In 1984 BT lost its monopoly status with the de-regulation of the UK telecoms market. It has survived by defending its core, traditional business through quality of service, and flourished through diversification and transformation into a global communications services company – utilising its hard earned skills and sweating its key asset – namely its core network and its networking expertise. For me, the internal comms (IC) profession is about to have its own 1984 moment.
Until now, the IC profession has had monopoly supplier status on the flow of non-operational information within organisations. That’s about to change. The internal information environment is being deregulated through the deployment of tools that facilitate the publishing of user-generated content. This environment is about to get very busy, noisy and competitive. What can IC people learn from BT’s success:
- Defend core business through quality of service – IC people are skilled communicators who know how to exploit channels to best effect – our core ‘business’. In a competitive environment dominated by amateurs we must exploit this advantage through the provision of ‘quality’ content and channel consultancy services by utilising our core skills to differentiate ourselves from the morass of unprofessional, competitive noise.
- Transformation and exploitation of key assets – we must look at diversifying our offering, while sweating our key asset – namely, strong relationships and access to senior managers. What communications services will senior managers want in this new deregulated space? Time to start thinking and planning … maybe personal brand managers for senior people; information brokers; engagement consultants??
We must be thinking ahead to stay relevant …