The Internal Comms Podcast

Season 7: The rewind episode

The countdown is on, and The Internal Comms Podcast will be returning from its summer break with Season 8 imminently. And while its eighth instalment promises wisdom unbound from across the world of communications, we took the opportunity to reflect on some of the highlights of Season 7.

In this special bonus episode of the show, host Katie Macaulay shares her highlights from Season 7’s series of fascinating chats, ranging from the relationship between strategy and comms to reaching the most remote internal audiences. The episode features insightful soundbites from Katie’s guests that capture the essence of The Internal Comms Podcast in just a few seconds.

Season 8 launches on 14 September, with fortnightly episodes taking us up to the end of 2022. We look forward to introducing you to this Season’s guests!

Don’t forget to subscribe to The Internal Comms Podcast today, so you don’t miss a thing.

Download transcript

[Katie 00:09]
Welcome to The Internal Comms Podcast with me, Katie Macaulay. I’ve spent a 30-year career helping organisations improve the way they communicate with their people.

From everything I’ve seen over those years, I’m left in no doubt that exceptional organisational performance is rooted in exceptional internal communication. In short, great organisations are built from the inside out. And on the flip side, a common component of almost every business problem I’ve witnessed over those years – from major disasters, to those minor yet disruptive skirmishes – is poor communication.

So in this show, I sit down with the leading lights from the world of business, communication and academia to explore how organisations can improve workplace communication. How do we best inform, motivate, and involve our people.

The curtain is about to go up on Season Eight of the show. But before it does, to hopefully whet your appetite. I’d like to share with you just a few highlights from our last season.

In Episode 57, we unbox internal communication at the world’s most successful furniture retailer, IKEA. My guests were CEO Communication Leader, Daniela Rogosic, and Global Head of Co-Worker Communication. Guy Britt.

We had an amazing reaction to this show. And it’s really easy to see why Guy and Daniela talk with tremendous energy and enthusiasm about their work, which involves communicating to 170,000 colleagues working in more than 60 markets worldwide. Here’s Guy talking about how he views the internal audience at IKEA:

So let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of internal comms at IKEA. And first, let’s get our terminology right because Guy, I know that you are Global Head of Co-Worker Communication, and that term co-worker rather than internal or employee comms is deliberate. And I just wonder, why is that? And how does that shift in language influence your thinking and approach?

[Guy 2:48]
It’s very deliberate. And it’s based on that the people we’re communicating to our people. They’re humans, they’re our colleagues. It’s not a strange entity or where you are employed. If we say employees, then it’s like, we’re talking down to people, if it’s internal communications, then it sounds like we’re just clicking memos about or updating an intranet.

We’re not just communicating with our colleagues, we’re engaging with them, we’re trying to inspire them, we’re trying to activate them, we’re trying to, you know, bring them along with the journey. And, you know, communication is a two way street, we’re not just pushing things out to them, we’re pulling as well, we’re talking to them, we’re having a dialogue, we’re learning from them. As much as we’re trying to share things the other way.

So it’s, it’s just that human element which is so, so critical, to the way we go about it. And that comes down to the way we communicate comes down to the use of language, it comes down to the tone, it comes down to, you know, not using corporate language or not using, you know, media release template-type, ways of writing which are absolutely inhuman in every way. You know, it’s robotic, so it’s about having a human tone and a respectful one and respecting their time and their energy.

[Katie 04:10]
Great business leaders know that human-centric companies perform better over the long run, and especially in times of intense disruption, and change. Those are the words of Victoria Dew, Coach, consultant, co-founder of Dewpoint Communications, and a leading voice in the internal comms field.

Now, I have to say Victoria was an absolute joy to interview. I’m guessing that her background in the movie business might account for her ability to convey her thoughts in a very articulate and inspiring way. I had goosebumps actually several times during this conversation.

In this clip from Episode 61 Victoria explains why we don’t want employees always trying to behave themselves at work. Instead, businesses need to embrace the messiness of the whole human being.

Now, I do like to do quite a bit of research on my guests before I interview them. And it was pretty clear to me very early on, in researching you and your work, that there’s a golden thread, I think that runs through your approach to communication. And it’s possibly best summed up by phrase you’ve used, which is, “human-centric businesses do better”.

I just wonder if you can elaborate on this thought, and particularly what’s driving the trend towards organisations becoming more human-centric?

[Victoria 5:49]
You know, this is certainly a part of my work and my ethos, and what my company is about, which comes from my work in New Zealand, you know, a very egalitarian culture, and very focused on people.

I would say that what part of my mission is proving that human-centric businesses do better, I would say pre-pandemic that was quite radical, which is sort of weird and annoying to say, but it was a much bolder statement than it is today.

I think the pandemic has really accelerated this trend that we would call looking at human-centric workplaces, for some of the reasons I mentioned about you know, that you mentioned that collision, of work and life. So I believe that if you are relying on actual human beings to run your business, right, which is to say, you have a business that is not 100% run by machines, or robots, or AI or non-human things, right? If you have actual human beings, messy, human beings with lives and feelings, and dreams and goals, if you’re counting on those creatures to run your business,

which I believe I don’t know a lot of businesses that are not, maybe you’ve come across them, but I haven’t, then it behooves you to enable and be able to access all of their humaneness, right, that what we call whole human, all of that messy human.

