World Conference call for speakers deadline is 12 October – Apply to speak, recommend keynotes and spread the word to your network


The call for speakers for the 2019 IABC World Conference closes 12 October, so now is the time to submit a proposal or encourage those in your network to apply.

The theme of this year’s conference, happening 9–12 June in Vancouver, British Columbia, is “Think Forward.” Are you an expert in an area on the cusp of blowing up, or do you know someone who is? Do you have experiences or perspectives that will help the communication leaders of today and tomorrow? Then we want you to apply to be a presenter. You can also recommend a keynote speaker or pass the information along to others who might make great speakers.

Spread the word and get applications in by 12 October.

Internal Communication: Meet the Experts


In association with Calls9 and Halston Marketing, the IABC is assembling leading figures in internal communications to host an exclusive gathering in Leeds. Our speakers aim to help guests to get to grips with internal communications, discover the latest trends and find inspiration for developing your company strategy.


The panelists will share key solutions to a topic of their interest – whether it be cultural or language barriers, internal buy-ins, the justification and benefits of developing an internal communications platform or more.


The event will take place at the Squire Patton Boggs office on November 1st 2018 between 5.30pm and 8.30pm.

Tickets available here.


For more details on our speakers, see below:


  • Ken Armistead

Ken Armistead is the Director of Corporate Communications, PPG in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and has been with the company for 30 years. PPG is a global leader and innovator in paints, coatings and specialty materials, being the company behind some of the world’s best known commercial and household paint brands. He is responsible for employee communications, media and public relations, community engagement and corporate marketing.

Ken’s remit spans the region of EMEA and he works out of PPG’s UK HQ in Birstall. Highlights in Ken’s career include his role in implementing PPG’s hugely popular, signature CSR initiative, Colorful Communities™ which has since become a global program. Ken also spearheaded the digitalisation of the internal communications for the EMEA region resulting in a thriving social media community for the brand.

Ken will be talking about the digitalisation process and its importance within PPG.


  • Howard Krais

Howard Krais is this year’s IABC UK President. With over 25 years as a communicator under his belt, both in senior in house and consulting roles, Howard is as passionate about finding brilliant opportunities for communicators to develop and grow as he is about the power of great communications to positively impact change.

He recently left healthcare giant GSK to join Johnson Matthey in a new role, where he leads communications for their Clean Air division.
2018/19 is Howard’s third year as a Board Member of the IABC UK chapter. His aim is to continue the Chapter’s momentum, building on what the Board have achieved over the past two years. He has described this year as “A Year of Listening” for IABC UK and will be ensuring there are a number of events and opportunities dedicated to this critical topic.

Howard will be talking about listening and its relevance and power within internal comms


  • Jessica Archer

Jessica Archer is Internal Communications Manager at Network Rail based in York. With three years under her belt, Jess has developed the internal communications function for London North Eastern and East Midlands into an award-winning and reputable team.

Responsible for internal communications, change communications and employee engagement, Jess designs and delivers internal campaigns to engage almost 6,000 remote employees with the strategy, vision and future of Network Rail.

Highlights of Jess’ career at Network Rail include a workforce safety campaign which halved the number of staff accidents over 12 months, the successful introduction of Yammer as a communication tool and the development of measurement into Network Rail’s internal communications.

Jess has six years of internal communications experience across a range of industries, from construction, to finance and now transport.

In November, she will be starting a new position – heading up internal communications for Cox Automotive UK, based in Rothwell, Leeds.

Jess will be talking about the challenges and opportunities of communicating to a remote workforce.


The itinerary is as follows:

  • 5.30pm-6.30pm: Drinks, food and networking
  • 6.30pm-7.15pm: Panellists Ken Armistead, Diane Watson and Howard Krais will take the stage
  • 7.15pm-7.45pm: Panel discussion with an opportunity for questions from the floor
  • 7.45pm-8.30pm: More drinks and networking

IABC EVENT – Bushcraft for Communicators


On 21 November we will be welcoming Mike Pounsford and Stephen Welch to discuss Bushcraft for Communicators, their new project which aims to help communicators adapt and prosper in the new world of work.

Mike Pounsford and Stephen Welch are both Past Presidents of IABC UK. They have developed Bushcraft to help leaders navigate complex change in the new world of work. Launched at Eurocomm 2018 in Copenhagen and the World Conference in June in Montréal, Bushcraft has received positive feedback from users in global and smaller enterprises:


“Resonates with everyone at any point in their journey”

“Love the concept – out in the wilds of change, explore how to work and provide guides to help”

“A fresh way to look at things and stop doing what we have always done”


This is a fast moving, engaging and practical introduction to Bushcraft, and its suite of tools.

