There are tough times ahead for employee communicators and the July PRCA #ChatandConnect talked about getting ready.

The virtual networking event, with a chat show format, hosted by Question & Retain’s Annabel Dunstan and Working Comms’ Liam FitzPatrick asked what it takes to manage communications in turbulent times. And, as well as discussing HR issues and advising leaders, the panel encouraged communications professionals to take care of themselves.

HR advisor Claire Vane, MD of Integrated Resources Ltd, highlighted the importance of understanding laws and regulations surrounding any change. She argued that comms and HR people need to work closely together to protect their organisation and to make sure that colleagues were treated fairly when restructuring or job losses are on the horizon.

And she stressed the need to look after staff who are staying. Often, the workers who survive cuts are ignored when all attention is focused on taking care of their friends who are leaving. Communicators need to remember to focus on keeping them engaged.

Viktoria Tegard, group head of IC at Capita, shared her years of experience in a range of roles and of supporting leaders in sectors as diverse as travel, aviation, pharma and now, services. Her message was that when executives like BP’s Bernard Looney talk, they are credible and compassionate – traits that comms professionals would do well to coach into their own leaders.

The need for self-care and compassion was the underlying theme from Rob Stephenson, CEO and Founder of InsideOut LeaderBoard.

His message that people should be willing to talk about how they are feeling, resonated strongly with the audience made up of senior practitioners. He argued that people should be able to be open about their daily mental health or ‘form’. 

The senior level audience taking part in the session was quick to share their own experiences and advice about working with managers and about making time for themselves when the going gets tough.

#ChatandConnect is open to members and non-members of the PRCA and the virtual format enables colleagues from around the UK and internationally to contribute to the conversation. Watch out for our next session – details to follow soon.

Click here to catch up on July’s session or watch the video below.