Because the best and smartest people, and what I hear a lot of is companies that want to hire the best and smartest people, so let’s just assume that that is the kind of human that one is looking to have run the organisation. The best and smartest people don’t just innovate, create, collaborate, lead nine to five, and then go back into their little boxes, like a robot until you go get them the next day. Says me.

So creating a world of work where people can be their, you know, authentic, and air quotes “selves”, because that word is sort of overused, but not inaccurate. Creating a world where people can be those selves bring out the best in people. And that is simply better for business than having a company full of people who are trying to behave themselves and look good all the time.

So like, so you know, when you’re staying at someone’s house, you know, speaking of house guests, and you’re paranoid about breaking something, right? Like your paranoid, you’re gonna like, break a glass or something, and you’re gonna be a bad house guest. And because you’re nervous, you of course, you drop a glass or you spill nail polish remover on the dresser or, you know, you break a chair or something happens, right?

And I think about that a lot, because haven’t we actually essentially been living in a world of work that was kind of like that? Where we’re always uncomfortable like in this country, you know, that you can get fired on a Tuesday, right, that precariousness. I think a lot about women teetering around offices and high heels like literally very precarious, you know, and you think about like, how on earth like, what a stupid idea, you know, what a bad way to get the best out of people.

And then suddenly, we ended up in this world where we kind of got comfortable in our yoga pants, and we could finally breathe. And we discovered we could do really good work, and actually breathe and not have our feet hurt all the time, and not constantly feel like we were about to spill nail polish remover on the dresser.

So, you know, AI and machine learning and robots are getting very, very sophisticated. But at the moment the roles we really need people to do humans involve some of these traits and attributes that are we associate being very human and not which is not to say that robots and AI won’t get very good at these at some point. But for the time being in things like creativity, synthesis, empathy, imagination, intuition, strategy, communication, critical thinking.

So the jobs of the future are very likely to be about how humans enable technology, and how we work alongside it, at least for sort of the next 10 to 15 years. And I don’t know about you, I really don’t dare think longer than 10 to 15 years, it seems a very long time away. One of my favourite futurists Bob Johansen would say, the next 10 years is going to be a love story about humans and machines, and how we work alongside.

So by 2025, machine learning AI machines will have eliminated about 85 million jobs around the world. But it will have created 97 million new jobs. And those jobs are not about people behaving themselves. And they’re not about people being cogs in a machine. They’re not about pressing a button or punching a time clock. Those jobs are the ones that are going away. So if you love those jobs, you’re going to be in for a rude awakening.

These new jobs and what we really need people to do is about analysing, synthesising connecting the dots. It’s things like you know, data analysts and scientists and, and digital marketing and strategy and process automation, how we become specialists, right and how we connect dots and take all these kinds of very human attributes together and make sense of the world and enable technology.

So if that’s the world that you’re building, and that’s the world of work that we’re creating, then really creating a human-centric workplace where those people can thrive is, I believe, mandatory. And then when we come back to internal communication, you see how creating what I think of as surround sound a mesh of touchpoints, and employee experience and communication is critical to that. That helps people to do their best work.

[Katie 11:50]
Martin Flegg, or The IC Citizen, as he is known on social media, has more than 20 years’ experience in communications, as well as being a consultant, he’s also a tutor on various CIPR qualification courses, including the Specialists IC Certificate.

In this clip, Martin and I are talking about the current state of the internal comms job market.

What I have seen quite a lot of is clients who will come to me and say, as soon as I got into the role, I realised they just wanted me to SOS: send stuff out. And they thought they were being hired for a strategic role. I think your point so well made when you said: what is the role of internal communications inside the organisation? How is it perceived? I’m doing a piece of work at the moment where I’m speaking to a leadership team, one on one, six members of this leadership team.

And it’s really interesting to ask these individual leaders what they perceive the role and value of internal communications? Now they’ve got a very sophisticated understanding of it. So we’re good. But I think that is crucial. It’s almost the question you should be asking in your interview, isn’t it?

[Martin 13:15]
It is, and you know Katie, it’s a question that I have asked time and time again, as I call it, the killer question. No, you just say to people at the end, you say, so what is internal communications for in this organisation? And you’ll get all sorts of different answers. And actually, I think, you know, from what’s said, there, sometimes you can, you can work out whether it’s, it’s almost stay or run.

Let’s be sensible, some people are quite comfortable and very skilled at creating very good content, that you know, that hits the mark with employees and resounds with them. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s just that, you know, if that’s not with you, and that’s the only thing that the organisation wants, then are you going to be happy in that role?

If you’ve got more of a kind of a strategic kind of aspect to your professional skill set and your mindset. And actually, you’re not just happy with sending out stuff, to be able to make a difference or to know that what you’re doing is making a difference in the organisation.

And you know, if leaders won’t let you do that, because leaders have a very, very big influence, perhaps the biggest influence of all on organisations, about what internal communications, in fact, is for and how it’s practised inside the organisation. If you aren’t in tune with that, then you’re going to find it quite frustrating and quite difficult to operate there.

And, you know, there’s a there’s a great there’s a great book by Liam FitzPatrick and Sue Dewhurst. It’s the yellow book, but now it’s the red book because they’ve just republished, I haven’t gotten the red version yet, which is the updated version. The early chapters are about are about what internal communications is for in the value space is that it occupies you if you look at those values spaces, that can be a starting point to kind of working out what it is that you really want to do in internal communication and the sorts of practitioner that you want to be.

