Podcasts

Season 2 Episode 12: Martin Flegg

By October 20, 2020 No Comments

Episode 12: Internal Comms Myth Busting

With Martin Flegg

Episode Summary:

Listen as Martin, internal communications specialist and Vice-Chair of CIPR Inside, reveals what internal comms teams really need to be effective in their role.

Listen now to hear;

  • The biggest myth in internal communications
  • What you should focus on to be effective in your role
  • Why you need to listen with intent with a remote workforce

Read and listen to more from Martin at https://ggelfic.com/.

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Episode Transcript

Jack Ford:

Hi Martin. Thanks for joining us for season two of Remote Control. Great to have you on.

Martin Flegg:

Thanks Jack. It’s great to be here. Thanks for inviting me to contribute.

Jack Ford:

Yes, no problem. I think it’d be amiss if I didn’t ask you how 2020’s been so far? Maybe for you, and in your role as the Vice-Chair of the internal comms group of the CIPR, CIPR Inside?

Martin Flegg:

I think like everybody else, Jack, it’s been a bit of a frenetic limbo, hasn’t it? We sort of seem to go around the same day, it’s like Groundhog Day, most days, isn’t it? Actually, it’s been very, very busy. I’ve been working in-house for part of the time, as well as doing some other work. I’ve experienced it from sort of two angles, working inside an organization but also sort of from a freelancer side. Yeah, it’s been quite busy. And with CIPR Inside, which is CIPR’s internal comms group, we had some big plans this year. We had a day’s planning meeting in Manchester, in February, and then shortly after we had to bin all those plans because we just couldn’t do the things that we wanted to do, particularly some of the face-to-face stuff. We’ve had to go with the flow, I think, is the motto of the year so far. We did a lot of things around some of the softer stuff, around things like mental health, wellbeing, we ran a couple of webinars on empathy. Building empathy in organizations. Like I say, we had to go with the flow a little bit, and just sort of keep our ears to the ground around what people are wanting, what support internal communicators need and so on. Just to get them through their working weeks.

Jack Ford:

So, you’re saying that you’re kind of working in-house and on the agency, consultancy side of things. So you really were kind of a bit of a glutton for punishment for what must have been the busiest year for internal comms, ever.

Martin Flegg:

Absolutely. I think we’ve all, wherever you’ve worked and on whatever you’ve worked, you’ve probably been involved in some fairly rapid implementations of digital platforms. I was involved with a rapid Teams rollout, which would probably have taken, in the old world would probably have taken months to do, but we had to do weeks. Yeah, it’s certainly been a challenging year, but actually I think we’ve all learned a lot as well. We’ve learned a lot about resilience and adaptability, I think, has been the name of the game this year. Just to keep organizations on track with communicating with their employees who are now scattered to the four winds in most cases, particularly office-based workers. So we’ve had to learn new ways of communicating, and very rapidly, just to keep people on-track with organizational objectives and so on.

Jack Ford:

Yeah, you mentioned a rapid rollout of Teams that brings to mind a quote I saw from the CEO of Microsoft, I think it was. They said there’d been two years of digital transformation in two months, during the start of the pandemic. I think some of the conversations I’ve been having on this podcast with other guests have been echoing that, that people have been almost rolling up their sleeves and implementing things which may be 85, 90% right, and they’re working through the 15, 10% on an ongoing basis. They’ve not had the luxury of the time to get everything really nicely lined up, and it’s been much more of a need to get things in and working, and then can be finessed as it goes on, I suppose.

Martin Flegg:

That’s right. I think if you were looking in normal times at implementing any kind of new communication tool in an organization, you would look very thoroughly at how it fits with everything else that you were using, so you’d probably want to look at your channel strategy and what sort of content would go down each sort of channel, how those things would link together, how you use them in campaigns. We had no time to do any of that. It was just a case of plugging it in, switching it on, and seeing what happened. I think some organizations have fared better than others in terms of where they’ve ended up as a result of that, I think there still may be a bit of unpicking to do, just to try and get things right because I think when you implement new channels, particularly, there’s a temptation to use that in parallel with others. So you blast employees with the same information down half a dozen different channels, which isn’t always the most effective way to communicate because you tend to overload people. When you overload people, they switch off.

