Boots, well known as a leading pharmacy and health and beauty company, began as a herbalist medicine shop in Nottingham founded by John Boot in 1849. It produced magazines called The Bee and The Beacon, the former aimed specifically at sales staff. These magazines presented the company as progressive to its employees, emphasising its role in the welfare of its customers and its service to the towns and communities in which its branches were based.

The John Lewis Partnership comprises the John Lewis department stores and Waitrose supermarkets. The partnership is famous as the largest co-operative in the UK. The large John Lewis store at Oxford Street in London was also the first that opened in 1864. The first Waitrose grocery store opened in Acton in London in 1904. The company magazine the Gazette began in 1928 and, once Waitrose had been acquired by the partnership in 1937, covered both parts of the organisation. The magazine aimed to allow communication between the newly established works councils and the staff and stated its wish as being to encourage debate rather than to suppress it.

Postal Museum

The UK’s postal service has very distant origins. It began around 1516 as a government department serving the needs of Henry VIII and, over time, evolved into being a public service. It has produced company magazines including those called the Post Office Magazine and the Courier. Communication has always been at the centre of the organisation’s ethos and, in 1933, the Post Office appointed a public relations officer called Stephen Tallents, considered the first public relations department in a UK organisation. Home to Royal Mail’s archive, the Postal Museum is one of the project’s partners.

Now a major multinational company producing a wide range of goods, Unilever gained its name from a merger of two companies in 1929. The Dutch margarine manufacturer Margarine Unie had been founded in 1867, whilst the British soap makers Lever Brothers had began life in 1885. Company magazines began to appear in a variety of forms at Lever Brothers from 1895 onwards, aimed at both local and international readers. From their early days, these magazines were used to communicate a corporate culture.

AB Comms

AB is the world’s longest-established internal communication agency, founded in 1964. Its mission is to build great organizations from the inside out. Today, AB’s strategists, creatives and consultants support some of the best-known and most complex organizations on the planet, including KPMG, American Express, Amazon and Kimberly-Clark. Its Managing Director, Katie Macaulay, is one of the leading names in internal communication. Her show, The Internal Comms Podcast, has been played more than 300,000 times worldwide since it launched in 2019.

The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development. The registered charity champions better work and working lives and has been setting the benchmark for excellence in people and organisation development for more than 100 years. It has a community of almost 160,000 members across the world, provides thought leadership through independent research on the world of work, and offers professional training and accreditation for those working in HR and learning and development.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is a professional body which accredits public relations practitioners. It was founded in 1948 under the name the Institute for Public Relations, following discussions two years earlier at the first ever Public Relations Officers conference.

The Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) is the only professional body dedicated to internal communication in the UK. From its launch in 1949 as the British Association of Industrial Editors, this member association championed the importance of internal communication for employer-employee relations in organisations including introducing the UK’s first internal communications awards. This focus continues today as the IoIC helps organisations and people succeed through promoting internal communication of the highest standard.

simply is a community and consulting business for internal communicators and the digital workplace. Founded in 2005, simply has grown to become the trusted and expert voice for thousands of communicators. 

simply is renowned for hosting EMEA’s biggest event for internal communicators around the digital workplace at simplyEXP, as well as Europe’s largest festival of all-things communication at simplyIC. 

The consultancy arm of the business has helped deliver optimised intranet solutions for globally-recognised corporations including HM Treasury, Interxion, Monster, National Trust, and European Investment Bank. 

simply are experts in employee communications and house the world’s largest closed community for internal communicators, where peers from brands such as EY, Glencore, Biffa, Rolls-Royce, BAE, NATO, and Ocado can network and share best practice.

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. They keep the nation’s archive of printed and digital publications, adding around three million new items to their collection every year. Their London and Yorkshire sites and digital archives have everything from newspapers to sound recordings, patents, prints and drawings, maps and manuscripts.

They work with partners and libraries across the UK and the world to make sure that as many people as possible have the chance to use and explore their collections, events and expertise. And they’re always open online, along with more and more of their digitised collection.

The project will collaborate with the British Library, with support from the Library’s business librarian and a metadata analyst, to enhance the cataloguing of its extensive holdings of historical internal communication materials.