Martin Flegg, Chart.PR 

Career background 
I’ve worked in a wide range of communication roles for over 20 years, in central UK government departments, higher education, financial and legal services. I’m now an independent consultant with my own business, The IC Citizen, specialising in internal communication and employee engagement.   

How long have you been a volunteer? 
About 6 years now. 

What made you want to volunteer with us and how did you get involved? 
I got involved after meeting past president Jenni Field at a conference. Jenni inspired me to sign up as a volunteer with CIPR Inside, and the rest is history!  

To start off with, being a volunteer was about building a wider network of contacts, but now it’s about something quite different. One of my soapboxes is professionalism in internal communication. We need more internal communicators to get qualified, do meaningful continuous professional development and learn from other internal communicators.  

I think it’s the only way we’ll ever become a strategic management function in organisations, rather than being the thing that ‘sends out stuff’ to employees. As a veteran internal communicator, I feel that am now partly responsible for trying to help make this paradigm shift happen, and this is the reason I am still volunteering with CIPR Inside. 

What kind of work do you do on the committee? 
This year I’m CIPR Inside  Committee Chair, but I’ve also been Vice-Chair and Treasurer. The work is very much about listening to members and the wider internal communications community, and motivating and supporting the rest of the committee to create content and resources which help IC practitioners develop and do their jobs more effectively. 

What's been the best thing about volunteering so far? Any particular highlight or achievement you're most proud of?  
Definitely the Changing the Conversation Internal Communications Conference  we ran at Birmingham Town Hall back in October 2019. We had some extraordinary speakers from the world of internal communication, including Rachel Miller, Katie Macaulay and Jenni Field. We even tempted the legendary Chuck Gose over the pond, to the UK, from the States. Over 200 internal communicators attended and our hashtag #ChangingTheConvo  even trended on Twitter. I’ll never forget that day, it was like IC Christmas! 

Why is volunteering important? 
Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Institute. CIPR couldn’t exist or operate without volunteers like me or the hundreds of other members who freely give up their time to create resources, run events and maintain the infrastructure for the benefit of all members and the wider PR profession.  

What would you say to another member thinking of volunteering? 
The more you put into your CIPR membership, the more you will get out of it. Volunteer, you won’t regret it!