The History of Internal Communication podcast

This podcast series explores the history of the internal communication profession, featuring interviews with internal communication professionals, academics, and archivists. Listen to all the episodes below or download from Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts:

Episode 18 – June 2024

On 14 May 2024, Meta announced the closure of Workplace, the work comms platform that it had launched in 2016. In Episode 18, we talk about history as it unfolds, as we are joined by Simon White, a former employee of Meta’s predecessor Facebook. Now the HR leader for the intranet and communication application Blink, Simon shares with us his wealth of experience of digital communication and how this sector is evolving.

Episode 17 – May 2024

In the seventeenth episode, we are joined by Michael Ellender, the Internal Channels Lead at the BBC. Michael shares his journey in internal communication, reflecting on the shifts from traditional methods to digital platforms and the impact of these changes on organisational culture and employee engagement. His unique perspective highlights the challenges and innovations within the BBC’s internal communication strategies. Tune in as we explore how internal communication shapes organisational identities and adapts to the digital age.

Episode 16 – April 2024

The sixteenth episode of the History of Internal Communication podcast features Sue Dewhurst, the former Director of The SD Group, and Liam Fitzpatrick, the Co-Founder of Donhead Consultants. In 2001, Sue and Liam developed the first competency framework for internal communication practitioners in the UK. Their model marked a turning point, providing a structured approach to professionalising this growing field. In this interview, they discuss the enduring importance of strategic leadership, the ongoing quest for professional recognition, and the potential impacts of AI.

Episode 15 – March 2024

In Episode 15, we are joined by Isabel Hull, the Research and Content Director at Kademy. Isabel shares invaluable insights on mastering change communication in today’s workplace environment. She talks about maintaining a coherent message across channels, navigating the pitfalls of unofficial channels, and bridging the skills gap in communication teams in the fact of technological advancements. Isabel tells us the key messages from Kademy’s latest report entitled What’s changed about change communication?

Episode 14 – February 2024

In the fourteenth episode, we are joined by Mike Klein, an internal and social communication consultant at Changing the Terms. With a career that began in political PR in the US, Mike has worked in internal communication in many different countries and held posts at Shell, Cargill, and Maersk Oil. Join us as we explore Mike’s insights from measurement to leadership, offering valuable perspectives on the evolution and future trajectory of internal communication.

Episode 13 – January 2024

The thirteenth episode of the History of Internal Communication podcast features David Macleod, the Co-Chair of Engage for Success. David co-authored the hugely influential 2009 Engage for Success report. In this interview, David looks back at how internal communication has developed in the 14 years since he and Nita Clarke wrote the report. He reflects on the monumental shifts he’s witnessed during his career and talks to us about a wide range of topics from the challenges of working with senior managers to employee engagement.

Episode 12 – December 2023

In Episode 12, we are joined by Katie Marlow, the co-chair of CIPR Inside, and Dan Holden, the outgoing chair of CIPR Inside. Katie has been a Communication Consultant at Little Bird for thirteen years and has worked for the NHS and local government in the past. Dan is a Communication Consultant at All Things IC and has experience in various internal comms roles, including with the consumer group Which. Katie and Dan talk about where internal communication fits with public relations and explore the social and technological changes that have been changing the world of internal comms.

Episode 11 – November 2023

In the eleventh episode of the History of Internal Communication podcast, we are joined by Liz Clayton-Jones, the Founder Director of Beehive Performance Ltd and the former editor of the Mars company magazine. In our conversation, Liz gives fascinating insights ranging from her interest in communicating with introverts to changes in society that have altered the way we communicate.

Episode 10 – October 2023

The tenth episode of the History of Internal Communication podcast features Dev Mistry, the Global Internal Communications Manager at the online event hub DICE. With over a decade of PR and communications, Dev talks about the role of internal communication in PR, strategies for inclusivity, and the power of storytelling. He gives fascinating insights on a wide range of topics from making voices heard within organizations to how social media can be used to foster inclusive communities.