You will learn approaches to help understand the needs of different audiences, creatively map development needs, build trust with stakeholders and prioritise the key things you need to do.

This session will build your confidence to shape change and provide insights on how to lead others. You will learn by doing, leaving with the knowledge to introduce Bushcraft to your colleagues, and with a perspective on the Bushcraft mindset and the whole suite of Bushcraft tools.



Tickets are free to IABC members* and cost £30 for non members, available here.


*members have been sent the registration link direct to access complimentary registration. Please contact [email protected] if you haven’t received it.



Video for IABC’s “Communications Across the Ocean” Dialogue

Last March 27, 2018, the London and San Francisco chapters of the IABC engaged in the first “Communications Across the Ocean” webinar. The event allowed industry trailblazers from the UK and US to share their insights on how communicators can help optimise the potential of their respective organisations while bearing in mind the cross-cultural impact of their work.

See the full video of the discussion here:

IABC UK takes pride in its commitment to spotlight the vital role of communications in aiding in stakeholder engagement and overall organisational success. Stay tuned to this website and IABC UK’s social media channels for updates on other exciting events!

Reflections On A Conversation Across The Ocean

I’m just reflecting on a great conversation (#iabcacrosstheocean) we had between the IABC members in San Francisco and the UK. We will post a full recording of the conversation soon.

We set out to explore how we manage communication in the UK and in the USA. Rather than having an expert come to talk to us about the cultural differences and the implications of these we decided to use the knowledge and experience of our members to explore the theme.

So, what came out? First of all, thoughts on the role of communication:

  • We all agree (not just on the panel, but also in our pre-conversation survey) that communicators are increasingly acting as business partners and that our role encompasses
    • Helping to connect people to make them feel part of one company with shared goals
    • Helping leaders communicate effectively so that they share that narrative
    • Support line managers by supporting leaders – more effective leadership communication helps provide the knowledge and role models that support line managers in making connections with their people
  • What it is not: communications professionals should not be responsible for the communication skills of line managers, but we influence through the way we help leadership communication

On the challenges facing communicators today the conversation covered:

  • It’s important especially in large global organisations to be very clear about the boundaries and responsibilities in communication teams
  • One of the key challenges of new technology is helping leaders understand how they need to adapt to exploit it fully. This is not just about responding to an “always on” environment by managing different channels, media and responsibilities; it is also about a change in mind-set and a change in style. We talked about the need to be bolder and more informal
  • Demographics is an issue. Young people strain at the leash and are keen to learn and get involved, older people provide an invaluable resource and pool of experience that we would be foolish to ignore

What do communication people need to help them in their roles?

  • Less of us may now come from journalistic backgrounds, but we need to keep the key competencies and values of attention to detail, checking facts, being truthful and honest
  • We need global mind-sets. It’s not just about managing large organisations with offices all over the globe, it’s about sensitivity to the needs and demands of people in different places operating in different time zones and in different cultural environments

What are the cross-cultural perils?

  • We need to pay attention to language. Catherine supplied a great story of an acquisition in which the American parent celebrated the UK company’s habit of an annual event in which UK employees threw pies at leaders (don’t ask!), describing how they wanted to honour the tradition of tossing at the boss

It’s difficult to capture in a few bullet points the richness of the conversation that we had. These points are my take outs from the discussion. There were lots of us involved so please add your comments below.

We did not address in depth the central hypothesis that there are major differences between the UK and the USA in how we manage communication, other than Catherine’s story about the language problem. We also ended up focussing on internal vs external communication challenges – a reflection perhaps of the experience of the panellists. So, there is much more to explore in this debate and we hope to have some more of these conversations designed to put the I into IABC at the chapter level.

Finally, a big thank you to the panellists who helped in the conversation and who were brave enough to face a live audience. They were:

  • Catherine Rudiger, Vice president of ICF in San Francisco
  • Howard Krais, Communications Director, GSK plc and President Elect IABC UK
  • Daniel Schraibman, Independent Consultant and Board member IABC UK

I’d also like to record a big vote of thanks to Gay Flashman and her team from Formative Content whose technology made the whole thing possible

Mike Pounsford

President IABC UK