, but we both were busy. You had some very exciting developments yourself, of course. But anyway, enough about that. I'm going to give you the chance to introduce yourself to our audience. So Helen, take it away.

Helen Deverell: Thank you. Thank you very much for having me here. I’m very excited as well. We finally made it work. I'm Helen Deverell, and as you mentioned, I've just had some exciting news, so I've just come back from maternity leave. But before that I've been working in Internal Comms for about 13 years and I've done that in-house agencies.

Through the last five years, I've been doing it as an independent comms consultant. I've set up my own company and I work with a range of organizations on projects, such as audits strategies and contents. I also run writing workshops on behalf of the Institute of internal communication. And I'm also a fellow with the IYC and sit on a couple of their committees as well.

I'm very involved in the Internal Comms world and I'm a blogger as well. I'm quite active in the Internal Comms world, it's a big passion of mine. And I'm excited to be talking about audits with you today. 

Jonathan Davies: Well, we're super excited to have you! Before we start jumping into the topic, I just wanted to point that out to everybody who's listening right now: Helen undersold it a little bit. She writes brilliant blog posts and the typical Internal Communications things. So if you want to know what's going on in that world, please, please, please follow her. Helen, which website can I go to?

Helen Deverell: helendeverellcommunications.com

Jonathan Davies: There we go. Alright, so after this episode, go there and read a couple of her blog posts because I always find them really insightful. It's one of my recommended reading lists. Anyway, here we go.

Before I pick you up here for more, because we're here to talk today about the exciting topic of Internal Communications audits, and this is something that you very much specialize in when you are the Internal Comms consultants. We started talking about this topic and I thought it was really interesting because it would be a chance for our audience to learn how they can maybe audit themselves a little bit.

Why having an Internal Comms audit?

Why would you audit, what is an audit for, what's even the entire point behind it? My first question is just simply going to be what is an Internal Comms audit and why would you need to do one?

Helen Deverell: Internal communication audit is really an opportunity to get a sense of how Internal Communications is currently working and how it could work better – so what's going well and what isn't. It really gives you that baseline and lots of valuable insight into Internal Communications within your organization that you can then use to inform strategy and your activities going forward. I think it's really essential that companies do them.

I think Internal Comms is much bigger than the Internal Comms team. It's essential that we understand how it's working across the organization and without doing that sort of measurement and insights, and really getting that data, you're communicating blind ultimately. To do an audit, use that to inform your strategy and then do regular ones.

They might be smaller, but regular ones afterwards keep that temperature check almost of how it's going and how it is  landing and how you can then evolve it to make sure that it's working in the right way and is moving as the organization does as well. It's really about insights to inform the way you communicate.

What are the different types of audits?

Jonathan Davies: How would you categorize the different types of audits that you can do within the field of Internal Comms? Because when we were talking, for example, you mentioned, what are things like technical audits or technology audits to see which tools Internal Comms has, but there are also some more, like strategic audits.

What would you name them? Or how would you categorize those? 

Helen Deverell: Sure. I've done Internal Comms audits, which looks at the whole Internal Comms as a function and all its channels, everything that encompasses Internal Comms inside an organization, I'd look at the whole thing. Then I've also done a channel audit. That does tend to bring in the wider Internal Comms as well. And then I'm working on a tech audit at the moment. That means looking very specifically at the technology that Internal Comms is currently using and what other opportunities they can have, tools they could bring in. 

To do that, you are looking at the tech, but you're looking at the wider culture as well. How does that organization run? How does it and need to communicate, especially in light of the last 12 months or so. How do people need to receive and access their communication and what tools can enable that to happen? What tools are currently there? What is the IT roadmap? You can do it with very specific amounts of channels, or you can look at it at a much broader and the whole Internal Comms to support the organization. 

Jonathan Davies: I think that I like your term setting a baseline. I think that that's exactly like the right purpose behind an audit. I guess that when clients contact you, do they ask you to perform an audit or do they come to you with a problem? And then you suggest let's do an audit in those, in those sections? How do people come to that decision-making process?

Helen Deverell: It could be a bit of both actually. Sometimes I do get asked directly – “Can you just come do an audit for us?” And then other times it is through conversations about something they want to do. They're not quite sure how it's going to work. And through conversations we realize that sometimes they need to step back and do their audit first. Once you've got your insight and understanding, then we can move forward to the project you're looking to do. It can be a bit of both in terms of how I get to do an audit for a client. 

