Importance of Internal PR

JJBaybee
Zohare Haider Regional Head of Digital, Wider South Asia, British Council

Posted on April 27th 2012

Importance of Internal PR

ImageI started my career as a project management professional in telecom. Although I am back in Telecom now, I’ve had quite an interesting journey getting here. From setting up an agricultural business selling low cost drip irrigation to high-tech financial services over mobile phones, I’ve bumped shoulders with C-levels, fended for myself when faced with a lethal snake & corporate shake-ups, setup an internet based communication system using the most primitive technology in the farthest, most remote communities.

During my few years, I have encountered a number of personalities, all shapes and sizes and each with their own set of baggage. That’s not to say I didn’t have any, it’s just that mine was refined because I knew how to pack and store it well. Each of these people required individual finesse to understand and interact with. Sure, I am known for rough edges and little patience for a few basic elements of decorum, but the one thing I have somehow done very well is maintain good presence within the organizations I have been with. Perhaps colleagues that have worked in the same physical space as me will mildly disagree. However, I believe it was part of the process, like growing pains. No chance of making everyone at the party dance to the same beat, so why bother fight it; instead you can embrace it.

The process of building relations within your organization is a combination of professional requirement and personal preference. It’s possible that the most successful relationships  are built of people we prefer to befriend and cooperate with, sometimes simply because they are pleasant. Often times we can’t choose each individual, so we compensate by adjusting ourselves to accommodate a diverse range of personality types. It’s not a dilemma, just a little bump in the road that is easily overcome, provided you have the skills and wit to maneuver. There is nothing wrong with such a modus operandi, but to to execute it you need finesse and a negligible fear of failure. To put it plainly, developing internal relations requires careful thought and consideration – the best of which comes from a genuine desire. While doing so there will be mistakes and oversights that can lead to what some may feel is failure. There is another school of thought that believes these failures to in fact be the very steps we need to take to achieve a #WIN.

The end game is the same for everyone in the rat race; climb high, climb hard, climb smart. The ladder up is getting steeper, crowded and being made of weaker stuff. A big part of moving on is keeping light on your feet and head screwed on straight. This is useless without internal PR; you need this most to get around, to get noticed and to remain top of mind. Small things save time and help. Take for example a colleague in finance who is a stickler for leaving work at 5, while you stick around till 8 every day. You need good PR to convince him to approve an expense at 7pm on good faith. It can and does happen every day. There is no selfish desire to profit from the situation for either, it’s just that the bond built is strong and sustainable enough to tip in your favor every once in a while – still getting the job done for the organization at large.

Getting there is simple, if you don’t walk without looking a few steps ahead every once in a while. The strength of foresight can be a lifesaver, especially when one of the critical internal PR bonds break; it’s the bottom of the 9th and bases are loaded…what are you going to do about it?

The purpose of believing first in what you want to do before you do it can help strengthen the belief, making it a personal milestone. If you can identify and appreciate the caliber of your surroundings, it will probably help you become a more noticeable candidate for the right opportunity. It starts with internal PR and recognizing it’s fundamental strengths, if built right, help establish a basis for advocacy.

This applies the same way in social networking practice because, even with an altnerate lifestyle or digital personality, it's still positive interaction that helps us grow, a bi-product of good, thoughtful PR with your internal community of stakeholders. 

The cavemen didn't have advocacy so they grunted. We do, so must we grunt?

 


Zohare is a tri-lingual communications professional, with a Bachelors in life, living and earning in Pakistan. He tweets as @JJBaybee

JJBaybee

Zohare Haider

Regional Head of Digital, Wider South Asia, British Council

Zohare is the Regional Head of Digital at British Council. Previously, he was with Ooredoo (formerly Qtel Group), where he was program managing the build-up of a new Digital Innovation and Advisory services unit to support all of Qtel's Big global business throughout Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

A graduate of Bucknell University (USA), Zohare has extensive experience working with global leaders in Telecoms, Venture/Patient Capital and Social Enterprise. His key interests are to build strategic relations and partnerships,  believing strongly in the synergy between digital and offline consumer engagement strategies. He loves to try and demystify digital by making it user-friendly. 

Find out more at about.me/zohare

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