Welcome to Collaboration@Work, a series of features dedicated to share collaboration best practices that inspire highly engaged, productive environments.
Lise Michaud is Founder of IC Kollectif, a collaborative effort with IABC/Montreal that brings together the most comprehensive internal communication (IC) resources and content under one roof.
Read on to learn how IC Kollectif helps communication professionals find and share highly relevant IC information to support organizational communication success.
Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did IC Kollectif get started?
Lise Michaud: IC Kollectif’s venture started five months ago. We kicked it off on Twitter and with IABC/Montreal’s February newsletter, an issue entirely dedicated to internal communication. Our initial partnership with IABC/Montreal provided us with high visibility and credibility from the start, and we are grateful for that.
We reached 1,000 followers on Twitter within 100 days and over 1,500 followers within 125 days. More significantly, we have grown organically and globally, bringing together in-house communication practitioners, IC thought leaders, consultants, professional associations and other participants from across five continents.
We held our first joint event with IABC/Montreal in April 2016, a two-hour workshop with Stephen Welch on how to become a strategic communication advisor. We reached a new milestone with the launch of our website on July 18.
PB: What inspired IC Kollectif to support internal communication professionals?
LM: IC Kollectif was born from a desire to simplify and accelerate the process of connecting communication professionals with knowledge, resources and our global community. It is intended for professionals in internal communication and other business communication disciplines.
As communication professionals, we are called on to be creative, innovative and keenly aware of the constant evolution of our practice. I have more than 25 years of experience in senior communication roles across the public and private sectors in Canada including internal, external and change communication, media relations and social media. Like any other communication professional, my job kept me very busy, and I had little time to search online for the latest study findings and best practices related to organizational communication.
There is a huge amount of information on corporate communication online, but these sources are not all equal in terms of quality and reliability. Yet there are many indispensable sources of information that can help us in addressing our day-to-day professional challenges. Knowing where to find them and having easy access is a great help.
PB: How does IC Kollectif’s efforts promote collaboration?
LM: IC Kollectif is a connector. It is the only global initiative dedicated to bring together, under one roof, numerous sources about IC and organizational communication. We are not an additional communication business competing with existing communication organizations, agencies or consultants. Quite the contrary.
Our role is to identify great resources, make them known and facilitate access to them for global communication practitioners. We constantly receive notifications and messages from Twitter and LinkedIn followers with relevant information and sources to share.
We’ve also received many endorsements from global communication professionals. US-based Paul Barton wrote that “we bring the brightest people and the best ideas together in a unique way that is inspiring and enlightening to the profession.” Mike Klein, in his Netherlands-based blog, Changing The Terms, called IC Kollectif “a potent example of an effort that accelerates connection between communication professionals and expands their access to resources and networks.”
IC Kollectif brings together not only resources and information, but it also promotes the people who produce this relevant content, and hence, creates connections among communication practitioners. Our Top IC thought leaders list created by IC Kollectif’s followers is a tangible example of this.
PB: How was the top IC Thought Leaders list created?
LM: In April, we asked our Twitter followers to tell us which IC thought leaders they read and listen to. Within a few days, we received more than 50 names of IC experts that we published in a blog post. The list was viewed and shared thousands of times on social media. We also created a public Twitter list to follow the IC thought leaders on Twitter. Since we keep receiving requests for additions to the list, we update it frequently.
PB: What are the key features and benefits of your new website?
LM: In this first phase, the website includes four main sections: Sources, IC Thought Leaders list, Calendar of global communication conferences and events, and our new Blog.
Under Sources, we list organizations, agencies, publications, professionals associations, research and reports, blogs for communication professionals, a list of relevant Twitter Chats and hashtags to follow, a compilation of Communication LinkedIn groups, books, resources as well as glossaries.
Each element listed under the different sections has a link. With one click, you have a direct and immediate access to the information. We will update current sections on a regular basis and new sections will be added.
IC Kollectif focuses on a wide range of topics including change communication, digital communication, employee communication, social media, and much more. Although tactics remain an important aspect of the communication profession, we put a high focus on the value of managing communication strategically.
PB: How does your site tell the story of your business?
LM: The IC Kollectif website celebrates the people and the organizations around the world who offer relevant content in organizational communication. We do this by taking a valuable role in bringing these sources and resources under one roof and in pointing communication professionals in the direction of useful information and connections to empower them in addressing their day-to-day professional challenges.
PB: What’s next in the collaboration journey for IC Kollectif?
LM: Recently, we forged alliances with Australia’s Cropley Communication and US-based ALI Conferences. We are currently speaking with other organizations for possible partnerships.
We have a special interest in Communication and Public Relations research. We already have a section called Research and Reports on our website. Eventually, we’d like to expand this section by adding academic communication research to help bridge communication and PR research with global communication professionals.
Over the next weeks, we will introduce guests posts on our new blog by inviting communication professionals and experts to participate. Our aim over the next 6-18 months is to become a must-visit resource for communication professionals eager to stay on the cutting edge of practice and who value a strategic approach to communication management and leadership.
Special thanks to Lise for creating this unique collaboration effort to support global communicators in their quest to lead collaborative company cultures for their organizations!