Martin Flegg:

So I think some organizations now are probably in sort of a retrofitting mode, looking at, “Okay, we’ve got this new thing now, what should we really be using it for? And how does it fit with the other things we had before, such as intranets and so on?” So yeah, some unpicking to do, I think, in some places. But let’s celebrate that we managed to do these things really, really quickly. And I think a lot of internal communicators really proved their worth in the teeth of the pandemic, and it’s given them a newfound credibility with leadership teams and other stakeholders in organizations.

Jack Ford:

Yeah, that curse seems to ring true from some of the conversations that I’ve been having around the amount of, just the amount of time that they’ve been, the internal comms people have been spending with the senior leaders. Because of the necessity of it, and kind of having those continued great relationships carrying on, I guess, even after the rollout of a new tool, or if things have perhaps settled down for some companies then it’s kind of the maintaining that relationship. And that can only be a good thing, really.

Martin Flegg:

That’s right. Absolutely. And I think it’s incumbent on us to capitalize on those relationships now, because I often say that internal comms is basically built on relationships. If you’ve got good relationships in organizations with key stakeholders, then you tend to be a more effective internal communicator because you know where to have the discussions, where to influence, where to get the support and the sponsorship to do things, which is so important, particularly when you’re trying out new things. Or want to try out new things.

Jack Ford:

And it would feel like that this time, where everyone has gone remotely including senior leaders and internal comms people, because sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking of this as the bubble, that the senior leaders and internal comm teams are still locked away in a room together, but of course all these things have been, or most of these things have been done remotely for everyone. So building those relationships will have been in a different way, and a different format, different channels than previously. So really quite a testing time on both the delivery and that relationship-building side for people in internal comms this year.

Martin Flegg:

Yeah, I think we’ve had to do things and build relationships with intent. So you’re not in an office, you’re not on a shop floor, you’re not in a traditional working environment anymore where you would have those encounters, I suppose. And those that had been able to have those conversations in real life, those kind of interactions just don’t happen at the moment, so if you want to talk to anybody, whether it’s a senior leader, another stakeholder, groups of colleagues to get feedback or anything, you have to plumb that in. And that’s a very different way of working for a lot of internal communicators, because you just don’t have that spontaneity, I suppose, in creating those relationships. And I think, particularly if you’re starting a new relationship from scratch with anybody, you have to work a lot harder at it. Particularly over digital medium like Zoom for example, or something like that, because you don’t get the same, can’t really see the body language, you can’t get that sort of sense of a person apart from just what they’re saying and what’s coming out of their mouth. It’s a much more difficult, difficult way to build a relationship, I think. It’s not a particularly human way, which is why we have to work a lot harder at it.

Jack Ford:

Yeah, it’s quite a good word and it has come up before, the intent, to be intentional about it. It’s those informal situations that people are missing out on. If I cast my mind back to when I was in-office with someone, and you could tell by their body language if it’d be a good idea to have a walk down to the kitchen and get a tea or coffee. It’s kind of those informal things, those body language cues that you mention, which can really speed up a good relationship and give you those points to interact on. Yeah.

Martin Flegg:

Absolutely. I’ve written, I write quite a few blogs. It’s how I organize my thoughts, it’s how I think. And I’ve written stuff about how to get leaders to listen to you, sometimes, and a lot of that. I was actually looking at this blog the other day, actually, and a lot of it was about doorstepping senior managers in the lift, in the car park, in the lunch queue. We can’t do that anymore. We’re not in that environment anymore. So we do have to work a lot harder at these relationships now. And perhaps even, if you’re dealing with people who are very busy, make a case before you even get to talk to them about why you want to talk to them, and sort of set out your store before you even get into the virtual room to do that.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. A bit like an internal comms dating profile or something.

Martin Flegg:

Absolutely, yeah.

