Company magazines

Ariel Reconnaissance: Uncovering the Origins of the BBC’s Internal Communication – Source of the Month (May 2024)

In our eighteen months of study, no archive has rivalled the BBC’s behind-the-scenes insights into internal communication strategy. Spanning 1927 to 1989, its archive holds a collection of minutes and memos that tell a story of how the initiation of a magazine in 1927 evolved into a major organisational operation. An almost continuous run from …

Ariel Reconnaissance: Uncovering the Origins of the BBC’s Internal Communication – Source of the Month (May 2024) Read More »

Chapter 4 of the History of Internal Communication (1878 to 2024): Communication Developments in the Pre-Digital Age

Yesterday, we explored how the Second World War drew attention to the importance of communication. After the war, internal communication underwent a series of significant transformations. One of these was an explosion in company magazines and readership.  From an estimated 350 magazines in Britain in 1938 company magazines expanded to 1,000 in 1950, 1,500 in …

Chapter 4 of the History of Internal Communication (1878 to 2024): Communication Developments in the Pre-Digital Age Read More »

Chapter 3 of the History of Internal Communication (1878 to 2024): The Second World War and its Aftermath

Yesterday, we explored how magazines spread in the interwar years. With the Second World War, internal communication underwent significant transformations. The war itself led to backward steps in relation to the communication channels that had developed in the interwar years. Most notably, shortages of paper meant that many publications became slimmed down. Interestingly, internal communication …

Chapter 3 of the History of Internal Communication (1878 to 2024): The Second World War and its Aftermath Read More »

Chapter 2 of the History of Internal Communication (1878 to 2024): Communication in the First World War

Yesterday’s post looked at the origins of the company magazine in the late nineteenth century. The First World War marked a significant turning point in the history of internal communication within organisations. The war itself was a stimulus for some companies to begin a magazine, a notable example being Boots, which used its Comrades in …

Chapter 2 of the History of Internal Communication (1878 to 2024): Communication in the First World War Read More »

Chapter 1 of the History of Internal Communication (1878 to 2024): Nineteenth-Century Origins

As the Institute of Internal Communication marks its 75th anniversary, this blog post takes a step back in time to discover how internal communication has got to where it is today. Taking us from the first known dedicated company magazine in 1878 through to the launch of AI software, this story aims to be the …

Chapter 1 of the History of Internal Communication (1878 to 2024): Nineteenth-Century Origins Read More »

A Message in a Battle: Contested Interpretations in Communication – Source of the Month (January 2024)

From Industrial Welfare, the magazine of the Industrial Society, in April 1965. What did you take as the message of this picture? For many of you, it was probably the environmental consequences of a throw-away culture. When this advert was produced in 1965, the complete opposite reaction was anticipated from readers. The hope was that …

A Message in a Battle: Contested Interpretations in Communication – Source of the Month (January 2024) Read More »

The Sunlight Way and the Dawn of Brand Communities – Source of the Month (December 2023)

“Oh! please listen to what I say — For comfort and ease And your husband to please, Wash all your clothes in The Sunlight Way.” Mrs Howard, Keston, Kent. Progress magazine, November 1900, p. 592. The ‘Sunlight Way’ The above verse is more than advice on laundry. It reflects a new discourse made possible by …

The Sunlight Way and the Dawn of Brand Communities – Source of the Month (December 2023) Read More »

Industrial Thespianage: The Use of Celebrities in Internal Communication – Source of the Month (November 2023)

The role of celebrities in advertising and external marketing campaigns is familiar to us all. Celebrities are often the faces of brands, representing a certain lifestyle or aspiration that companies hope to convey to their target audiences. Less prominent is the pivotal role celebrities have played in organizations’ internal communication. In this month’s Source of …

Industrial Thespianage: The Use of Celebrities in Internal Communication – Source of the Month (November 2023) Read More »

The Evolution of Workplace Psychology: From Conformity to Inclusivity – Source of the Month (October 2023)

In today’s world, diversity and inclusion are values that many organizations proclaim to have at the forefront of their agenda. Creating environments in which employees from all backgrounds feel valued and respected is often stated as a priority. The journey towards this focus on inclusivity is rooted in the historical evolution of workplace psychology. A …

The Evolution of Workplace Psychology: From Conformity to Inclusivity – Source of the Month (October 2023) Read More »

Domestos and Domestics: The Family Metaphor at Lever Brothers– Source of the Month (August 2023)

In our previous blog post, we explored how large firms in the early twentieth century employed the rhetoric of ‘family’ to foster unity and a sense of community among their employees. This time, we turn our attention to Lever Brothers, which later became Unilever following a merger in 1930. Lever Brothers used the language of …

Domestos and Domestics: The Family Metaphor at Lever Brothers– Source of the Month (August 2023) Read More »