Insight from a recent event #TheBigYak

The format

I attended The Big Yak internal communications unconference last Saturday and found it hugely valuable for networking and the collaborative opportunity to answer questions and solve issues that have been raised on the day.

TBY board

I was new to the unconference format which is based on Open Spaces Technology. Like-minded people come together without a set agenda and agree this during the day. The event was facilitated by Benjamin Ellis. This is a format I would like to try out at an event I am organising in the future.

The sessions

I attended a session on storytelling and Zofia Skrakowski has already established a LinkedIn group called Storytellers Unite to continue the conversation. I suggested a session on the benefits of professional membership and was able to discuss this with both Chartered Institute of Public Relations – CIPR and Institute of Internal Communications IoIC colleagues.

My highlights arose from a session that I had suggested about engaging the cynics. The first was the amusing term of ‘snow Leopard managers’ – a tricky one to explain to middle management if they don’t see their role as communicating to their staff. As well as a new acronym which was CAVE dwellers – Constantly Against Virtually Everything. I think we have all come across these types of people at one time or another!


I also attended and enjoyed a session on brand and employee value proposition. Important themes that came out of many of the sessions were:

  • The idea of staff as consumers.
  • Internal communicators role of curating content, for various channels with content generated by colleagues.
  • The unquestionable importance of the role of leaders.

Find out more

Rachel Miller blogged a useful summary of the event and the event hashtag  – #thebigyak was trending throughout the course of the day.

Thank you ICCrowd and your lovely sponsors!

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