Jack Ford:

Just to be clear, when we talk about doorstepping, we are in no way advocating the use of actual doorstepping with your senior leaders, sending people to them. That would be the next step.

Jack Ford:

So you were talking about relationships, and that actually is a really good segue into, what caught my attention was a Twitter poll that you ran. The question was like an open-ended sentence, “I need blank to be an effective communicator.” And the answer that came out was the need to influence middle managers, and it can really turn things on its head. When I’ve been doing research for the podcast and kind of getting immersed into internal comms, a lot of the advice out there is around making sure that you need a seat at the board level to be able to do the internal comms role effectively in your organization. Yeah, the results from the poll couldn’t really have said anything more different, to be honest. The vast majority of people came back and talked about that influence of middle managers being the number one thing.

Martin Flegg:

I think there’s loads of myths at internal comms, and I think this is one of the bigger ones, that you do need to have a seat at the boardroom table to actually get anything done in organizations, or to influence people, you’ve got to be there at the top table. I think the reality of that, for most internal communicators, is that’s never actually going to happen. So by talking about these things, I think as a communicating profession, we kind of set people up to fail sometimes, to feel a bit inadequate about themselves. I love Twitter polls. It’s a great way of testing the water, I think, on certain things, and I often run a Twitter poll actually before I write anything with a blog or something, because I just want to know what other people think. So yeah, I asked the question, “I work internal comms and to do my job effectively I need to…” And the options were be in the boardroom, convert the chief exec to IC, influence middle managers, and run channels effectively. And the biggest respondent group was middle managers, over 40% of people said that that’s what they, that’s where they needed to be.

Martin Flegg:

That was quite nice, because for my CIPR internal comms deployment a few years ago, my research topic was middle managers and how they influence internal comms and build employee engagement in organizations, and they are perhaps one of the most overlooked audiences. In organizations, we tend to lump them together with other managers, so we look at audiences in organizations as though there’s just staff and then there’s a manager group as well. But that manager group has different segments in it, and middle managers are a big segment. And they behave, what I discovered with the research that I did, was that they behave in a particular way, and they have two real characteristics in how they operate in organizations. So they have these things called distributed conversations, so this is being able to talk to people at different levels in the organization in the language and way that they understand. So they can talk to people at the boardroom table to kind of find out what it is that they’re wanting to do, give them some feedback on that, constructive feedback. But then looking downward into the organization or sideways in the organization, they could also have those conversations with people at those levels as well, and talk to them in their language and their context as well.

Martin Flegg:

One of the other behaviors that they display is something about enrolling networks. This is basically about building teams and coalitions to get things done. Middle managers tend to be people who know, have lots of relationships in organizations, they tend to know who to go to, to get things done. They’re not usually people that work with processes to get things done, it’s more again about relationships to actually make things happen in organizations. If you think about it, if you think about the reality of working in an organization, you think about there’s a bunch of decision-makers sat at the top table. They might make the decisions, but they often don’t know how to get things done in organizations, in a practical sense. It’s the middle managers that are the ones that are actually going to do those things for the boardroom. If you want to really influence an organization, you need to be in with the bunch of people that are going to be doing the doing, I think. That’s where I think more internal communicators need to be, is actually working with middle managers to get things done rather than stressing about being in the boardroom and having some influence right at the top of the organization.

Jack Ford:

Working with those middle managers to get the comms out there through their distributed conversations, is that kind of practices like working groups and feedback sessions, or what kind of routes to that specific audience within an organization would you find, typically?

Martin Flegg:

I think they’re the people. The traditional way that we would try and influence managers as internal communicators, we’d probably give them briefing notes or other information or something like that, but actually I find that what works more effectively with this sort of group is to actually not just bombard them with information, but it’s more about having sort of mini-conferences, letting them be in the same room with the leadership team to understand better what the leadership team are trying to do. Giving them some sort of individual exposure to the decision-makers in the organization, so that those two groups can actually work together to work out how to get things done. Once that’s happened, the middle managers are then pretty well-placed to work with internal communicators to then sit and work out how to make those things happen in the organization using whatever communication tools and channels are in place in the organization to do that. It’s that upward conversation, that downward conversation, that’s so important, and the place where internal comms people can kind of have the most influence is probably in the downward conversation, and helping middle managers to kind of help people understand what they need to do to perhaps implement process change, different ways of working, restructures, or whatever it is the particular project or topic might be.

