“You’re the most external, internal comms person I know”

That is what a senior colleague of mine said to me a couple of weeks ago. Well I had just been briefing the external comms teams in Europe on an event that we were hosting about how we were going to cover it on Twitter and blogging. I was then asked to do the same for our Latin American teams.

I have to say I felt like a bit of a fraud until I realised the starting point for some of the people when it comes to using things like twitter, but everyone has to start at the beginning. I hate the social media guru title that get’s put about. All I do is use tools such as blogging, twitter and the like in a way that I feel works for me and in all honesty I can only say that others do the same too. Don’t get me started on social media marketing.

So was I doing external comms or internal comms for this event? Well, we were talking to employees, so it must be internal comms.  But hang on, we were also talking with non-employees, so it must be external comms? What about the employees?

We are and have been talking to IBMers in such places as Twitter for ages but it’s certainly not internal comms – it’s people talking to people.  It’s engaging anyone that wants to be involved in a conversation about something. Why would you exclude employees or only talk to them in a public arena to the exclusion of everyone else? For the record, putting your tweets through a protected Twitter id will not keep your “internal comms” hidden for long. Strategic internal comms, will be internal.  You certainly wouldn’t put your HR updates on Twitter, would you?

So what is it then? It’s communications. It’s all communications.  Some things you can share with the world and others you just can’t.