The pandemic changed everything…

In a blog to promote the upcoming IC Space Live events on 7 and 8 July, Alice McCallum-Sealy in the IC Space Live team asked the Head of Regional Internal Communication and an apprentice to share their thoughts on the impact of internal communications in HMRC.

Passion for internal communications

Helen Whitelaw, Head of Regional Internal Communication, HMRC said:

“My passion for internal communications (IC) comes from being a people person and wanting our communications to be easy to understand, relevant, clear and accessible for everyone.

Our Regional Communication Leads support the regional governance boards and key stakeholders as trusted advisors. Our key aim is to support the governance boards’ priorities and to build a sense of regional community. I’m lucky to have such a great team.

I’m proud of the communications we’re leading to move colleagues into our HMRC regional centres/ Government hubs across the UK. We want people to have a positive experience and constantly review what we do, so we can improve the journey.

The pandemic changed everything, our original approaches had to adapt quickly. For example, we turned to online opportunities to support the sharing of Health and Safety information. The challenge is finding the right balance. Everyone is busy and it’s vital to monitor how, where, when and what we deliver. We don’t want colleagues to feel overwhelmed.

The important thing in IC is to keep an open mind and never stop learning. All communication disciplines learn from each other and HMRC Communications is good at sharing their practices. Everybody brings something to the table.”

Getting the correct balance of channels

Harry Newsome, Communications Apprentice, HMRC said:

“I’ve enjoyed working in IC because I see it as an essential tool for the gears of HMRC. It keeps the organisation running smoothly, which allows us to be efficient as civil servants in all areas of business.

We support both internal and external stakeholders. We help colleagues to keep up to date on organisational news and provide guidance to those with external-facing roles to assist external stakeholders and give them the best experience.

I’d say my biggest achievement happened recently. We hosted the first livestream for HMRC’s new Tax Admin Strategy which will modernise HMRC. It got great bookings and considering it’s a high-profile project that I’ve worked on, I’m quite proud of that.

The campaigns I’ve worked on have given me great ideas about communications as a whole, especially a combination of targeted Yammer and intranet content. I think getting the correct balance of channels is important to your target audience. It was really a process of trial and error and it was a success.”

IC Space Live 2021

Join us on Wednesday 7 July and Thursday 8 July for IC Space Live 2021, the internal communications event of the year. The virtual event will be packed with a mixture of interactive Q&A sessions, panel discussions, L&D updates, live polls and more. Read how to get get involved.

    Image credits:
  • Helen Whitelaw (1)
  • Harry Newsome (2)