12 Unsung Internal Communicators You Need to Tune Into
Updated: Jul 8
Do you remember the scene in the Johnny Cash movie, Walk the Line, where Johnny is in the recording studio and the producer is not impressed with Johnny’s same ol’ song?
He pushes Johnny and asks the following powerful question:
“If you was hit by a truck, and you was lyin’ out there in that gutter dyin’, and you had time to sing one song, one song people would remember...one song that would let God know what you felt about your time here on earth, one song that would sum you up, what would you sing? Would you sing something real, something you felt, cause I’m tellin’ you right now, that's the kinda song people wanna hear. That’s the kinda song that truly saves people….it has to do with believing in yourself.”
What is the one song you’d sing?
We've captured the high notes that 12 internal communicators hit on this season of Internal Comms Pro: The Podcast. We've linked the full podcast episode for each "high note" below.
“Don't underestimate the value you bring as an internal communicator to shape and change the way the organization works and actually drives its profitability.” Jay Shelton, CFO, One Holland Corporation
“I believe that internal communicators can be strategists and influence the bottom line.” Natalie Guzman, SVP Internal Comms, Fifth Third Bank
“I think leaders are getting wiser and wiser to the fact that internal comms is something that needs to be invested in, that needs to be resourced, that has to have budget, that has to have a strategy.” Maureen Thompson, Box
“I would definitely say internal communications is not the redheaded stepchild anymore, it’s valued.” Michelle Lyons, Metlife
“It's amazing what happens when you become the centerfold for a growth period of a relationship between two employees or two department heads. You can really create a lot of significance for yourself as an employee if you're seen as that bridge maker, that always comes back positively.” Mike O'Donnell, CBS Sports
“We're having to adjust an entirely different work style where we're having to show an increased sense of empathy. We're having to manage our families. People work remotely. We have to build trust with our teams. And that takes time to acclimate. That takes time for our bodies and our minds to adjust.” Mark Mohammadpour, Chasing the Sun
“New types of relationships with teams, like IT are much more urgent, much more frequent.” Khaner Walker, Director of Global Internal and External Communications, Lenovo
“The strength of the internal communications function derives in part by being able to bring together a diverse range of skill sets.” Evan Nierman, CEO, Red Banyan
“Why? Literally, that is the best, most powerful question you can ever ask somebody.” Joel Godett, Ball State University
“Knowing your organizational values and ensuring that every single thing that you do drives those, reinforces those, represents those is really ultimately the very best place to start.” Lise Harwin, Employee Communications Manager, Port of Portland and Portland International Airport
“Bringing your whole self, your authenticity, who you are, what you're passionate about, makes you so much better at your job.” Allison Jackson (Episode Coming Soon - June 16)
"Building awareness around business continuity planning is very educational for employees and a crisis empowers internal communicators to showcase the team that tackles crises that could interrupt the business." Karine Stallings, Business Solutions Architect, Cerkl