Happy birthday to us! Celebrating 63 years of connecting internal communicators around Europe
Back to 1955
Happy anniversary to FEIEA – the European Association of Internal Communication – 63 years old this year and stronger than ever. How things have changed since 1955!
1955 was a year of change and possibility.
The year started on a positive note when West Germany was accepted into NATO. But another conflict was just beginning as the United States became involved in the Vietnam war – it was to last for nearly 20 years.
In the US, black bus passenger Rosa Parks was arrested after refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger in Alabama. The bus boycott that followed was a pivotal event in the civil rights movement. Women’s football was banned in West Germany because the ‘combative sport is fundamentally foreign to the nature of women’, and ‘the display of the body violates etiquette and decency’. Try telling that to today’s female footballers. The Chrysler car company clearly though females were delicate flowers too and launched the Dodge La Femme for women, upholstered with pink rosebuds. It wasn’t a hit but they’re much sought after today.
A new world
Notable firsts in 1955 included the first McDonalds restaurant in the US, the opening of the first Disneyland resort and theme park in California, Lego was invented and the kidney dialysis machine. Albert Einstein died this year and James Dean was killed in a car crash but two boys born in 1955 would go on to revolutionise the way we communicate and share knowledge. Apple founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft founder Bill Gates were set to change the world.
The world of work
The average working week was between 40-48 hours and around four percent of people worked part-time. Most employees worked in manufacturing industries and only about two percent of the workforce worked in Personnel/HR. (Following in separate box) FEIEA’s beginnings were in 1948 when the French Association invited representatives of national internal communication associations to Paris. Two more European conferences followed with FEIEA formed at the third, in Copenhagen, in 1955.
In the 63 years of FEIEA …
Best single thing internal communications has achieved in the 63 years of FEIEA since established is in strengthening connectivity. And yes, tools are constantly upgrading but the essence of the internal communications stays the same: we communicate with each other and interpret the talk to spread it through available channels.
Urška Ojsteršek, SIK-PRSS president