And having got that kind of in the back of your head, when you are interviewing for jobs that could kind of be your frame for then kind of working out well “are these people on the same page as me?” when it comes to what internal comms is for, and which value space it occupies, and whether that’s the same value space I want to be in.

[Katie 15:30]
We heard there, Martin mentioned the dynamic duo that is Sue Dewhurst and Liam FitzPatrick. I was delighted when Sue and Liam returned to my podcast studio to talk about the second edition of their book, Successful Employee Communications: A Practitioner’s Guide to Tools, Models and Best Practice for Internal Communication.

I first interviewed Sue, and Liam, way back in Episode 17. And what I loved about that conversation, is that it was packed with practical advice taken not just from Liam and Sue’s academic work, but from plenty of first-hand experience.

In Episode 62, we continue the theme. Here’s Sue explaining the first steps to take when a stakeholder comes to you with a comms request.

[Katie 16:23]
An essential part of being an effective comms professional is obviously identifying the real problem that needs fixing. And this came out quite strongly in your book, how should we respond to a stakeholder who says, for example, “I want a set of posters and intranet banners about my wonderful new change programme.” Sue, you mentioned there are three questions to ask at that moment. Just wondering if you could share those with us?

[Sue 16:51]
I can, I can. I think the temptation is, isn’t it… It feels a bit infuriating when somebody comes along and it seems as if they think they know more about communication than us because our brains are primed to like status. So, it’s quite natural that we would do.

I think it’s worth reflecting that it’s often suggested that we should start asking ‘why?’. You know, “Why do you want a poster? Why are you asking me this at the last minute?” It can make people feel a bit defensive? It’s also suggested that we should really learn to say ‘no.’ “No, you can’t have your video. No, you must have it this way.” And, but, given that human beings like status, the people coming to see us also like status, so it can put their backs up if we start saying ‘why’ or ‘no’.

So, our suggested alternative approach is to basically build a bridge between what we want to talk about, which is the outcome, and what they want to talk about, which is their poster or video, whatever it might be.

So, three steps, the first step is to basically acknowledge that you’ve heard them and say something nice, I like to say. So, if you imagine that somebody’s come and ask for a video, you might say, “Okay, so you want a video, it’s actually really helpful that you’re asking me about this at the start of the project, because it does mean that we can do a great job of the communication. So, thank you for that.”

And then you get permission to ask questions. You know: “I want to make sure that I do a good job here. Is it okay if I ask you a few questions?” Great. And then you build the bridge. So, you kind of reflect back what they want. So, you say “Right, so let’s imagine that we’ve made your video. And let’s fast forward, let’s imagine it six months from now. Video’s gone really well. Everybody’s watching it. It’s brilliant.” And then you kind of cross the bridge and you say something like “In business terms, what do you hope is going to be different as a result?” Or you might say something like, ‘What are you hoping people will be doing differently because they’ve watched it?” And then you don’t mention the video again.

So, hopefully, people go, “Oh, that’s an interesting question”. And they start down and then you keep them down that track and you start asking them, you know, you do, feel, know, and kind of what people do now and what have you. But it’s just, it’s a way of meeting people where they are and moving them gently on rather than going ‘no’, ‘why?’ and getting everybody’s backs up.

[Katie 19:08]
My guests often talk about the importance of internal comms practitioners getting up close and personal with the strategy of their organisation – not just the documented version, but the strategists themselves.

So, for some time, I wondered whether we could tempt a senior comms executive and their strategy director on the show. And last season, we finally made it happen.

For Episode 59 I headed to the UK head offices of Canada Life in London’s Square Mile to interview Nick Harding and Alana Renner.

Nick Harding is Chief People Officer at Canada Life UK looking after People Experience and Corporate Development.

Alana Renner is Head of Communications & Engagement and reports directly to Nick.
The mutual respect Alana and Nick have for their each other and their work was clear throughout this conversation. But, are there ever areas of tension or disagreement?

So spill the beans, is there ever a point of tension with it? You’re trying to achieve something strategically, and you know, IC want to go off in a different direction or a challenging in a certain way. This is where you get to sort of bear all about how it works, or do you always see eye to eye?

[Nick 20:38]
Oh, no, right, the beauty of the relationship is I can, I’m sure at times, sit in a strategic bubble and Alana will bring me back to reality of how we should be thinking and executing. So, I think there has to be, but that’s really important that we come at it from both angles, right? There is a strategic ambition that is fundamental. And there is also what we have said to the organisation, how the organisation is feeling about, how do we do that? And I’m not saying for any minute, that doesn’t mean that the IC team have not got a strategic lens, of course they do. But there’s very healthy dynamic, I would say. Alana, please comment.

[Alana 21:27]
Yeah, I think if you don’t have that ability to be able to hold up that lens, I think, then it’s very difficult to do your job effectively. Because what I’m really keen on is that we are measuring how we are doing. And we’re measuring the right things to either be able to chart progress or spot when we’ve got an issue.

[Nick 21:52]
I think I’d say also, whether this is a Canada Life UK issue, I’m not sure. But we’ve certainly had a very conservative approach in how we communicate, very corporate approach. And from the get-go, that has not been the style of our communications. And it’s been very healthy. I think if you if you were to look back a couple of years to the approach that we would take, to the personality now that we have in our communications, and that constant driver from Alana and her team to actually be more authentic, and really be true to what we are doing and be less of that corporate voice stuck in the boardroom. That’s a big change that we’ve seen in the last 24 months.