Internal Comms audits aren't scary

Jonathan Davies: Right. To the people that are listening and have been following myself and Happeo for a little bit, you'll know that I once came from the world of corporate financial services, not a very good fit for me, I must say, but still. When I hear the term audit, I'm thinking somebody from outside is coming to put a very objective true view of what's going on and it's always a little bit scary, maybe a little bit intimidating. Am I right? That that's maybe also a bit of the case with an Internal Comms audit or what's that like?

Helen Deverell: I think that the word audit can make people nervous. And I think it can make people slightly defensive as well. It's ultimately a measurement as it shows everything. I think that's why there's often a nervousness around doing measurement. It is because you want to know what's working, but you do really want to know what's not working, so well because that can reflect on you. I think it's really important with all this that I always describe it as leaving your ego at the door.

It's really, really important that people recognize that it's not criticism. It is understanding just how things are working. If there are things that aren't working so well, that's not necessarily the Internal Comms team that aren't doing their jobs properly. It's an opportunity to understand what needs to be different and take action on that.

I think it is an opportunity to review and to reflect. But it's not something that should be taken personally. And I think that's something that does stop people sometimes. I think people worry that when they report the audit back to senior leaders or stakeholders they're going to have to be quite honest about the results that might not look so good to them.

But I think that is a part of setting out upfront. Making sure you have leaders and stakeholders on board from the beginning, and that they understand the purpose of the audit, they understand that there are going to be negatives as well as positives and not just about the Internal Comms team. It may well be things about the culture of the organization or the leadership of the organization.

A lot of people could come into that central criticism or what could be perceived as negativity, but actually if everyone understands that this is to make things better, this is to listen to your employees. It's an opportunity to really understand and listen to what's going on, to allow their voices to be heard, to let them feel they're being valued.

That actually is constructive. It's not critical in a negative way. It's actually constructive and it's something that's going to help you be better. I think as long as everyone's on that same page, then audit's worked really well and there’s nothing to be scared of. 

Jonathan Davies: That's interesting because first off, you're mentioning measurements a lot, and I guess that the outcome of an audit would be broad data or sayings, phrases, points, interviews that have been transcribed.

The outcome of it is simply data and data is quite objective, right? This is what data is and this is what data does. Then how do you help people first off overcome ego-related resistances towards, “Oh no, we've got something negative to show” because I assume that you'll be working with an Internal Communicator or an Internal Comms team in some of those cases.

They're going to have to face the reality that some of the things aren't always going to be positive. How do you help them overcome that idea? 

Helen Deverell: I think being clear up front about what to expect and that's why I think it can be good to have someone external do an audit because they will come in with that objectivity. I think it can sometimes be difficult to look at data objectively when it is about you and what you're doing that there can be biases that you might have that are “Well that's because we do this or that was because of that”, whereas actually, if you can come in and look at the wider picture and completely fresh, you can see things slightly differently.

I think it is about recognizing that, although there will be a bit negative, there will also be positive. So reminding people that this isn't all going to be bad at all. There'll be lots of things that you do well, and lots of opportunities, lots of things that you didn't know about, the great opportunities going forward that you can utilize.

I think it is about supporting them to recognize that this is actually going to help them going forward, start painting a picture of what this audit will help you to do. And then hopefully that will help them sort of feel less nervous about the negatives, which again, will only be part of it. And when I say negative, it's not even negative, it's constructive criticism and that's how I would position it. Anything that comes out of an audit that is negative. As some of that comes into it, I'm not interested in listening to moaning. Quite genuinely I can tell the difference between someone that's just having a bit of a moan about the company and someone who's genuinely upset about something, someone who has genuine feedback on something.

I think that is important to distinguish. I'm not going to give feedback to people that are just having a bit of a complaint about. It's something that's quite clearly personal because that's not helpful, but actually if it's something that's really constructive, something that's really helpful that will help the constituents do better, then that's what I'll give feedback to. 

And it's not to say that I'm ignoring people. I think focus groups are a great place to vent sometimes and people need to do that. But I think the role of someone who's running a focus group is to recognize what's venting and what's actually constructive and helpful, and then make sure you're feeding back the right sort of feedback to the Internal Comms team.