Jack Ford:

To touch on the other characteristic then, the enrolling networks, I just wonder is there anything, because that’s so informal but effective, I just wonder if there’s something that internal comms people can almost learn, or take away from that characteristic into their own role, and into the internal comms plan, if you like. Or is that kind of really just to do with how people work?

Martin Flegg:

I think you’re absolutely right. Again, when you’re looking at maybe putting a comms plan together to do something, you’re often looking for subject matter experts to help you with shaping some of that, maybe shaping some of the content. We’re also looking for people, the man or the woman who can do those sorts of things, whatever the topic might be. It’s about having a really good understanding of who does what in the organization. That’s what middle managers themselves do. They have these enrolling networks, they’re kind of very aware about who does what in the organization. Maybe where there are favors to be called in, or something like that. It’s the same for internal communicators. Having a really good understanding of the people that work in the organization and what they do really helps you in your role, because when you’re presented with a problem by another stakeholder who needs to do something and needs to communicate something, you then know, well there’s these sort of half-dozen people in the organization who we can draw on, and maybe we need to get all those people into, in the current context a virtual room, to work out what the comms plan should look like.

Jack Ford:

Yeah, actually just while you’re talking there about being able to identify those people in the organization that have those networks and have those maybe favors to call on, reminded me of some product launches. I used to work for a software company, and we used to do pretty regular product launches, and one of the parts of it was internal comms and making sure new features were understood, and the benefits for clients were understood internally. I can remember a big part of one campaign was internal case studies about why the software was either easier to sell or better to support. We tried to identify the people who, and it maybe wasn’t middle managers to be fair, but it was people that held probably a disproportionate amount of sway over some of their colleagues. It was kind of identifying those people and approaching them to be internal case studies, and almost having your Joe Blog’s stamp of approval from the sales team would kind of almost send two teams away thinking, “Yep, that’s okay, that’s fine by me,” rather than, “Oh, well the marketing team say X, Y, and Z, so I’m not really going to believe that.” I guess similar in terms of identifying who’s got those informal networks and contacts, and kind of curry favor in different parts of the business, perhaps.

Martin Flegg:

Yeah. I always think case studies are really interesting. Interesting communications tool, because I often say to people who want to do this, “Make sure that they reflect reality.” Because if they are the exception rather than the rule, I suppose, they’re not really a very good sort of role model to hold up. So if you try and change someone’s behavior and you want them to do things in a particular way, and you use case studies of other, maybe other colleagues who were doing this already, make sure that it reflects reality and that it’s relevant to the people that you’re communicating with. Otherwise, it just feels like it’s something that’s actually unachievable for them as individuals. Yeah, just bear in mind the reality of what you’re projecting, because if it doesn’t resound with the people that you’re trying to influence, it’s not really going to work as a communications tool.

Jack Ford:

Yeah, it’s not going to have that impact. In fact, it’ll just appear like another message to ignore, potentially.

Martin Flegg:

Absolutely, yeah.

Jack Ford:

You talked a little bit about, you mentioned in this kind of period, getting into a virtual room together. I just wanted to talk about, or get your thoughts on how influencing middle managers has, I mean it must have changed this year, with the ability to contact people and kind of build those relationships. How have you seen that change?

Martin Flegg:

I think everybody’s been so busy to start off with, that it’s often been quite difficult to get the time with people. I think that as I said earlier, if you wanting to buy some time off of people, you’ve got to be really clear about why you want to talk to them. I think you probably need to say, well it’s not just a case of setting the meeting up now, I don’t think. It’s more a case of doing some pre-warmup with them maybe, and helping them to understand the problem that you’re trying to solve, that you want their help with. Just giving them the heads’ up about what it is that you want to talk about, and maybe having some really clear structure to the conversation as well. We might not, in the past particularly of one-to-one or one-to-two, one-to-three sort of conversations, have had a really, really structured agenda for those conversations. I think perhaps it helps now to have that sometimes, just so that you can make better use of peoples’ time and that you can, maybe people can do some thinking before they come onto the video call or however it is that you’re interacting with them, just so that they’ve got some thinking time. So that you can cover all the points that you want to cover.