[Katie 22:43]
I think lots of people would like that Alana, I get taught me about how you make that work, then that authenticity, bring it alive the wall, is there any sort of any particular secrets of success?

[Alana 22:54]
Okay, so there’s something about being human isn’t there within an organisation, I think, particularly through the pandemic, where being human became so important. And actually, if I think about Canada Life, and what’s right at the heart of what we’re here to do business for what we’re here to do for our customers, and the role that we play through various different life stages, we’ve really got care at the heart of what we do. And yet, there was a, there was almost a mismatch in terms of tone and approach, which you felt when you walked around the floors. In the days we did walk around on the floors. But yet, we were being quite corporate spouses. So, I think it’s important for people to come through and be a human.

[Nick 23:48]
Yes. And perfectionists, we were awful perfectionists. And you’ve told us actually, it’s better just to say-

[Alana 23:54]
Yeah, there’s a lot of perfectionism. Yeah. So it used to be quite difficult to sign anything off. And I think in the first six months, I think I took the challenge as: be moved from PDF to person, you know

[Katie 24:11]
Lily Goodman D’Amato, began her internal comms career at Paris Baguette, cafe chain with 3000 locations around the world. In Episode 65, she explains how her approach to internal comms is greatly shaped by having worked in exactly the same frontline entry level jobs as many of her audience.

This first-hand experience has profoundly shaped Lily’s approach to connecting with some of the hardest to reach employees. So, I was interested to hear can other internal comms practitioners replicate this firsthand experience?

Is there a way of imitating that experience? So, if you can’t get that hands-on experience, is there another way of getting that insight into the people actually doing the day-to-day work, do you think?

[Lily 25:01]
If you can (I understand that a lot of people are working remotely and things like that, maybe even across the world now that we can work remotely) if you can invest your time for a week, two weeks, however long possible to spend training in the frontline manager role, or even sometimes the base entry-level roles, that will give you everything you need.

Because from an office, home office, corporate office, whatever, there’s only so much you can understand about what comes up. So, I found that frequently to help with efficiencies I’ve been asked and I have done or the instinct is make a checklist, let people know exactly what they need to do all day. And you see the checklist and you’re like, ‘Well, that’s fine. That’s doable, right?’ But you’re not considering all the other things that come up throughout the day, an unhappy customer, your refrigerator goes down, and these checklists then are breeding more checklists, and you end up with resentment right from the field to the corporate knowing there’s that underlying feeling that I felt it in many companies, that corporate (which is a term I don’t love using when I’m a part of it, because I don’t see myself that way) but corporate is so out of touch from the day to day and so that trust, that feeling of ‘We’re one team and we’re here to support you as the corporate office’ goes away and you more feel like an authoritarian out-of-touch king trying to tell you what to do, thinking you know better when they’ve never done it themselves.

So, if you can’t afford that investment of time and going to a location and doing that, because I understand that we all have obligations and KPIs and all of that, find time to get one-on-ones with those frontline managers, and really talk to them about their day and what they go through and what’s going well, what doesn’t go well, how can I help? Those are three questions that will make somebody feel so heard: ‘What’s going well? What’s not going well? And how can I help?’ They’ll feel supported in a way that they wouldn’t otherwise if you’re just helping them with a checklist.

[Katie 27:16]
Mike Roe has spent a 28-year career in the police force serving as a senior detective
and eventually Commander.

Today, he is CEO of Tensense, which has built a diagnostic tool that generates business insights for leadership team based gathering intelligence from employees. Mike is also a coach for other CEOs and C suite executives.

In many ways, Episode 63 was an entire lesson how to lead empathically in a complex, and complicated world.

I ended the interview with my usual quickfire question – I had no idea what Mike’s answer was going to be, but it ended up being the perfect summary of our discussion.

Finally, we give you a billboard for millions to see you can put any message on that billboard you like, what’s your message going to be?

[Mike 28:28]
My best mate in the world is my nine-year-old grandson, Woody. And this was, honestly, this is a fascinating little anecdote. We were walking along. And he was saying, and we were talking about being a class leader at his school at his primary school. And he was telling me why he didn’t think this kid should be the leader. This is not right. It’s not right. And I said to him, go on then, Woody, give me the three attributes that you would look for in your primary school class leader. And these are what he said. And these are what I put on the billboard: teamwork, kindness and good ideas. That’d do for me, I don’t need to read Patrick Lencioni or anybody else.

[Katie 29:15]

[Mike 29:16]
Because often as leaders, we think we do teamwork. We’re full of bloody good ideas. But the bit we often miss is the kindness. I thought: this is out of the out of the mouths of babes.

[Katie 29:29]
Season eight of the show kicks off next week on Wednesday 14 September with fortnightly episodes running until the end of 2022.

And if you are already a fan of the show, I’d be really grateful if you could leave us a review on Apple podcasts. We have more than 60 reviews so far; if we can get this number to 100 we will help more IC professionals around the world find the show.

So, my lovely listeners, until we meet again for Season 8 of the Internal Comms Podcast, stay safe and well, and remember – it’s what’s inside that counts.

