Do a Master’s degree, they said. It’ll be a good idea, they said. Well, on this occasion, the nagging voices in my head, pushing me to add another project onto my overstuffed plate of comms commitments, were right.
But don’t tell them that.
As internal communicators, passion, curiosity and a hunger to learn is at the very core of who we are. Striving for best practice and pushing the world of employee engagement into new and innovative directions fuels creativity, while measurement speaks to our need for the robust analysis that underpins our strategy. But there’s always more to learn.
It’s this innate desire to continually interrogate the world of internal communications which led me to study for a Masters in Internal Communications Management.
Ours is an industry which is often misunderstood. Don’t get me wrong, it is changing, taking big strides into the mainstream of essential business functions. But IC pros are still often conflated with HR or considered an organisation’s post room. If we want to change this perception, it’s incredibly important that we push for greater recognition of the intrinsic value of internal communications. And strong academic discipline isn’t a bad place to start.
The intensive one-year course, developed by the Institute of Internal Communications (IoIC) in partnership with Solent University, applies much-needed academic rigor and focus to the strategic practice of internal communications. Practical experience is blended with academic knowledge from industry-leading practitioners, crafting a well-rounded programme.
The time is ripe for the IC industry to don its mortar board and step up to the collegiate plate, as IoIC Professional Development Manager Sarah Magee explains,
“As the world of work continues to change at such a rapid pace, there is an increasing need for internal communicators to demonstrate their strategic capability and for their role in the organisation to be taken seriously.
“The addition of the Internal Communications Management MA to the IoIC professional development portfolio is testament to the need for learning and development, backed by sound academic theory at a senior level and gives IC professionals the confidence, credibility and skills to make a difference in their workplace.”
She’s not wrong about confidence. Certainly, many of us in the world of IC have found at one time or another that our years of experience spent crafting campaigns in big corporations still lack a certain validation that only academia can bestow, as Oli Howard talks candidly about.
Be under no illusion, juggling an intensive degree with the demands of a senior internal comms role is no mean feat. But the need to underpin the work I deliver with sound academic grounding, that goes beyond gut feel, drives me forward even when my arms get tired.
Would I recommend higher education to fellow IC pros? Yes, wholeheartedly. For greater understanding, for more robust reasoning and, if for no other purpose, to change the conversation with that voice in your head.
Curious about the Internal Communications Management Masters course? Find out more