Jack Ford:

Yeah, and I guess the original poll, it talked about being, what you need to be effective in the internal comms role, and we’ve touched a little bit, or touched a lot on the influence of middle managers and how you can prepare or how you should prepare for that with this kind of current situation where you might not be in the usual work situation. What else should people be looking out for, to help them be more effective? Have you got any more pointers or areas of focus?

Martin Flegg:

I think my background, sort of going back, is working comms in government. I worked in some of the big government departments for quite a number of years, and been a number of the Government Communications Service. You’re kind of drummed into you that great communications are founded in great insight. So insight’s about listening and understanding audiences, and I think now more than ever the internal comms people should be really listening to their audiences, because the audiences are kind of distributed now, because they’re working remotely. Again, it’s difficult to have those, to feel the vibe of a workplace now, to sort of get a sense of how people are feeling, what they’re gossiping about, what questions they’re raising about things that might be being done in the organization. You just can’t have that. Again, it’s that spontaneous sort of conversations with people, just wandering around the office on the shop floor and just talking to employees. You can’t do that anymore. So in some ways, again, we’ve got to have more intent in how we’re doing that listening, a bit more structured.

Martin Flegg:

And I always think with feedback, particularly when gathering feedback, that feedback can be actionable and non-actionable, depending on how you collect it. If you just ask a very open question and you solicit feedback, you’re going to get all sorts of stuff back. You’re getting that back in a very unstructured way, it makes it difficult to analyze, and kind of work out, “Well, what are people telling me here? What do I need to do with the results of that?” I think we need to be careful, and very clever in the way that we do listen to audiences now. We perhaps need to use more surveys, particularly if we’re surveying larger audiences and gathering lots of feedback from lots of people.

Martin Flegg:

I always say to people, “If you’ve got people in your organization that do this stuff for a living, so maybe you’ve got a customer insight team or a market research team, or something like that, they’re the ones that are probably listening to customers, they’re doing this every day. And while your stakeholders, organizational stakeholders are doing this every day, and I know that I’ve worked in the past really well with those sorts of people, and they’ve given me loads of help with how to structure questions, how to really think about what I’m trying to get at with the questioning, and helped me design surveys and other kind of feedback-gathering tools. Polls, stuff like that. They’re a mine of information, and if there are people in your organization, then make friends with them, because they will be really, really helpful to you.”

Martin Flegg:

And then I think again, gathering feedback is only the first part of it, and if you do it in the right way and it really betrays that there are some things that you need to be doing with follow-up communications, maybe there’s been some kind of activity in the organization to change processes or restructure or something, just because people have been working remotely and you wanted to check out if those things are working and whether people have understood what it is they need to be doing, make sure that you go back to people and you say, “Okay, well we’ve heard this, and this is what’s going to happen.” It’s that “You said, we did” sort of loop that we need to close constantly now. It’s not really ethical to ask people for the feedback and then to do nothing with it, even if you don’t reflect that back on them.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. And I think like you say, the intent needs to be there for listening, because you couldn’t just sit down in the canteen and overhear things, if that was a scenario, just those informal kind of conversations or dropping sessions are hard to recreate unless you’re quite intentional about it. A few things that I’ve seen that have kind of struck me as good is having almost like a drop-in session, whether that’s half an hour or an hour, or however long, and just promising that someone from, if it’s the senior team, if it’s the internal comms team, is there to answer questions from 9-10 every Tuesday and Thursday morning or something. And they’ve worked well, they’ve not been flooded every day, back-to-back, but I’ve not heard anyone say that they’ve not been worthwhile. It’s always been at least one or two, three or four people coming in and asking those questions, and being able to get those answers back. And further, middle managers that are coming to them with those questions, to those drop-in sessions, that’s then going to reach a much wider audience.

