For this episode we’re really excited to have David Manning, to have a conversation around managing internal communications in a crisis. This was recorded in the middle of May with the UK being in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. David is Head of Internal Communications and Employee Engagement at the BBC (Design + Engineering division) which is made up of around 3,500 – 4,000 people.
The BBC is a public service broadcaster and at the start of COVID-19, they had the challenge of needing to remain operationally on air while working out a plan for remote working. As well as dealing with the anxiety and nervousness around the worldS events there has also been a need to manage the anxiety of whether the systems could cope as they transitioned to a new way of working.
“With internal comms I would recommend you have a simple set of core messages. Tone of voice is key”.
David explained that their tone internally is different to that of the BBC externally, they are conversational and informal when communicating to employees. David shared how he and his team have been planning their comms and looking ahead to the transition period to ‘the new normal.’
“We broke down the forecasted timeline of the pandemic into 6 themes and mapped the change curve over the top to see where morale could be and added key messages over the top to plan comms at each stage.”
It has been a difficult time for all businesses during the pandemic and a good internal communication strategy is really key to keep employees informed and engaged throughout. It was really interesting to hear from David and look at how he and his team at the BBC have tackled their communications internally, whilst keeping the nation informed, educated and entertained.