Scott Miller is the Director of Strategic Communications at Columbia University – Information Technology and he will be speaking at the 7th Annual Strategic Internal Communications – West conference, January 28-30 in San Francisco. Scott sat down with us to tell us about his upcoming session and himself as a communicator.
What do you hope your peers will take away from this conference or your session?
As communication professionals, I think at times—ironically enough—our very profession sets us up to be soiled. We’re often put right at the front lines of responsibility when it comes to developing, executing, and validating strategies meant to engage the very people who are often their toughest critics. More than encouraging, being in a room with others who can relate to your pains and triumphs can be incredibly energizing. I hope peers will take away practical tips and ideas that help them do their work better; as well as a renewed sense that they’re fighting the good fight in improving workplace culture.
What drew you to internal comms and why are you passionate about this role?
I’ve always been curious. I’m someone who finds people, and why they do what they do, interesting. That I’m also easily drawn to a good story means it was probably just a matter of time before I was drawn to this profession.
What’s one thing you wish you could tell your past self?
The traits that come as second-nature for you—unremarkable as they may seem—try to pay close attention to them. They’ll mean everything to you some day.
What about this topic excites you personally?
There’s a quote, a mantra really, that I’ve used for some years now. I may’ve even coined it. “See it. Create it. Then the real work begins.” Conducting a communications audit brings all the best aspects about that quote to life for me. Aside from it being a useful exercise, it’s also a creative one. Putting it together and seeing a comms audit through allows you to test preconceptions, learn more about what people really think and want from their workplace, and points you in the direction you need to go. It forms “the work.” I think there’s something very empowering about that, being able to chart the path to activating employees.
Thank you to Scott Miller for giving us some insight into his upcoming session at the 7th Annual Strategic Internal Communications conference, and why he loves being a communicator. I’m going to check out those podcasts!