Jonathan Davies: I've described myself as somewhat of a positive realist. I've dealt with some people before that have objective outcomes of an Internal Communications campaign or something that they've been doing an initiative over the past year. And of course there are going to be positives and negatives, but for me, the way I look at it, and I hope that maybe I'm right when I think like this, is that when those negative things come out, maybe the things that don't have the results you quite need to, it's actually a massive opportunity because finally, when that comes out of an audit, you can actually show the company, “Hey, here's where we're not doing too well. That's what we will be focusing on for the next X period of time. Those are the measurements that you can expect for me to report on.”

Is it that clarity because to meet us as a sigh of relief, because finally we've got something concrete to report on that we actually have an effect on. Is that how it works sometimes? 

Helen Deverell: Absolutely. I think that's a really good point. And I think the actual factor of doing an audit itself shows the Internal Comms team to be strategic, to be actually working on itself, to actually want to do better, to be thinking about data and insight and using that, I think helps to change the perception of Internal Comms just by the actual act of doing an audit.

Then, being able to say, “Well, because we're doing it, we're going to have really clear objectives going forward. And we're going to report back to you on how we're doing on those. And we're not just a fluffy function, just being the senators out of the organization, we're actually doing something with stuff that we believe is really going to support your strategy. We're going to help you achieve it. We're going to have an impact on the business. The way we're going to do that is by understanding how Internal Comms currently works through this audit. And then that's our opportunity to understand where to put our focus going forward. So, absolutely.

Jonathan Davies: I want to talk about measurements a little bit, because you mentioned that essentially that's the main focus of your audit, right? You get measurable outcomes. What kind of measurements are we usually looking at? 

Helen Deverell: When I do audits I usually run a survey. I will also do focus groups and I would also run one-to-one interviews and then also do desk research as well. So review channels, review internal commons content and generally get a sense of how it's currently working.

So you get your survey results, obviously, which you can then cross reference and break down into different audiences. Depending on what demographics you put, you can break that all down and you start to get a sense of how that couple is coming through.

You can spot trends and themes across the survey. And then I use that to then compare it to focus groups. In the focus groups, I'm looking for lots of keywords or phrases or sentiments that are coming through that. I keep hearing again and again and I think this is a bit of an issue generally.

Then same with the interview – looking for common themes, and then I'm bringing it all together to try and get that holistic view. I think what you said that it's the outcome, that's really important. I'm not just looking for stats, I'm looking for the focus groups and the interviews really to back up the stats that come out of the survey.

It provides a much bigger, more holistic view of what's going on. I think that's the really important bit  to make sure that the information you're getting from one bit isn't in isolation and sometimes you will uncover issues that aren't necessarily Internal Comms issues or very specific to one part of the organization.

It's not necessarily an across the board issue and that's fine. I think it's important to highlight those, but also recognize that they might be something that falls out or the remit of Internal Comms. You need to flag that with another part of the business. So it's not to ignore that, but just to recognize, is that within the remit, is that something that Internal Comms can control? Possibly not, therefore flag it to someone else, but at least you've highlighted it as an issue. 

Jonathan Davies: Actually, that's a really interesting point because I've seen internal Comms evolve more towards the field of a business partner where you're put in that position where you can basically have that helicopter view of what's going on in the organization. This is obviously the best case scenario. And point out “Here are issues that we found. Here are things that we find that we can actually do something about because that's the Internal Comms remit, and those are issues that aren't there.”

Do you think that it's important for Internal Communicators? Also look at things within the organization that they can't affect on, but they can at least advise leadership, “Hey, here's a problem. We need to do something about it.” 

How to perform an Internal Comms audit?

Helen Deverell: I think so. I think that will probably come through anyway. I think we support them in doing an audit that sets parameters within it.

So you set objectives for your audit. What is it you're trying to find out with this audit and being quite clear and targeted with that. So I don't think you should necessarily go in looking for issues that are beyond the remit of Internal Comms, but I think if they come through or it's something that, as you say, there is an issue you're aware that it's probably there and Internal Comms might be able to support that business issue.

There might be campaigns that could be done to support it. Then yes, it might be. There are some specific questions around that. But I think as we talked about, they will crop up anyway, if they're burning issues within the organization, they will come up. And then yes, it is an opportunity to say to leadership or to whoever it is that is relevant to, this is an issue we need to look at.

This is an issue you may need to think about, but let's see how we can also support it from an Internal Comms point of view. Again, as you said, that business partnering that, that. That supports spotting the issues and saying we could potentially help you with this. It's exactly what Internal Comms should be doing.

