Source of the Month

Counsel Culture: The Origins of John Lewis’ Iconic Staff Consultation Practices – Source of the Month (February 2024)

The journey of The Gazette (the company newspaper of John Lewis) mirrors today’s challenges in internal communication and workplace culture. This blog post explores The Gazette’s story and how it highlights the timeless challenge that workplace cultures cannot be changed overnight. Instead, they require a gradual process of institutionalisation. In the digital age, the evolution …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Munitions Got Tallents: The Rise of Public Relations in the Second World War – Source of the Month (September 2023)

The interwar period marked a significant juncture in the fields of public relations and integrated marketing communications. One individual, the senior civil servant Sir Stephen Tallents, emerged as a driving force behind these transformations. Born in 1884, Tallents’ innovative strategies and expansive vision left an enduring impact on corporate branding, marketing, and communication practices. This …

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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 …

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For Kin and Company: The Rhetoric of Family in Large Firms – Source of the Month (July 2023)

By the start of the twentieth century, large firms were employing rhetoric centred around the concept of ‘family’ to foster a sense of unity, loyalty, and mutual support among their employees. This is the first of two blog posts that will explore the use of this rhetoric. This month, we look at the early publications …

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The Evolution of Employee Voice: Celebrating the 110th Anniversary of the CIPD! – Source of the Month (June 2023)

‘By giving voice to the hundred and one thoughts it made it possible for each individual who played a part in the particular business to broaden his outlook and connect up his own activity with that of his fellow-workmen and to create an interest in him beyond the confines of his own particular task which …

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It’s Working a Tweet: Has Technology Improved Internal Communication?– Source of the Month (May 2023)

The way we communicate with each other has changed dramatically over the years. The latest game-changer in the world of internal communication has been social media. With the sudden shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption of social media as a means of communication has accelerated. But this change has been more …

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