Episode 9 – September 2023

In Episode 9, we are joined by Marc Wright. With a deep understanding of internal comms since the 1980s, Marc’s journey began after studying English Literature at Oxford. In 1985, he acquired Crown Business Communication and he later founded MCA Live in 1996 and simplycommunicate in 2005. Marc’s vast expertise has shaped the field’s evolution. Join us for a fascinating discussion as we explore the history and future possibilities of internal communication.

Episode 8 – August 2023

In the eighth episode of the History of Internal Communication podcast, we are joined by Alex Gapud, a Cultural Anthropologist at the business consultancy Scarlett Abbott. Having previously researched a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in social and cultural anthropology, he discusses his expertise in human culture and the insights this offers organisations that wish to improve communication with their employees.

Episode 7 – July 2023

In Episode 7, we are joined by Rachel Miller. Through her IC consultancy work with All Things IC and her masterclasses, Rachel is well known by internal communication practitioners. Before beginning her consultancy work, Rachel had years of experience working in-house for various organisations including Visa and London Overground. Her upcoming book ‘Internal Communication Strategy’ is greatly anticipated among IC practitioners. In this podcast episode, Rachel talks about a wide range of topics from creating a sense of community within organisations to the implications of AI.

Episode 6 – June 2023

In Episode 6, we are joined by Jenny Davenport and Liz Cochrane. Jenny is a trailblazer in the realm of industrial democracy during the transformative 1970s. Jenny also played a vital role in the development of the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip). Liz Cochrane is the course director of the masters programme and played a pivotal role in its creation. In this month’s podcast episode, we’ll delve into the stories, insights, and experiences of Jenny and Liz, exploring their journey, the challenges they faced, and the lasting impact they have had on the internal communication community.

Episode 5 – May 2023

The fifth episode of the History of Internal Communication podcast explores the changing ways that we communicate with two of the most prominent figures in the sector. Dom Walters is a renowned Leadership Communication Consultant and host of the ‘Future of Internal Communication’ podcast series, with a background in prestigious organizations like Lloyds, PWC, and Computershare. We are also joined by the ‘godfather of internal communication’, Bill Quirke, Managing Director of IC consultancy Synopsis. Bill’s influential books have revolutionised the field of internal communication, making him a true pioneer in the sector.

Episode 4 – April 2023

In the fourth episode, we’re joined by Sam Bleazard, the Employer Brand Content Producer for Fortnum & Mason. Sam brings a wealth of experience to the Institutional History of Internal Communication research, having worked for three of the project’s case studies: Royal Mail, Unilever, and John Lewis. He is also the host of his own popular podcast series Comms from the Shed. In this episode, Sam covers a wide range of topics, from the future of the company magazines to channels of misinformation.

Episode 3 – March 2023

In Episode 3, we are joined by Matt Eastley (Content Strategist and Editorial Specialist). In his career, Matt has experience working on house magazines for two of our case studies. In 2000-10 he was the Editor in Chief at Royal Mail, where he worked on the Courier magazine, and in 2015-22 he worked on the Ariel magazine at the BBC, where he became Head of Internal Communications & Engagement. He gives fascinating insights into how these organisations used their history in their internal comms, but at times glossed over it to help facilitate a break with the past.

Episode 2 – February 2023

In the second episode, we speak with Suzanne Peck (President of the Institute of Internal Communication) and Jennifer Sproul (Chief Executive of the Institute of Internal Communication). The Institute of Internal Communication is a partner of the Institutional History of Internal Communication in the UK project. Since its foundation in 1949, the institute has gone through many changes in form and has played a major role in shaping internal communication. Suzanne and Jennifer talk about the history of the internal communication profession and the ways in which increasing knowledge of its past can benefit the profession today.

Episode 1 – January 2023

For the first episode, we are joined by the two people who came up with the ‘An Institutional History of Internal Communication in the United Kingdom’ project: Michael Heller from Brunel University London and Mick Rowlinson from Exeter University. They talk about how they came up with the project, what questions they hope we can answer through our research, and, most importantly, how they hope it will contribute to the internal communication profession itself.