And we shouldn't be waiting for people to come to us all the time. If we see something where we can add value let's show the business exactly how we can do that, because I think there is still a perception that we're not a strategic function. And actually, if we are going to people and saying, we've seen, you've got that issue, we think we can help.

This is how we can do it. That would be hugely valuable to people. And then again, demonstrates the impact that we can have and, and the way we're thinking, the way we're working, but it might be slightly different to what they thought. 

Jonathan Davies: Okay. Now I'm going to summarize it a bit, what we have for us so far, because first off we've got, why would you do an audit?

Essentially, because you want to establish a baseline of what's actually going on within the company so that, which areas to focus on what you're doing well, and what is maybe something for later, right then we've got, okay, you're going to do your research. You essentially named four key points for research.

At first, you're going to survey, you're going to a focus group. You're going to do one-on-one interviews and you're going to do essentially desk research instead of content that the Internal Comms team has made available, looking at all those four things, they should compliment each other.

It shouldn't just be like individual siloed. Pieces of research should be beautiful part of a whole. Then you've got those outcomes based on those outcomes. I suppose you're going to make recommendations. With those recommendations, what happens then? Do you start to advise people on how to set up campaigns, combating specific issues?

Are there issues that you see crop up very frequently that, if that's an outcome of my audit, that's a first thing that we need to do something about what are the next steps. 

Working with the outcomes

Helen Deverell: I tend to structure my recommendations in three stages. So you have your quick wins. You can do something about it straight away and make a difference. They're quite easy to sort out; that might be something to do with a channel or the way something's currently being done. Whatever it is, it could be a quick win. Then you've got your medium term things that are going to maybe take a bit more time, a bit more investment, or even a bit more thought.

But it should be done within the next three to six months. And then you've got your really long-term ones, which are not going to be quick wins. They're probably more fundamental changes that need to happen. So that could be something from a cultural change right through to something like you need a whole new intranet.

It's just not fit for purpose. You need a whole new tool. That's not going to happen overnight. So I then went with my recommendations. I also put, provided by us, on how I think you could achieve those. So what is it you need to be thinking about? And as you say, the more audits I do, the more I spot things that often come out quite a lot.

So something that I often find comes through. A common theme is the lack of why there's so often people don't understand why things are happening in the organization. And so they know what's happening, how it's happening, but they don't really know why they don't know why they should care, why they should get behind it and how it impacts how it impacts that particular job and why it matters to them.

That comes through time and time again. It can be a quick win in maybe not an immediate win, but medium term in the sense that once you understand that that's missing, how can you start bringing that into your communications? What do you need to think about how to reach people about who needs to lead that?

Is that a campaign? Is that a series of stories? Is that going out and speaking to people, is that going through people, managers, there's lots of different options depending on the organization. And that is really key as well as that, I'm not there. Say, just going well, that worked for an organization.

Do it for this organization. Because the same trends came through. It might be the same trends, but your organization will be different. The recommendations are made dependent on how you work as an organization. What type of organization you are, the type of people you have where you're based.

Are you spread across the globe? In the UK for example there is a huge amount to consider in that recommendation, but often the rock themes that will come through time and time again. But one of them I see a lot is, is that lack of why people just don't have that. 

Jonathan Davies: I suppose that the interesting part about the unique position that you're in versus somebody who's an in-house communicator. So you've done audits at several other companies, and I know that you cannot take, let's say two issues pop up in two separate companies. Two approaches will not, or the same approach will not work for the same company because our ecosystems are completely different. But I imagine that you've gotten to the point where after so many audits that you're now able to benchmark how a company is doing compared to other companies that you've audited.

Am I right in saying that you've gotten there? 

Helen Deverell: I think that definitely can be achieved. I possibly would say I'm not quite at the point where I'm benchmarking clients because I don't have clients necessarily in the same industries that are easy. Benchmark benchmarkable. But there are definitely companies that can do that.

That would focus on auditing some particular industries, things like that, where you probably would get easier to get that benchmark. And so I personally am not at that point, but yes it is. If you can get that, that is, that can be brilliant to do. And the other thing I'd say as well is that, although I think it can be prayerful to have an external person come in to do your debt.

If you haven't gotten the budget for that, you can do it yourself. It's not an impossible tool. I think the issue is around providing anonymity and that's where it it's, it's a bit challenging. And that objectivity piece, I think if you can try, if you can try to be objective when looking at data that can help, but I would always recommend the, if.