Jump to

Colleagues, not employees: IKEA’s Guy Britt unpacks how language of inclusivity fosters community in a 170,000-strong audience. [2:48]

Putting the ‘human’ in business: Victoria Dewhirst breaks down the human-centric organisation trend, where it came from, and where it’s going. [5:49]

SOS: Martin Flegg, AKA The IC Citizen, discusses how individual leaders, and organisations as a whole, understand internal comms, from SOS (sending stuff out) to building engagement. [13:15]

An update on the IC sphere: Sue Dewhurst lays out the first steps to take when a stakeholder comes to you with a comms request. [16:23]

Where strategy meets comms: Canada Life UK’s Nick Harding and Alana Renner get candid about how the two functions can best work together. [20:04]

Boots on the ground: Lily Goodman D’Amato shares her wisdom on building authentic understanding of a frontline worker’s day-to-day. [25:01]

Billboard smarts: Mike Roe offers his unique answer to Katie’s quickfire question. [28:28]

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Moment 13 – The message must change at each leadership level: Dr Kevin Ruck

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If there’s one thing we’re clear about at AB, it’s that communication should not be a one-way street. And that’s what this moment is about. We head back to Episode 13, w...

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Moment 06 – On tolerance, kindness and being enough: Henry Normal

August 9, 2023

As communicators, we could often do with slowing things down a little. In this moment, Henry Normal – author and co-founder of production company Baby Cow, which he founded with ...

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Moment 01 – What happens inside is reflected outside: Rachel Miller

August 2, 2023

Have you heard of an inside-out approach to communication? It’s no secret that today’s internal comms messages seep into the world outside the office walls. After all, anythi...

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Episode 85 – Lessons from a trailblazer

July 26, 2023

We’re ending Season 9 of the Internal Comms Podcast with a bang this week, as Sally Susman takes to the hot seat for her second appearance. Sally is Executive Vice President an...

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Episode 84 – Ethics in action: Insights from a global compliance leader

July 12, 2023

In modern business, integrity is non-negotiable. As legislation ramps up in lockstep with colleague and customer demands, operating an ethical business in line with global regula...

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Episode 83 – ESG: How IC can drive the agenda

June 28, 2023

Define ESG… Well, it stands for environment, social and governance. But can you really define what ESG actually is? Put very simply, ESG is a set of criteria used to evaluate a ...

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Episode 82 – The truth about resilience

May 31, 2023

It seems everyone’s talking about resilience, the ability to bounce back from misfortune or adversity. But as Bruce Daisley explains to host Katie Macaulay, there’s something w...

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Episode 81 – Unilever: Inside a global success story

May 17, 2023

With over 130,000 colleagues, and a 100-year history, Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies. And this week on the Internal Comms Podcast, we get a peek ...

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Episode 80 – The inside track on comms at Mercedes F1

May 3, 2023

“The days we fail are the days our competitors live to regret,” said the late, great Niki Lauda. And that’s what this episode of the Internal Comms Podcast is all about. Thi...

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Episode 79 – Lifting the lid on comms consultancy

April 19, 2023

Ever considered what it takes to become an effective communications consultant? Then this week’s episode of The Internal Comms Podcast is for you. Host Katie Macaulay welcomes Si...

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Episode 78 – Comms with courage

April 5, 2023

This week on The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay welcomes Audacity’s Jason Anthoine. Jason has spent three decades working in internal communication, employee experie...

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Episode 77 – Here for the culture

March 22, 2023

This week on The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay welcomes culture-chameleon Shane Hatton. Shane is many things – author, international speaker, trainer, leadership co...

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Episode 76 – Employee experience: For the people by the people

March 8, 2023

This week on The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay welcomes Nicholas Wardle. Nicholas is Head of Employee Experience at Brand Experiences, and co-author of ‘Monetising ...

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Episode 75 – Inside the world’s most famous corner shop

February 22, 2023

This week on The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay welcomes Sam Bleazard. Sam’s role as Employer Brand Content Producer takes him behind the scenes of ‘the world’s ...

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Episode 74 – Culture with sticking power

February 8, 2023

The Internal Comms Podcast is back for Season 9! To kick off this season, we welcomed BizJuicer’s Andy Goram to the hot seat. Andy’s passion for building businesses ‘from t...

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Season 8: In the rear view mirror

February 1, 2023

With Season 9 of The Internal Comms Podcast right around the corner, host Katie Macaulay has taken the opportunity to reflect on the wisdom and insight shared over our latest seaso...

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Episode 73 – Forging your own path

December 21, 2022

The season 8 finale features Jennifer Thomas, Head of Communications for the Data & Analytics branch of the London Stock Exchange Group. Born in London to Guyanese parents, Jennif...

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Episode 72 – Making your way to the top

December 7, 2022

Episode 72 of The Internal Comms Podcast sees host Katie Macaulay joined by Adrian Cropley, CEO and founder of Cropley Communication and the Centre for Strategic Communication Exce...

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Episode 71 – Effective comms starts with knowing yourself

November 23, 2022

This week’s guest on The Internal Comms Podcast is Joanna Parsons, Head of Internal Communications & Culture at Teamwork. Joanna made Irish history as the first ever Head of Inte...

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Episode 70 – Reaching across the aisle

November 9, 2022

Shelby Scarbrough, author of 'Civility Rules! Creating a Purposeful Practice of Civility', shares her deep insight and experience ‘reaching across the aisle’ on episode 70 of T...

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Episode 69 – Measuring what matters – actions not feelings

October 26, 2022

Episode 69 of The Internal Comms Podcast sees IC heavyweight Mike Klein return to the hot seat. An internal and social communication consultant based out of Reykjavik, Mike is help...

