Each May, many Internal Auditors show their pride in their profession by posting the IIA's digital icon "Proud to be an internal auditor" all over the Internet. That is great! They have every right to be proud, but is this enough? What are they actually doing to promote the profession and raise awareness about it?
"It is not enough to talk the talk, Internal Auditors need to walk the walk as well!"
The IIA publishes annual "awareness toolkits", which include tips and templates, to help guide internal auditors celebrate the awareness month and spread the word about the value and role of internal audit. While the toolkits include useful practical suggestions, I have not seen statistics or evidence showing how and to what extent they are utilized!
This post is not intended to discuss how to promote the profession, as I believe this is a mental exercise that internal auditors need to arrive at by themselves! Just keep in mind that every internal auditor is an ambassador of the profession and his/her actions (or lack of) are what promote or hinder the profession.
There is no "one size fit all" tools that internal auditors can use around the world. Each internal audit activity need to customize its own awareness campaign to fit the culture and business practices of its organization and country. For example, while producing "bumper stickers" could be a great idea in North America, it may not be a useful tool in other parts of the world! The local IIA chapters should spearhead the efforts to create local tools!
And because actions speak louder than words, the best promotional tool remains the value internal auditors add throughout the year!
"Let your stakeholders be your greatest promotional tool, Let them celebrate you!"
Have a happy awareness month!