Martin Flegg:

I detect that across the internal comms community, a lot of people have been engaged in “Ask Me Anything” sessions. I think that’s been a theme of this year, that there’s probably been more interaction between workforces and perhaps senior leaders, middle managers, subject matter experts, so on, in organizations, because of the pandemic. And actually, if you think about it with digital platforms, they’re actually quite democratizing, so you might have run these sessions, the drop-in sessions as you mentioned there, and there’d be 12 seats in the room so space for 12 people, but actually with a digital platform, the number’s virtually unlimited really, isn’t it?

Jack Ford:

Yeah.

Martin Flegg:

In terms of who can participate at the same time. So I think, again, one of the upsides of the pandemic has been, because of the use of more digital technology to engage with significant people in organizations and between them and the workforce, it’s actually made organizations a bit more inclusive, perhaps. Because people can participate, wherever they are, whoever they are, whatever level they work in the organization, and they can ask the questions that they want to ask and get the answers that they need.

Jack Ford:

Yeah, that’s a really interesting point to look at, the inclusiveness of digital tools and might it have increased that, or will it kind of be a barrier to that. It’s interesting, I’ve not really seen too much about that, but it’d be interesting to hear or kind of see some data on how that has happened this year versus last year.

Martin Flegg:

It’d be interesting to, if and when this ever ends, go back into workplaces and maybe starting to do more face-to-face communication again. Yeah, face-to-face used to be the king channel, didn’t it, in internal comms? And we’ve had to adapt that kind of format quite radically to cope with working remotely. It makes me wonder if people will actually go back to the town hall kind of format, because, again, it’s quite expensive to get all those people into one room. There’s probably travel costs involved to get to a particular venue. Some people can’t attend for whatever reason, maybe they’re in customer-facing jobs and they’re not allowed to leave the telephone for more than half an hour or something in a break. Would we go back to how we did things before, now we’ve had this experience? I’m not so sure. It will be an interesting, interesting thing to see what happens with that.

Jack Ford:

Yeah, I think coming from the company I work for, streamGo, from our perspective we’ve seen lots of clients scramble to replace their physical town halls with virtual ones, when the pandemic first set in. It was almost that everyone was geared up to receive this information on these dates, or even external comms having events booked in, and they were scrambling for virtual alternatives. And then what we’ve seen since then is actually, I don’t know whether it’s the… Well, obviously part of it is to do with the current situation, but whether it’s actually seeing an increase in the number of attendees or questions versus physical ones. But there’s lots of plans going in for this year, and for next year, for these virtual town halls, and also making them on-demand as well, so like you say, if people are only allowed away from their kind of main workspace for a certain amount of time, they might be able to see one or two of the sessions, but actually there’s lots more going on, and to be able to experience that when it’s suitable for their working partners, is potentially more inclusive like you mentioned.

Jack Ford:

That has been a real shift from the scramble to replace something, to actually a much more considered approach as to what it might look like for the rest of this year, 2021, and potentially for people that have offices across the globe it might mean that the CEO doesn’t have to pack their bags every three months and do a bit of a world tour.

Martin Flegg:

Absolutely. In complex organizations, perhaps the global organizations, international organizations, they’ve got offices and workplaces all over the country, it’s a huge drain on a senior leader’s time or a stakeholder’s time to actually get round all those sites in a meaningful way, I guess to have a continuous conversation with the people that work there. The logistics and the physical constraints of the travel and being in those places on a reasonably frequent basis are quite challenging in some organizations, so digital technology has certainly liberated people from those constraints. I think there’s been another interesting effect of the pandemic, and that’s that historically, internal comms teams tend to suffer from a lack of investments. So we’re often using channels and tools and things that are sort of stuck together with elastic bands and sticky tape, that have maybe even been there for years and years and years. Or maybe there’s something that the marketing team used that the internal comms people piggyback on, or something like that. So if anything, the pandemic actually made organizations look at their internal comms tools and channels, and they’ve realized that actually, what they’ve got is inadequate, which has created a need to invest.

