Shalini Gupta

Career background:
I’ve worked internationally for over 15 years in various communications roles in financial services and telecommunications sector. I’ve worked across a wide spectrum of internal communications, ranging from defining, shaping and delivering both employee and leadership communication strategies so they’re at the heart of everything the businesses do. 

How long have you been a volunteer? 
I’ve been a volunteer since January 2021.

What made you want to volunteer with us and how did you get involved?
What motivates me is the passion for shaping a better PR profession and for internal communications to be taken seriously as one of it’s discipline. I was looking for an opportunity to make bold moves and really make a difference outside of my work. For the last year or so, I’ve been thinking about how I could contribute to the industry. Why? Because I care how by sharing my skills, knowledge and experience I can support CIPR members to be the best communications professionals they can be. So I pushed myself further and applied to be part of the CIPR_Inside committee.

What kind of work do you do on the committee?
I lead the Leadership communications sub-group for the committee. At the start of 2021, the committee members identified three key themes for us to explore this year and leadership communication was one of them. There’s a huge opportunity in 2021 for communicators to continue shaping the way our leaders communicate and take a wider role in shaping the overall employee experience. 
I’ve also been a founder member of the newly formed Insights, Evaluation and Measurement group for the first half of the year. We’ve reviewed metrics for the various CIPR social channels and events - a monthly dashboard is now being developed that’ll help shape future content strategy. Due to my focus on the leadership group, I’ve had to drop this for some time.

What's been the best thing about volunteering so far? Any particular highlight or achievement you're most proud of? Did you volunteer through the pandemic and how was that?
You get out what you put in! The CIPR Inside committee is an amazing group of experienced professionals from across all sectors. I’ve not only met new people but learned so much from them. Each one of us is always looking to do something different to bring the best content for the members. I’m so proud to be part of a group where we’re all driven by one common goal - to support members to be the best communications professionals they can be and help shape a better overall public relations profession. 
I kicked off the year for the committee with my blog highlighting the key themes for internal communicators in 2021 and how this year is not going to be just about resilience & adaptability but agility to seize new opportunities and riding the tailwinds. The blog post has been the most viewed and shared content for CIPR_Inside across the social channels so far. 
As the lead for the committee’s Leadership communications group, I’m working with the other volunteers on a leadership panel event for the summer where we’ll bring in leading industry communicators who will be sharing their experiences and knowledge about ‘supporting virtual leadership in a virtual world’, providing practical tips, sharing best practices, and inspiring fellow internal communicators, so  they can strengthen the way their leaders engage with employees – so watch this space!

Why is volunteering important?
Since volunteering for CIPR_Inside (despite all the engagements being via Zoom!), I have grown my network and forged great relationships with senior practitioners in the industry. Working alongside communicators from other industries has been extremely valuable in getting an insight into the wider challenges of the industry.  It has also been hugely beneficial to understand how a membership body works and how by working collaboratively with the Board, Council, Groups and CIPR employees, we can get the best out of everyone, for the good of the industry.

What would you say to another member thinking of volunteering? 
If it’s people who drive and motivate you, if you’re passionate about learning, sharing and collaborating, go for it! Volunteering with CIPR will not only increase your self-confidence providing you a sense of accomplishment, it’ll give you a sense of purpose outside of your work as it’s a terrific way to make a positive impact in the industry.