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Episode 68 – Host in the hot seat: Reflections on 250,000 plays

October 12, 2022

In this very special episode of The Internal Comms Podcast, the tables have turned. Katie Macaulay is in the hot seat, and AB’s Senior Content Editor Freddie Reynolds takes over ...

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Episode 67 – The ABC of research: Ask, believe, change

September 28, 2022

In this episode of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay invites qualitative research expert Mari Lee to sit in the hot seat. Mari’s specialism is in ‘development com...

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Episode 66 – Combatting IC isolation

September 14, 2022

The Internal Comms Podcast is back for what promises to be an incredible Season 8! In this kick-off episode, host Katie Macaulay welcomes ICology’s Vice President of Community an...

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Season 7: The rewind episode

September 7, 2022

The countdown is on, and The Internal Comms Podcast will be returning from its summer break with Season 8 imminently. And while its eighth instalment promises wisdom unbound from a...

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Episode 65 – Remote but not unreachable

June 22, 2022

In the final episode of season 7 of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay speaks with Lily Goodman D’Amato, Delivery Trainer at US-based digital pharmacy Medly. Lily b...

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Episode 64 – Releasing your inner sceptic

June 8, 2022

In the latest episode of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay speaks with Martin Flegg, founder and co-owner of The IC Citizen internal communications consultancy. With...

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Episode 63 – Lessons in leadership

May 25, 2022

In episode 63 of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay meets Mike Roe, who had a 28-year career in the police force and is now CEO of Tensense, a data insights company. ...

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Episode 62 – Textbook IC: rewriting comms for a new era

May 11, 2022

In the latest episode of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay speaks with the duo who wrote the book on internal communications – literally. Sue Dewhurst has worked i...

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Episode 61 – Embracing the messiness of being human

April 27, 2022

In this week’s episode of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay sits down with Victoria Dew, founder and CEO of Dewpoint Communications. Her firm is focused on helping ...

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Episode 60 – How to have better conversations

April 13, 2022

In this week’s episode of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay sits down with Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres, co-authors of Conversations Worth Having, Using Apprecia...

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Episode 59 – Strategy & IC: A masterclass in collaboration

March 30, 2022

In this episode of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaluay looks into the dynamic between internal comms and strategy – at its best a symbiotic relationship that drives t...

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Episode 58 – The state of IC: what’s behind the numbers?

March 16, 2022

In episode 58 of The Internal Comms Podcast, we dissect the results of the latest State of the Sector report, the definitive global survey of the internal communication landscape, ...

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Episode 57 – Unboxing internal comms at IKEA

March 2, 2022

In episode 57 of The Internal Comms Podcast, listeners can take a peek inside the world of IC at IKEA, as host Katie Macaulay chats with a dynamic duo from the multinational furnit...

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Episode 56 – IC at the sharp end

February 16, 2022

In this first episode of season 7 of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay talks to Jim Shaffer, an internationally recognised business adviser, leadership coach, author ...

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Leading Lights – Highlights From Season 6

February 9, 2022

Get ready to tune in to our next season of The Internal Comms Podcast. While Season 7 promises an amazing array of guests, this special episode highlights some of the best moments ...

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Episode 55 – Mission Possible

December 1, 2021

In the final episode of season 6 of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay speaks to Sally Susman, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Pfizer. ...

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Episode 54 – Brain care: Mastering your mind

November 17, 2021

In the sixth episode of season 6 of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay talks to Phil Dobson, founder of BrainWorkshops and author of The Brain Book: How to Think and W...

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Episode 53 – Suicide Prevention: Reflecting on an award-winning campaign

November 3, 2021

***The content in this episode of The Internal Comms Podcast may be triggering for those who have experience of suicide.*** In the fourth episode of season 6 of The Internal Comms...

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Episode 52 – How do you create comms with purpose?

October 20, 2021

In the fourth episode of season 6 of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay catches up with Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communications and Digital Channels at Fix Net...

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Episode 51 – Why are we here? How purpose and values drive healthy cultures

October 6, 2021

In the third episode of season 6 of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay catches up with communications expert and IABC Fellow Jane Mitchell. Jane began her career with...

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Episode 50 – A guru’s guide to internal podcasts

September 22, 2021

In the second episode of season 6 of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay talks to Brian Landau, an authority in podcasting and expert on all things audio content creati...

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Episode 49 – Engagement: how it started, how it's going

September 8, 2021

In this first episode of season 6 of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay talks to the father of employee engagement, organisational psychologist Professor William Kahn....

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Industry experts – highlights from Season 5

September 1, 2021

The curtain is about to go up on the new season of The Internal Comms Podcast, with some fantastic guests joining host Katie Macaulay to talk about all things communication. For t...

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Episode 48 – Changing minds: using behavioural science in IC

May 12, 2021

It has always been Katie Macaulay’s goal for The Internal Comms Podcast to help improve the way organisations communicate with their people, and this week she does so by explorin...

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Episode 47 – Conversation with a comms rebel

April 28, 2021

Katie Macaulay’s guest this week is a leading light in efforts to advance the careers of under-represented groups in IC. Advita Patel is a qualified coach, mentor, public speake...

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Episode 46 – Influential Internal Communication

April 14, 2021

This episode sees the return of the brilliant business communications strategist, international public speaker and podcast host Jenni Field. The immediate past chair of the Charte...

