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

A Seasonal Rápido & Networking Evening- IABC UK (November 2017)

IABC’s UK chapter will be hosting a Rapido Session on November 28, 2017, 600pm-830pm, at the Parcel Yard, Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AH. The event will be hosted by Rapido creator Ezri Carlebach and will tackle the topic, “Fake News is in the News: But What Makes it Fake?”.

When people believe the press and act on false stories, is it still fake? When politicians win elections based on unachievable promises or lose them because of false allegations, is that fake news?

What has this got to do with business communicators? Does it affect both internal and external communications? Does ‘spin’ have a role in how we communicate with our customers and people?


Kevin Read, Executive Chairman & Partner, Engage by Bell Pottinger

Jenni Field, Communications Consultant and Chair of CIPR Inside

Jane Mitchell, Director, JL&M Ltd and leading speaker on ethics in business

Dr Barbara GibsonLiberal Democrat parlimentary candidate

Mike Pounsford, Founder, Couravel Ltd and President IABC UK

There’ll be plenty of time for networking, and drinks, too.

To find out more and register for this event, kindly visit the following Eventbrite link::

Membership Month Profiles – Miguel Cortez

October is IABC membership month. In line with this, we have gathered insights from select IABC members on how the organization has helped them in their respective careers.

Mr. Miguel Cortez – International Student

Miguel Cortez is a Full Time Masters in Public Relations student at the London College of Communication (LCC).

Over the years, IABC UK has offered a mentoring program for students in select universities in the United Kingdom. LCC is one among a handful of institutions which the IABC has had a fruitful partnership with.  Through this, Miguel has managed to broaden his perspective and hone his communication skills through working closely with a variety of respected industry professionals. He is also a member of the 2017-2018 IABC UK Board of Directors.

“Working in communications for over a decade has helped me understand the value of establishing relationships with industry professionals at all levels.  IABC UK has helped my development through giving me access to networking opportunities and consultations with industry experts. This is vital both for students looking to kick start their careers, and students with more working experience who want to prepare themselves for more significant responsibilities.”

Miguel further shared that he has felt enriched by his involvement with the IABC, and that he feels more confident about reaching greater heights professionally, in the future.

“My IABC UK mentor and others in the organization have graciously shared their time and knowledge with me. IABC UK has made it possible for me to pair my scholastic experience as a postgraduate student with professional skills development through exposure to truly global industry perspectives. It’s been an amazing learning experience thus far. I now feel better equipped to face the challenges associated with taking on higher profile communication roles in the future. Furthermore, I now feel confident about being able to make a positive impact on society with my talents.”

For more information on IABC UK membership, and links to other key facets of the organization, visit


Thinking Big Data – March 22, 2017

Event recap by Alexandra Darras and the IABC event committee at Leeds University.

“Maurice Keyworth is filling up! About to start!”. 22nd of March 2017, 6.20 pm, the social media team is calling out for latecomers as the conference will begin shortly. “Thinking Big Data” came up as the completion of three months months of work from the organising team.

The “Thinking Big Data” adventure began in December, when the Corporate Communication Marketing and Public Relations (CCMPR) students have been invited to volunteer to carry on the alliance between Leeds University Business School and the IABC UK, and organise a networking event involving both parties for the second consecutive year.

Nineteen students have been involved in the organisation, all split up into different poles to ensure every aspect of the event was covered. Nonetheless, even though each had a specific task to focus on, everybody have taken part in the discussions and decisions for each step of the organisation process.

The team has come across a fierce debate about the theme of the event. Many ideas were raised, such as crisis communication, or how to communicate CSR effectively. All of the members have passionately defended their favorite topic, and big data eventually emerged as the winner. Once the theme set up, Daniel Schraibman – Board Director of IABC UK – has kindly gone through his extensive IABC network to invite speakers who would be able to deliver compelling and complementary talks revolving around Big Data.

The event has been advertised on Facebook and Twitter as they seem to be privileged platforms used by the university to communicate with students – and also allow to share all sorts of content, from short reminders about the night to longer posts describing the programme for instance.

On the D-Day, the whole team was present and made a wonderful job ensuring the smooth progress of the event. The festivities kicked off at 6pm with a cup of tea and biscuits, as a welcome to all the guests, and an opportunity for the speakers to meet and have a friendly chat before the start of the conference.

Moving on to the speeches then, Matthew Nowell, Paul Brennan, Janet Morgan and Stuart McRae gave excellent talks, each of them considering big data under a different angle – based on their own experiences- giving the audience complementary insights about this vast topic. Attendees’ feedback was very positive, all the guests that have been interviewed afterwards turned out being extremely satisfied with the content of the conference, and the speakers’ obvious professionalism, knowledge, and pedagogy.

A lively discussion ensued as speakers interacted during each other’s talks, when their field of expertise overlapped.

Click here to read an extended version of this post.

View the presentations below:

Stuart McRae

Janet Morgan

Matthew Nowell