Day in the Life of Simpplr’s Internal Communications Manager

Internal communications - headshot of Amanda Berry
We all have fantastic ideas about the secret lives of famous people. For example, what is a day like for Jennifer Lopez? She's an actress, singer, and businesswoman with several movies and albums under her belt. She also has an entrepreneurial spirit launching restaurants and businesses. But have you ever wondered what her daily schedule is like? 

Maybe you think of someone less famous. Perhaps it’s a social or tech influencer? Every day you see the many posts, tweets, and LinkedIn articles they produce. You have to wonder, where do they find the time to do their day job? And then there is me! Amanda Berry, Corporate Brand & Communications Manager and Head of Internal Communications at Simpplr. Have you ever wondered what an Internal Communications Manager does? Hold on tight. I’m going to take you on a trip through my day.

What does an Internal Communication Manager do?

Internal communication managers play an integral part in the overall success of our company’s business. However, our actions are not singularly contained to one area. You could say we are the JLos of the comms world, and we are triple threats with multiple performance capabilities. We wear many hats, and our activities reach across departments, organizations, and the enterprise. 

We are, first and foremost, a key business partner and trusted advisor to company leaders. Part of that process is utilizing the attribute of listening. In a way, the CEO and other executives are our customers. I listen patiently and carefully to understand their stories and needs. They have a vision that they want to accomplish, and to get to their goals requires building a relationship of trust. 

Sometimes, we need to sit with our leaders, helping them sift through their ideas, prioritize them, and find which ones can be accomplished with our current internal comms resources. We also can improve the company’s performance strategically. How? I’m so glad you asked!

We spend time with leaders to better understand the business, its goals, and initiatives. Once identified, we formulate the path to reach those goals. We build strategies and communications meant to engage employees, change behaviors, and get results through this knowledge. 

What does my typical day look like?

I know you all can’t wait to hear about my exciting life! First, let’s discuss the issue of time. Time is a precious resource, and we all wish we had more time to accomplish what we want. I am no different. However, I have a secret weapon. I live in a different time zone (Central USA) than most of my team and many company leaders (Pacific USA). This time difference gives me two to three hours of uninterrupted work time.

I use this quiet, undisturbed time to prepare for the week ahead and be as productive as possible. Then, I scope out the rest of my day regarding meetings and responsibilities. It can be challenging to master, especially with the time difference. Have you had someone three hours ahead of you schedule a last-minute work call at the end of your day? That is during my dinner and evening hours. Working and living in separate regions has taught me to be aware of other people’s time and my own.

While I will always make time for emergencies and high priorities, we all need a work-life balance. Simpplr encourages that balance with empathetic boundaries. However, don’t be surprised to find me online trying to get ahead for my next day while spending time with my fur babies. Any time that you can “chunk” time by multi-tasking helps make more time for you in the end. Also, I work remotely. That frees me from commuting to work. I work during what would typically be commute time.

In this communication role, be aware that no two days are the same. Some days I am preparing for and running the company all-hands meeting. I might meet with the C-suite other days to discuss quarterly reviews and next quarter’s budget. Being flexible and staying on top of schedules are vital to this job. You must have project management skills, as well as communication skills. Since every day is a new and different day, I will focus this post on a typical Monday as an example of how I prepare for the week ahead.

Prep for the week ahead: 7:00 am – 10:00 am

Good morning, people! I love this time because it can be the most productive part of my day. This additional time of the early morning hours allows me to prepare for the week ahead and work on upcoming deliverables. I am a morning person who is full of energy, so this is my favorite time of the day. Did I mention the joy derived from coffee?

By the time I get to my office, I have been to the gym, walked my dogs, and eaten breakfast. So, as I sit with my morning cup of coffee, I can complete a few regular tasks Monday morning:

  • Check and update the content calendar. What’s due this week? I will send a reminder email to anyone who owns the content this week. 
  • I am responsible for writing communications and book meetings with people (SMEs, leaders, project managers, people managers) who help gather content.
  • Review Simpplr’s intranet carousel and remove more than four to five days old items.
  • Post a reminder on Slack that outlines how people should submit company newsletter content. All content is due this morning.
  • Prepare for all meetings I have with leaders throughout the week. I create agendas or finalize materials before we meet.
  • Look ahead at upcoming company all-hands and work on deliverables to keep it moving forward. Next, book Zoom meetings, send calendar invites, create a plan, and build the post-event survey.
  • Check Simpplr prescriptive analytics and create insights for the previous week’s newsletter and new intranet pages.

Phew! And that’s just the beginning of my day. Now my team is logging in and starting to respond. Let’s check my schedule and see what’s next.

Level set on the week: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Every Monday, two meetings help to level set for the week ahead. These meetings complement the time I spent preparing for the coming week.

  • During the editorial meeting, the brand and communications team looks at what’s ahead for the week. I can use this information to plan and update the content calendar on what I want to promote internally. 
  • Next, the marketing team meeting helps me with branding and upcoming marketing events that I will promote internally. Examples are critical product releases, webinars and research, changes to our brand guidelines, and events. I use this information to update the content calendar.

Lunchtime: 12:00 pm

Lunchtime is when I can grab a quick bite to eat and take a walk outside. Fresh air and sunshine are a great way to reset. However, on this particular day, I used this time to speak with a program manager at a local state university who wanted me to sit on an advisory board. This ask is an excellent opportunity to spread the good news of Simpplr and our internal communications abilities. In this renaissance of internal comms, companies and organizations still have a picture in mind of the old version of a communications platform. I want to share how businesses and institutions can bring their dated internal communications processes into the present era. There is so much to gain from the advancements in productivity, creativity, and efficiency.

C-Suite meetings: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

I usually connect with two C-Suite leaders to plan for upcoming KPI milestones and achievements communications to all employees and the company all hands. I review the upcoming quarter of communication dates and events on the content calendar that impacts them. During this time, I also update the new newsletter technology and processes for submitting content for the weekly employee newsletter. This motion is part of our governance strategy, and we want to ensure that all content submitted aligns with our message and mission.

More work time: 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm

I rarely get a big block of work time with no scheduled meetings. If I do, I use this time to:

  • Prepare for an upcoming International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) panel. I will facilitate a virtual panel discussion with internal comms leaders at the end of February. 
  • Edit newsletter content for this week’s newsletter.

5:00 pm – 5:30 pm – Final email and Slack check for the day.

It may seem like I made light of what can be a very demanding job. However, it is also inspiring, creative, and fulfilling. An Internal Communications Manager’s responsibilities center on communication. That means I bring people together to facilitate change, resolve problems, and accomplish goals. It is a very “human” initiative in that it shares ideas while trying to understand others simultaneously. If I can achieve that, I not only make my company better at its business, I make it a better place to work. And who wouldn’t want to do that for their co-workers? Come to think of it, that is what our CEO and founder, Dhiraj Sharma, intended to do when he created Simpplr. Mission accomplished!

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