Martin Flegg:

So again with these rapid implementations of things like Slack and Teams and other sorts of digital channels. That’s been good for internal comms, it’s actually given us some investments. And that investment’s there now, and those tools are there now to use, once all this is over, and hopefully for a long time those organizations will continue to make those investments to keep those things up-to-date.

Jack Ford:

Yeah, that’s a really positive view of it. I’d not really considered that side of it. Obviously I’ve talked to people about the implementation of new tools, or the discovery of tools that might have been sitting there, I think that was probably the case for quite a few people with Microsoft Teams, that it was always sitting there in the background of their Office 365 package, but they hadn’t particularly made use of it. And it came to the fore very quickly for a lot of businesses.

Martin Flegg:

Absolutely, yeah. I mean it’s there, a lot of organizations already have this stuff, there just wasn’t the imperative to use it. So again, sometimes actually no more money had to be spent, it was just a case of flicking the switch on something to turn it on.

Jack Ford:

Yeah, a bit of investment of time and focus, in some areas, and money in others. Okay, so now this the tough part of the podcast and I hear guests always sweat about this question the most. And it’s purely selfish because I’m always looking out for new on-demand or telly recommendations. So calling this podcast Remote Control, it felt like I just had to ask for Netflix, Prime, whatever you’re watching, if you’ve got anything to recommend.

Martin Flegg:

I’m a big fan of murder mysteries.

Jack Ford:

Oh, you too.

Martin Flegg:

I don’t know if you’ve read any of Agatha Christie’s novels, but I love all that sort of stuff, and there’s a series on, I think it’s BBC actually, in the UK, called Murder in Paradise. It’s a very British production, so it’s set on a Caribbean island, which is a very nice location. It’s very nice to watch this series, you get to see a bit of sunshine, perhaps see the places that you didn’t get to go on holiday to this year.

Jack Ford:

Look what you could’ve won!

Martin Flegg:

Look what you could’ve had, yeah. So yeah, it’s a very nice place to live, is this island, but unfortunately a lot of people die on it. And it is a very British production, it reminds me a lot of Agatha Christie’s books because there’s always that bit at the end where they get all the suspects together. And the detective goes through his thinking about who did what and when and why, and then the finger’s pointed at somebody and they put their hands up and they all go, “Fair cop.” Like that happens in real life. So it’s a little bit tongue-in-cheek and it’s slightly amusing from that point of view as well, but yeah. If you like murder mysteries it’s a nice thing to watch, and it’s got quite a big back catalog now as well, so there’s plenty to explore on replay.

Jack Ford:

I’ll put it in to binge on. I feel like I’m discovering something about the internal comms profession, because I think the last three or four now I’ve asked this question for, the first answer has been murder mysteries. So I don’t know if it’s some kind of dark side to internal comms, but I’ll just leave that out there for listeners to decide, I think.

Martin Flegg:

Absolutely, I think we’re all closet Poirots or something.

Jack Ford:

Perfect. Well, it’s been really great chatting to you on the podcast Martin. If people want to kind of hear some more from you, or read some of the blogs that you mentioned, where should they go?

Martin Flegg:

My website is ggelfic.com, that’s ggelf, G-G-E-L-F. That’s my surname backwards, actually. So yeah, ggelfic.com is the place to go to look at some of my blogs, and there’s also some resources on there. Books and other podcasts, and links to professional bodies and things like that for internal communicators. There’s lots there to explore.

Jack Ford:

Perfect. Okay, well I’ll make sure I put a link in the episode notes so that wherever people are listening to this, they can kind of get there with just a click. But yeah, thank you so much for joining us, it’s been really fascinating and could have gone on for a lot longer I think, as well. It was really enjoyable, thank you.

Martin Flegg:

Thank you, Jack, thanks for inviting me to participate. It’s been a pleasure.

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Adam Gillin

Author Adam Gillin

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