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Ruth Harper

Talking internal communications at The Big Yak

On Saturday June 22nd, an intrepid duo of NMers (that’ll be me and Belinda) headed to Richmond to sponsor and join more than 130 committed, enthusiastic internal communications (IC) professionals for The Big Yak.

The Big Yak – an unconference about internal communications – is the brainchild of The IC Crowd, an informal network of IC specialists whose lively community has been running for just over a year.

Having recently hosted a roundtable about IC, and published this enterprise social network white paper, we wanted to broaden and deepen our understanding of how digital technology is changing the day-to-day reality of internal communications and find out how these changes are affecting a wide range of organsations on the ground.

Expertly facilitated by Benjamin Ellis, the day got off to a roaring start. The whiteboard quickly filled up with sessions ranging from Belinda’s ‘virtual collaboration’ to ‘blurring the lines between internal and external communication’ – as far as the thorny, but illuminating issue of ‘internal communications during redundancy and economic downturn’.

Themes that ran through the day included creating great places to work, issues of openness and accountability, building engagement and creating environments where trust and open communication can flow.

And vitally, we met and spoke to present and future IC leaders who will have a pivotal role in helping their organisations change and adapt to face the challenges of a digital future – who are committed, enthusiastic and prepared to spend their sunny summer Saturday talking shop and making a difference.

You can find out more about the day at the official Big Yak website, Benjamin Ellis’s Storify and the hashtag #thebigyak – and we’ll definitely be back next year.

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