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Episode 45 – Sharing the magic

March 31, 2021

The life and career of this week’s guest has been a literal roller coaster. Mark Webb fell into PR and media relations by chance, after spotting a job ad for the new Eurodisney ...

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Episode 44 – How to prove your presence

March 17, 2021

Katie Macaulay’s guest for episode 44 of The IC Podcast is Canadian comms expert Prarthna Thakore. After beginning her career in Calgary and then moving to London, Prarthna has ...

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Episode 43 – Kate Jones on the state of our sector

March 3, 2021

Every year since 2008, internal comms pros have responded to the Gallagher State of the Sector report. Because it’s been running for 13 years, and because similar questions are a...

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Episode 42 – Once Upon A Time In IC

February 17, 2021

Katie Macaulay kicks off Season 5 of The IC Podcast with a riveting conversation with business storytelling specialist Gabrielle Dolan. Gabrielle is a highly sought-after internat...

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Looking back, looking forward: highlights from Season 4

February 10, 2021

With the new season of The Internal Comms Podcast just around the corner, we wanted to whet your appetite with a selection of the best bits from Season 4. For this special best-of...

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Episode 41 – At the heart of the crisis: NHS comms during Covid-19

December 23, 2020

The NHS has never been far from our hearts and minds over the last few months. As the national jewel in the UK’s crown, the National Health Service has battled many difficulties ...

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Episode 40 – Founding fathers – building the first IC agency

December 17, 2020

What prompted the creation of the first IC agency back in 1964 and what convinced those first chief executives that they needed external help communicating with their employees? W...

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Coming soon in season 4

December 9, 2020

Coming soon in season 4 of The Internal Comms Podcast

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Episode 39 – Evidence-based IC

November 25, 2020

Recent research shows measurement is particularly challenging for many internal comms professionals. Katie’s guest on this episode of The Internal Comms Podcast is Benjamin Ellis...

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Episode 38 – The secret thoughts of successful people

November 11, 2020

Amid the turmoil of 2020, with IC pros thrown into the spotlight as we strive to keep colleagues informed and connected, it’s not surprising that many of us are feeling a degree ...

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Episode 37 – The art of negotiation

October 28, 2020

If you want to take your communication skills to the next level, then this episode of The Internal Comms Podcast is for you. Katie’s guest is a formidable negotiator and expert ...

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Episode 36 – Navigating the digital landscape

October 14, 2020

In this episode of The Internal Comms Podcast we meet digital expert Frank Wolf. Frank spent seven years as a business consultant at Accenture. Then at T Mobile, he was responsible...

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Episode 35 – How to do less, but do it better

September 30, 2020

In this episode of The Internal Comms Podcast we meet Steve Crescenzo, a witty, straight-talking and charismatic speaker, workshop leader and coach from Chicago, USA, who has spent...

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Episode 34 – Cross-cultural comms

September 16, 2020

The Internal Comms Podcast is now in its fourth season – and to kick it off Katie sat down with Tasneem Chopra for some honest and open conversation. The self-styled “professi...

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Choice cuts: highlights from Season 3 of The IC Podcast

September 2, 2020

Before the curtain lifts on Season 4 of The IC Podcast, we wanted to leave you with some food for thought from Season 3. And what a season it was; we had a whole host of remarkabl...

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Episode 33 – IC’s founding father

July 8, 2020

The goal of this podcast is to bring you meaningful, in-depth conversations with people who are helping to shape the world of internal communication: practitioners, leaders, author...

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Episode 32 – Leadership in unprecedented times

June 24, 2020

President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), Jenni Field has more than 16 years’ experience in communications. She is the founder and director of Redefining C...

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Episode 31 – What's next? IABC roundtable on the impact of Coronavirus

June 10, 2020

The Internal Comms Podcast has gone truly global with our latest episode featuring three speakers from three countries. In episode 31 Katie tables a roundtable discussion with Jen...

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Episode 30 – Your biggest, best, boldest self

May 27, 2020

Chief Executive of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), Adriènne Kelbie has an exceptional understanding of the true power of communication and engagement. The first woman to ...

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Episode 29 – Crisis communication at the coalface

May 13, 2020

Katie’s guest this week is someone who is no stranger to crisis communication. Amanda Coleman was the Director of Corporate Communication at Greater Manchester Police when, on M...

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Episode 28 – The Godfather of IC

April 29, 2020

Katie’s guest this week is one of the world’s leading authorities on internal comms and the management of change: Bill Quirke. As managing director of IC consultancy Synopsis,...

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Episode 27 – Stepping up in a Crisis

April 14, 2020

This week Katie speaks to renowned communicator Shel Holtz. As listeners continue to grapple with keeping workforces informed, galvanised and feeling connected during the corona cr...

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Episode 26 – How to thrive in IC (Part II)

April 1, 2020

This episode is recorded as the majority of the UK is in lockdown while the country attempts to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. Katie Macaulay’s guest, Rachel Miller...

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Episode 25 – Crisis Communications: Covid-19 Special

March 25, 2020

Katie Macaulay recorded this special episode on Friday 20 March 2020 in response to the rapidly developing situation surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. Her guests to talk all thin...

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Episode 24 – A view from the top

March 18, 2020

In this episode of The Internal Comms Podcast, Katie puts her first CEO in the hotseat: Marc Barone. Marc is chief executive for continental Europe at AECOM. This Fortune 500 comp...

