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Research Update (July 2024)

June has been a busy month for the History of Internal Communication project, marked by significant engagements and valuable interactions with both internal communication practitioners and academics...

Channelling the Vibe: BBC Internal Communication in the TV Era – Source of the Month (June 2024)

Last month’s blog post explored the behind-the-scenes strategy of internal communication at the BBC through its archive of minutes and memos. The story went from the inception of the BBC’s first...

Research Update (June 2024)

May has been a busy month for the History of Internal Communication project, with some fantastic practitioner engagement opportunities and extensive archival work. May’s research update looks at the...

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...

Research Update (May 2024)

April was a productive month for the History of Internal Communication project which spoke to practitioners at a webinar, launched a timeline resource, celebrated the 500th listener on their podcast...

Boots on the Ground: Employee Welfare and the Five-Day Week – Source of the Month (April 2024)

Today is the ninetieth anniversary of an important step in employee welfare. On 30 April 1934, Boots Pure Drug Company Limited began an experiment with having a five-day working week. The interwar...

Research Update (April 2024)

March was a milestone month for the History of Internal Communication project. The Institute of Internal Communication reached its seventy-fifth anniversary on 12 March, offering the perfect...

Chapter 5 of the History of Internal Communication (1878 to 2024): The Digital Era and the Journey into the Future

Across this week, we have explored the major chapters in the history of internal communication. The final chapter, which we are still watching unfold today, has seen digital technology revolutionise...

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...

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...

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...

Research Update (March 2024)

February saw an important new step for the History of Internal Communication project, as it completed its transfer to Northumbria University with Research Fellow Joe Chick joining Michael Heller at...

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...

Research Update (February 2024)

Rhetorical History and Corporate Social Responsibility The new year has got off to a great start for the History of Internal Communication project. A year of research in the archives bore fruit this...

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...

Research Update (January 2024)

Archival Research In the final month of 2023, our project has uncovered some fascinating insights into the history of internal communication. The highlight of our month has been a visit to the BBC...

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...

Research Update (December 2023)

Collaboration with Partners November was a busy month for the ‘An Institutional History of Internal Communication in the UK’ project. The highlight of the month was our attendance at...

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...

Research Update (November 2023)

The Project’s First Anniversary With October marking the first anniversary of the History of Internal Communication project, this is the perfect moment to reflect on the progress we’ve made in...

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...

Research Update (October 2023)

September has been an exciting and productive month for the History of Internal Communication project. From exploring archives to forging new partnerships, we’re delighted to share our progress...

simplycommunicate: A New Partner for the History of Internal Communication

The ESRC-funded project ‘An Institutional History of Internal Communication in the UK’ is delighted to welcome a new project partner: simplycommunicate. With many shared interests between...

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...

Research Update (September 2023)

A Tenth Project Partner August has had some exciting developments for our project. A particular highlight of the month has been the addition of simplycommunicate to our growing family of project...

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...

Research Update (August 2023)

European Group for Organizational Studies The History of Internal Communication project team has had an eventful July, filled with exciting activities and productive collaborations. Two members of our...

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...

Research Update (July 2023)

Collaboration with the Institute of Internal Communication The highlight of this month’s work has been attending the IoIC festival. At the scenic rural setting of Tewinbury Farm near Welwyn Garden...

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...

Research Update (June 2023)

Uncovering Insights in the Archives May has been a productive month for our team and we’ve been able to dedicate much of our time to our archival research. Our first stop was the CIPD in Wimbledon...

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...

Research Update (May 2023)

Exploring the History of Unilever: A Visit to Port Sunlight In April, our project team had the opportunity to visit the Unilever archives in Port Sunlight. The setting of the archives is, in itself...

Finding Our Voice: Where Did The Concept of Employee Voice Come From? – Source of the Month (April 2023)

‘Employee voice’ is seen as a vital part of modern internal comms. The CIPD’s factsheet says it brings mutual benefits to employers and employees. For employers, it helps to build trust and can lead...

Research Update (April 2023)

Engagement with Internal Comms Practitioners and Archivists One of our project’s main objectives is to engage with internal communication professionals and archivists, and this month we were able to...

The Grapevine and the Seeds of Internal Communications – Source of the Month (March 2023)

In today’s society, the spread of misinformation has become a major concern, particularly with the rise of social media, which has grown into a powerful channel of communication with very little...

Research Update (March 2023)

Over the last month, we have particularly focussed on engagement with the internal comms profession, our key target audience. Archival research has also been progressing and we’re looking forward to...

A Brief History of Team: The Rise of the Briefing Group in Internal Communication – Source of the Month (February 2023)

Many routines in our everyday lives we do without thinking. If you are involved with management or communication in a large organization, then team meetings are one of those routines. People are...

Research Update (February 2023)

The project has taken some exciting steps over the last month. We have launched our website, met with two of our project partners, and finished research on our first case study. Website launch In...

Sorry for the Weight! How to Lift a Box in the Past and Today – Source of the Month (January 2023)

RICHARD BACON: ‘The other day the BBC sent me on a health and safety away day where they taught me how to carry a cup of coffee’. PETER MANNION: ‘This is exactly what I mean. That makes no sense. That...

What do we mean by an Institutional History of Internal Communication?

Institutional accounts of organizational history do not simply write a narrative of events, nor do they see organizational history as necessarily being driven by a need for greater efficiency and...

An Institutional History of Internal Communication in the UK

‘An Institutional History of Internal Communication in the UK’ is a three-year research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UKRI) being undertaken by researchers at...