Written by Leo Aul, Sponsorship Liaison
In November 2018, two organizations known as Contact Monkey and Changing The Terms created an essay case competition known as “The Gorilla Games”. This competition invited communicators from across the globe to think creatively and strategically to solve internal communications issues. Each contestant had the opportunity to submit their essay solutions to one or more of the scenarios given.
In January, the winners of the contest were announced with London’s own Gaurav Ghose winning bronze for his essay on how to improve workplace safety when there is increased employee absences due to the flu. As an IABC London member, Gaurav joined this competition because he saw the opportunity as a chance to “make a mark in this market”. He first discovered this opportunity through his connections and choice of followers on LinkedIn which included Mike Klein from Changing The Terms who shared the contest.
When asking Gaurav about what it means to be the only winner in Canada, he said it’s “Extremely humbling. It’s really gratifying to be amongst a stellar pool of even other contributors and not just winners who were equally good. Having recieved maximum LinkedIn views on my post sharing the press release were by those in the London and Toronto area, which feels great.”
Gaurav is currently working as an independent consultant for APCO Worldwide and a full-time dad to his twin sons which limited his time to choose only one scenario. He chose this issue to focus on because of its effects on Canada especially with current weather conditions in the winter.
Gaurav describes his multi-pronged approach to sickness-related absence scenario by getting all levels of an organization involved.
“For any cause, there will be your supporters. In this case, I wanted to highlight that you need to maintain a very strong bond with your internal advocates or champions. Within these champions, you need to reach out to the most vocal.”
When asked about the importance of internal communications, Gaurav says “Internal communications is a function by itself but it has to work very closely with Human Resources and Information Technology. The platform you use for communication comes into play in a big way and it’s going to increasingly play a bigger role right now with a more digital workplace.”
Gaurav offers five key pieces of advice for current and future communicators:
- Get your Communications Qualification – Degree/diploma courses in PR and comms, followed by professional accreditation such as CMP, SCMP etc
- Follow and Engage with industry experts or influencers on social media.
- Start Networking – Great opportunity to meet those experts in-person.
- Join a network and suggest professional development seminar topics.
- Don’t hesitate to reach out to your network for questions – Make sure the conversations keep going as opposed to one-time message.