António Rapoula – 2017 FEIEA Grand Prix Speech

“Bon soir Good evening

FEIEA proudly celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015 – now it’s time to look to the future with ambition, confidence and joy.

As the world is changing, FEIEA is transforming to grow its important role of connecting internal communicators.

As Jean Monnet once said – “Beyond differences and geographical boundaries, there lies a common interest” – FEIEA also stands for a common interest in internal communication, linking its members associations: VIKOM from Austria, BViC from Belgium, FIKOM from Denmark, ASCAI from Italy, APCE from Portugal, SIK-PRSS from Slovenia, Dircom from Spain, SVIK from Switzerland and IoIC from the United Kingdom.

Yesterday we elected Suzanne Peck – from the British Institute of Internal Communication – to become FEIEA President in 2019. So I can say that our future is in good hands!

In present times the way that companies approach markets and clients is changing, trying to meet people’s expectations. But companies also need to look inside, keeping a focus on their employees. Even if we talk about integrated communication, internal stake holders are a very important asset and must be always specially considered.

This is the importance of FEIEA as it can deliver knowledge and share good practices among internal communicators practitioners.

Internal Communication also has another major challenge: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that comes into force on May 25th.

This regulation focuses on the clear and unequivocal protection of people and the dispersion and use of their personal data.

With its 173 issues and 99 articles, the GDPR is changing to better protect people in the digital environment and globalized world we now live and work in. It’s relevant to all of us as it has direct application in 28 countries without needing to be adopted into national laws, and applies to any organization operating within the European Union or storing data from European citizens.

It’s also clear that as this regulation is about people then we have to communicate with them. The implications of GDPR need to be communicated internally companies and organizations transparently and effectively. Without this, the objectives of this regulation won’t be met. If there’s any miscommunication, the reputation of the organization can be seriously affected and incur damage far beyond the 20 million euros maximum fine.

GDPR’s impacts beyond how we communicate with internal audiences and how Internal communication should then reflect corporate transparency and responsibility.

Before we start this FEIEA Grand Prix Cermony, I’d like to say a very warm acknowledge to Suzanne, Peter and Carlos for setting up this amazing event.

And thank you all for being here today with us sharing European Internal Communication best practices.

Merci bien!”

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