It works really well. If you're new to Internal Comms, if you're new to the business, I think you can probably run internal comments by your audit by yourself because people are not associating you with Internal Comms. You're also not going to take it personally. You're going to be much more objective and another way around it, as well as if you're running it.

And you could potentially ask colleagues from a different team that are skilled at facilitation, such as HR to run the focus groups for you. So again, that it's, you're not, people are going to be maybe more honest. And I think that. The really big thing is that people want them to be really honest and people won't necessarily be honest.

If the Internal Comms person has sat in the room. That's where it can be beneficial to have an external person, but like I said, if you don't have that budget, you can always also call you from another team to run those things. And you'll keep this survey feedback anonymous anyway. If you're new to the organization, then that gives you a really good opportunity to run an audit by yourself.

Jonathan Davies: Right. I think that that's also an  interesting point, especially to the people that are listening right now, because we always try to give them a little gift of knowledge that they can immediately implement and do themselves because on one hand, you're going to have companies that you've worked for in the past that say, okay, we have an issue.

We need an external person to come in, do an Internal Comms audit. We've got the budget. We're going to go ahead and do it. There are also going to be people. Maybe they work in smaller companies. Maybe they're not actually a full-time Internal Communicator, anything along those lines, maybe they just don't have to budget for whatever reason, they need to do an Internal Comms audit as well.

Just to establish an actual baseline, which please, please, please, everyone starts establishing a baseline where you are at. If somebody wants to start doing an Internal Comms, audit themselves. How do you even go about that? Because I imagine that when you get roped in, but at times there has also been buy-in from leadership and people that are clear in budgets.

Whereas if somebody is in the house, they need to go through. Maybe the arguments of how I spend my resources. How does this work? How does that process differ from each other? 

Helen Deverell: It's a really interesting question. I think there is a hybrid as well that you could potentially do. If someone was doing an audit themselves, they could do the data gathering, but then hand it to an external person to do the analysis of it. And so it's more objective that way. That is another way you could do it. Do you feel budget's smaller? So how do you go about it? I think if you're doing it on your own, there is a business case that you'll need to put forward for it.

I think it's really important to set out what Internal Comms currently are and what they could be. I think that sounds really obvious, but I think a lot of the time senior leaders don't really appreciate what Internal Comms could do for them. And actually to do that, you need the insight in the first place.

It's really what it is you're trying to do. What, why, again, I will keep saying why that's so often isn't there and what you're trying to do, why you're trying to do it sets out what it will involve, what you think you'll get out the other end and then remind them what the benefits are to the business, as well as the Internal Comms team.

How does the business benefit from you doing this audit and how are you going to better support it? How are you going to say? Leadership and employees. And I think setting that out for them can be, can really help you to then get that through. And then, and then ideally the things to think about when you're actually running it is what else is going on in the organization at a time.

Trying not to run surveys when you already done 10 surveys in the last. Three to six months thinking about that, thinking about how to get people into focus groups at the right time. Have they got, is it, is there anything else going on? So is it a big time for your company depending on what you do, is it the end of year or something like that?

When people are gonna be extremely busy, then you're not going to get the interest. So make sure you're timing it right as well, so that you get people at the best time and where they're going to be able to talk and be open. And I think those are some of the key things to be thinking about. And then as I said earlier, as well about setting objectives yourself.

Not just going into an audit and saying. Let's see what we find, be quite intentional with it. So set really clear objectives about what it is you're trying to find out. And it might be that you find out other things as well. But being, having those objectives will help you set clear questions and help you be quite focused on what it is you're trying to achieve, because ultimately anything you're doing is to help you create your strategy that supports the business strategy.

You must have some insight into how you're going to do that. So those objectives just help you focus in on that a little bit more and make sure that you're getting the outcomes that you need to create your strategy at the end. 

Jonathan Davies: I feel like objective has become a key word for this entire fucking no, just in setting objectives, but also remaining objective.

I think I'm curious how you feel about this, but I'd say if you're going to set objectives for your internal console, that makes sure that you set them with a senior leader on your side. And get them to buy into those objectives as well, because that way you've got somebody to tell you what actually notice doesn't make sense, or this is not a business need or something is going on and be your ready, have somebody on your side that can champion that initiative for you.

Would you agree with this? 

