KENSINGTON — There’s not much that is ‘commercial’ in my house. Maybe a few dozen old newspapers with adverts in them. A poster on a child’s wall that promotes a museum or a football team. One doesn’t expect to be sold to at home.
However there is one exception: the cereal boxes.
We’ve got seven of them. All different. All placed at eye-level in front of the kids first thing in the morning. All shouting something different. They’re like little, print-based sirens.
And they work.
“Dad! What’s ‘riboflavin’?!”
“How come I’ve never been to Alton Towers!”
“Can we enter this contest?”
My cereal boxes were turned upside-down and by the time they were re-assembles they were missing panels and the internal bags hung out the side like… well like things you only usually see in med school.
And that’s why Internal Comms people are a bit like cereal boxes. Not the medical school part. The other bits.
Internal communicators have a privileged position in a business. They are the only broadly condoned public organ. (Stay focused now.) You are the one publisher allowed to clog up the airwaves, billboards and brainwaves of the busy occupants of the building.
Internal communications people only have a short time with people. You can’t expect (nor should you aim) to distract people from their daily grind for more than a few minutes a day.
And that remains a privilege, not a right. If you mess it up you’ll be banished like Cocopops and Frosties.
The contents of the box needs to be right.
Yesterday I heard for the first time in a long time about an organisation where the entire internal comms function had been shut down.
And why not?
Orange juice anyone?