Research and Evaluation Workshop

Research Responds to Communication Challenges

Research and evaluation are core principles that underpin effective communication.

According to a recent Uber engagement survey, today’s foremost communication challenges are the lack of resources and leadership support, and the need to prove business value. Effective research programmes can address these issues for those in communication, engagement and change roles.

These will be the main themes discussed during the Institute of Internal Communication evaluation and measurement workshop on February 22nd in London. The event will be led by one of the industry’s leading minds, Susan Walker, ABC, based on her experience both as a communicator and leading engagement and communication researcher ([email protected]).

More event and booking information may be found here:

IABC UK Conducts a Communication Careers Workshop at Prestigious London University

By Miguel Cortez

In line with IABC UK’s aim to develop communicators, we led a workshop for Masters in Public Relations students at University of the Arts London’s London College of Communication (LCC) campus last January 11, 2018.

IABC UK President Mike Pounsford opened the day with an activity aimed at helping participants identify what they needed to do to manage a successful career. Tis highlighted important attitudes and capabilities. Notable, resonant, themes drawn from discussions, included the following:

Continuous Personal Development

  • Staying updated with industry news and practices.
  • Constant competitive research.
  • Constant development of communication skills.

Being Visionary

  • Setting short and long-term objectives.
  • Staying focused.
  • Removing distractions that deter goal achievement.

Building Self-Awareness

  • Knowing yourself, finding your niche, and determining what you care about.
  • Honest self-evaluation.

Being Resilient

  • Remaining open-minded and flexible.
  • Being patient.
  • Focusing on solutions and not problems.

Positive Mindset

  • Inspiration, passion, and dedication.
  • Being ambitious, dedicated, and confident.

 Being a Team Player

  • Nurturing positive relations with colleagues and superiors.
  • Drawing the best from your team.

Being Organized

  • Time management and task prioritization.
  • Reliability, hard work, and efficiency.

Being Proactive

  • Taking good risks.
  • Staying open to new opportunities.

Network Actively

  • Connecting with industry peers and experts.
  • Learning from others.

Managing Work/Life Balance

  • Creating space for one’s personal life.
  • Knowing when to “switch off”.

Being Creative

  • Taking initiative, and ownership of new ideas.
  • Working to differentiating one’s self from the herd.


Mike’s segment was followed by a talk on mentorship by Karen Drury, a public relations practitioner with over 30 years of experience. She encouraged the students to take advantage of the knowledge available through IABC UK members, and reminded them of the importance of taking a strategic approach to planning out one’s professional roadmap. As the LCC’s student representative to the IABC UK Board, I also took time to share my insights on how working in IABC UK had synergised knowledge I had gained in the academic setting with practical workplace applications.

The enthusiasm the students displayed in listening to the day’s speakers, and participating in discussions, translated into a majority of the group expressing interest either in being IABC UK members, and/or possibly putting themselves up for election in the IABC UK Board.

The workshop illustrated IABC UK’s commitment to developing the skills of possible future leaders in the communications industry as a whole.

For more information on the IABC’s Mentoring Scheme, visit 



IABC UK Events- The GDPR: What Communications Professionals Need to Know

The launch of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is coming soon, and will affect organisations in the UK and across the globe. This will fundamentally alter the scale, scope and complexity of the way personal information is processed. Join IABC UK on Thursday, 8 February when Anna Murphy, GDPR Director at KPMG, will introduce us to the core aspects of the new regulations: the rights of personal data owners under GDPR, what to do in the event of a security breach, and the “right to be forgotten”.


For more event and registration information, visit the link below:

Improvisational Storytelling Workshop

If you would like to build on your current communication strengths, join us for this tip-filled 90-minute session.  We’ll explore the power of improvisation-based story-telling techniques to develop your skills in getting the message across.


Whether your aim is making more effective personal or corporate communications,  you’ll re-ignite your creativity through a series of experiential activities, illustrative models and reflective discussion.


In this participative workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How to craft stories that get the message across
  • How the Applied Improvisation approach to communications helps with clarity, confidence and charisma
  • How to access your creativity – in the moment and on-the-spot
  • How to apply these ideas to your work on brand or strategy – bring along a current case
  • How to respond to change and make better use of your resources


The session is led by ex-journalist and BBC comedy producer, Paul Z Jackson, co-founder of the Applied Improvisation Network, whose recent clients include Disney Animation Studios, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and Lush.

This event will take place on Thursday, January 25, 2018, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Jerwood Space- Space 8, 171 Union Street, London, SE1, 0LN.

To register, please visit this link:


What Makes “Fake News”, Fake News- By Mike Pounsford, IABC UK President, 2017-2018


Fake News is in the news, but what makes it fake?

On November 28 IABC UK met with a mix of members and guests to discuss the challenges and issues raised by Fake News.


Facilitated by the superb and provocative Ezri Carlebach people heard from five speakers for five minutes each.


  • Jane Mitchell, a specialist on business ethics, talked about the age-old problem of spin and its counterproductive impact on people within and outside organisations. But deeper than this she looked at the cultures that generate misinformation and the cost of unethical practices citing Volkswagen’s cumulative costs from “Diesel gate” at approximately $30billion


  • I talked about the difficulty of knowing what is true and what is not when our brains can make snap judgements and easily deceive us. Using visual illusions to illustrate how the brain works, and as a metaphor for cognitive bias, highlighted how the same information can lead to widely differing reports depending upon what people want to hear. I finished by talking about strategies to mitigate bias including checking sources and gaining alternative perspectives.


  • Jenni Field, Chair of CIPR Inside pointed out that Fake news is nothing new but that verification is essential now that internal communication can rapidly spread to external audiences. Jenni talked about the ethical responsibility professional communicators have, their role as enablers of effective conversations and their potential to act as the voice of authenticity to strengthen the employer brand.


  • Kevin Read used to be Executive Chairman & Partner of Engage by Bell Pottinger. He majored on the impact of digital communication, the difficulty of separating truth from fiction and how digital soundbites lack filters and context.


  • Finally, Dr. Barbara Gibson from Birkbeck University had the room hooting with laughter as she told stories about her early childhood and exposure to high religion, full of dubious claims. In today’s world, she highlighted the preponderance of “fakery” and the amplification of false news via social media, ending with a truth twister’s tongue twister that had the whole room mucking about with fakery – you get the drift!


The night was as much about networking, connecting, fun and refreshments as it was about the subject of Fake News. But my thoughts on what we discussed include:


  • Fake news is not new – it has been with us since we were first able to communicate with each other
  • It has become so problematic because of the communication tools we now have which spread misinformation at lightning speed and vast scale.
  • We are unable to identify “truth” because we are all subject to cognitive bias, often unconscious. Working with others, diverse inputs, second opinions, checking audience expectations and understanding are more important than ever


Shortly before the evening, Oxford Circus in London witnessed panic caused by false information about supposed gunfire in London Underground, spread rapidly by twitter. Shortly afterwards Donald Trump retweeted anti-Islamic propaganda.


The information people spread, whatever their motivation, may be false. There is nothing fake about the threats and dangers posed by this behaviour.


Mike Pounsford

IABC UK President 2017- 2018