Helen Deverell: Oh, definitely. I really agree with that. Yes, exactly what you said. Then I think as I, once they, you have them on board and they, your champion, they can champion it to other senior leaders, but they can also endorse it, so that when you then communicate it having a senior leader endorse this audit Visibly, ignore it.

Then it really helps give it credibility, encourage people to get on board and people to see it as something beyond Internal Comms. This is something that business wants to happen. This is something that we're taking very seriously and it's important. And we're going to, and I think, I always say as well, there's no point in doing an audit.

If you're not going to act on it. That's the other really important reason to get leadership on board is they need to understand what's going to happen. What sort of questions are going to ask what you're trying to achieve with it? Because what you get out the other end, if you then do nothing with that, or they don't want to hear it, or don't want to act on it, you won't get people wanting to get involved in this sort of thing.

In future, you're going to erode trust. You're going to win, in the process and in Internal Comms and potentially in leadership because the people are going to give up their time and it's valuable and they're going to share that their concerns, their worries, which is actually a really vulnerable position to put themselves in.

If they're going to do all of that. And then at the end, they hear nothing about it again. It's just not  fair on them and it's not worthwhile and demo for Internal Comms. Having your stakeholders or senior leaders on board, as you say, helps set those objectives, make sure they're the right ones also to help promote it and to give it credibility, but then also to make sure that they are on board so that they are willing to hear the feedback and act on it. That is all an important part of it as well. 

Jonathan Davies: I'm going to draw a parallel between that and the age old employee engagement survey. It fires once a year. Sometimes people, if you're going to fire off that survey and you get the results, make sure you show those results and B do something about it.

Don't just ask people for their opinion. Because it's not going to help us get anywhere. I think now maybe now is the right time in this conversation to talk about where we are within Internal Comms now. If now is the right time for everybody to start thinking about doing an audit, because last year we saw that the whole pandemic wave and briars, and  the rise of Internal Comms, External Comms was gaining a lot of self-esteem from this.

I see two sides of the coin. I see Internal Communicators that are really capitalizing on are riding that wave of increased respect that they've gained from essentially what happened during the pandemic. And on the other side, I see Internal Communicators that still their status winds up, but they're like, “Okay, what do I do now?”

How do I break this wave? How do I take everything for it? Do you think that an audit is the exact right thing now for companies to start doing so they can really figure out, “Well, how can we break this momentum and make it bigger than it ever was?” 

Helen Deverell: It can be. Especially as things aren't going to go back to how they were before. We had to adapt extremely quickly when everything kicked off. People made things where they potentially implemented tools very quickly because they had to find new ways of communicating. They've got people now working in very different ways. All of that was very reactive. I think, and some of it may have worked really well.

Some of it may not work as well as you'd like, but again, at the time you just had to go with it. And now, as you say, things are coming down, we're starting to work out what our new working world is going to look like. Now could be a very good opportunity for a lot of companies to say, "Okay, let's do an audit."

Let's find out. How did it all work currently? How are we right now? So how are we working as an organization? What is our plan going forward? Are we going to have everyone back in the office? Is it going to be hybrid working? Is everyone going to stay at home? What does that mean for how we communicate?

What channels do we need to support that? How do we enable us? And how do we support that? The culture that needs to be around that. And that's something I've been talking to people about recently is how do you create a sense of belonging? How do people feel connected to their colleagues? And how can Internal Comms facilitate that?

There's some really important big questions. The audit can have answers based on what's happened in the last year. And as you say to them, Recognize that we're, we're, we're getting a bit of a wave and how do we maintain that momentum and not lose it now? How do we build on that and really demonstrate the impact we can have when we've actually got the space and time to think. I think it's a really good time to do that. 

Jonathan Davies: I agree. It is one of those rare moments in time where we do have a little bit of space and time to think of seeing that across the board where more Internal Communicators are not sighing or breathing a sigh of relief after the very hectic 2020 and are now thinking, "Okay, what do we do?"

So take this time, don't sit back, be active, audit yourself, figure out what your baseline is, figure out what you can improve and figure out what you're doing really well, because that's also really important to show. Helen, thank you so much for your time. I love this conversation. I think there's some very valuable information in it for everybody that was listening to everybody. That's been listening again, helenderevellcommunications.com. Reach out to her when you need her. I can vouch that she's also active on LinkedIn. Thank you, Helen. 

Helen Deverell: Thank you for having me. I really enjoyed it.