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Episode 23 – Courage, confidence and communication

March 4, 2020

In this episode of The Internal Comms Podcast Katie talks to one of world’s most qualified communicators, Priya Bates, from Canada. Priya has an Accredited Business Communicator...

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Episode 22 – State of the Sector

February 19, 2020

State of the Sector is the longest-established and most in-depth survey of the internal communication profession, based on responses from more than 1,000 professionals around the w...

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Episode 21 – The cheerleader for IC

February 5, 2020

During Seasons One and Two we covered a lot of ground in IC and beyond. As we begin Season Three, brace yourself for more fascinating insights as we delve into the very heart of co...

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The highlight reel – nuggets of wisdom from Season 1 and 2 of The IC Podcast

January 29, 2020

Since the launch of The Internal Comms Podcast, host Katie Macaulay has interviewed more than 20 fascinating guests from the world of IC and beyond. Now, as we gear up for Season ...

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Episode 20 – Advocacy in action

December 18, 2019

Katie’s guest this week is Keith Lewis, UK Social Media and Social Business Manager for Zurich Insurance – one of the world’s largest insurance groups with 55,000 employees i...

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Episode 19 – The appliance of neuroscience

December 4, 2019

Katie Macaulay’s guest this week is a neuroscientist with extensive experience in the field of organisational change. Hilary Scarlett began studying the brain in 2009 after read...

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Episode 18 – Editing organisations

November 20, 2019

In this episode we get up close and personal with someone who helps improve the way we communicate at work. Mike Klein worked as a political consultant in the US, but for the past...

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Episode 17 – Black Belt Thinking

November 6, 2019

As individuals, this week’s guests have impressive CVs. Sue Dewhurst is an experienced internal communicator who, for many years, has been training and coaching thousands of lea...

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Episode 16 – A Passage to India

October 23, 2019

With this podcast now reaching listeners in 50 countries worldwide, host Katie Macaulay has chosen to go international for this episode. Her guest is creative services entrepreneu...

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Episode 15 – The Power of Two

October 8, 2019

This week, Katie meets Claire Hyde and Louise Wadman, joint heads of IC at KPMG UK. Possibly the most senior IC job share in the country, Claire and Louise have more than 45 years...

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Episode 14 – How to start a movement

September 24, 2019

Katie’s guest this episode is Nita Clarke – whose services to employee engagement have earned her an OBE from the Queen. Nita has a long and fascinating career. She co-authore...

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Episode 13 – A check-up with the IC doctor

September 11, 2019

The Internal Comms Podcast is back with a new series of fortnightly conversations with leading lights from the world of internal communications, engagement and leadership. AB Mana...

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Season 02 Trailer

September 6, 2019

Season two of The Internal Comms Podcast is almost here!

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Episode 12 – Listen and learn: insights from 30 years in IC

July 24, 2019

In this extra special bonus episode of The Internal Comms Podcast, the tables are turned on Katie as she takes the spotlight as an interviewee. Posing the searching questions is J...

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Episode 11 – Putting the soul back into Patisserie Valerie

June 25, 2019

For this special bonus episode of The IC Podcast, Katie interviewed Paolo Peretti, Managing Retail Director of Patisserie Valerie, in front of a live audience at AB Thinks Live, ou...

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Episode 10 – Internal comms at the sharp end - recorded at IoIC live

May 21, 2019

For the final episode of season one, Katie Macaulay travels to Bath for IoIC Live and interviews two of the conference’s speakers, Martin Fitzpatrick and Matt Batten. Both Marti...

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Episode 09 – How to win colleagues and influence people

May 7, 2019

Social influencer marketing is a new and rapidly growing means of getting your message out to your audience. It’s changed the face of advertising and has everyone from up-to-the-...

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Episode 08 – The Joy of Work

April 23, 2019

Katie’s guest this week is an extremely versatile communicator. In his day job as European Vice President of Twitter, Bruce Daisley has overseen the development of one of the wor...

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Episode 07 – What social purpose (really) means

April 9, 2019

Running the UK’s largest retail and financial services network with more branches than all of the UK’s banks and building societies put together, the Post Office is at the hear...

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Episode 06 – The craft of communication

March 27, 2019

In episode six, Katie travels beyond the boundaries of internal comms to find out how to write more engagingly, tell better stories and use humour to deliver your message. And who ...

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Episode 05 – Learning comms lessons from PR

March 13, 2019

In episode five, Katie aims to find out what internal communications can learn from external communications. So she sits down with ‘mister public relations’, Stephen Waddington...

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Episode 04 – What it means to be the voice of IC

February 27, 2019

The Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) is the voice of the IC profession – dedicated to strengthening confidence, credibility and community. And on 12 March, the IoIC cel...

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Episode 03 – What the State of the Sector report means for IC

February 13, 2019

Episode three lands as Gatehouse’s latest State of the Sector report is published. Katie invites Jenni Field, a tireless, high-profile personality of the IC landscape, to discus...

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Episode 02 – What it takes to be an IC leader

January 30, 2019

Even if you’re only vaguely familiar with internal communications, Katie’s guest in episode two will no doubt be a name you recognise. In a career spanning 30 years, Russell G...

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Episode 01 – How to thrive in IC

January 16, 2019

In the first episode of The Internal Comms Podcast, Katie meets Rachel Miller – a prolific blogger, educator, keynote speaker and one of the most respected voices in internal com...

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January 11, 2019

An introduction to the new Internal Comms Podcast.

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