There was a great question posed on Melcrum’s Communicators Network on Linkedin recently: “Can you describe your business or expertise in 10 words or less?”
To date there have been over 44 responses – and at the risk of causing offence to some of my peers, I have to say that by the time I got to the end of the list I was left with a lingering sensation of sadness.
The best of the bunch come from in-house practitioners. My two favourites were the short and sweet; “Insurance” from the comms manager from AXA and the stunningly accurate and descriptive “Bringing freedom and independence to blind and partially sighted people” from the intranet manager at Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Now, compare these to the contributions some of the specialist communications agencies and consultants:
- Unleashing the power of involvement in live communication
- Helping businesses become what they want to be!
- A snail crawling along the edge of a razor blade
- Bringing out their best by being your best
- Changing People Inside
- Making Monday the best day of the week
- Bringing together HR and marketing to keep your business authentic
- Helping organizations engage employees in conversations for possibility
- Creating maximum employee engagement through non-equity employee ownership
- Making change management look like a game of football
In fairness, take each one in isolation and you could get away with it. Maybe. But read them all on a single page and they begin to look increasingly absurd. I was reminded of the recent advert for Tesco Mobile, which I think is genius.
The list above looks to me like a bit of a showcase on what’s wrong with the Internal Communications Industry and perhaps one of the reasons why we find it difficult sometimes to be heard at Board level.
I wonder if any of the contributors used the online corporate bullshit generator?