A unique training opportunity!


We are delighted to offer IABC members and other communications professionals an opportunity to attend a special training session led by former IABC Global Chair, Adrian Cropley.

Focused on Leadership Skills for Communication Professionals Adrian re-focuses our attention on Valentine’s Day to those vital skills that help us to navigate change and our sometimes irascible leaders.

Normally based in Melbourne Australia and following his appearance at EMENAComm, Adrian will be in the UK for just two days. We’re really excited by the content and as previous attendees can attest, this is “A brilliant course. Really got me thinking about how me and my team can become more strategic. Good mix of presentations, individual work and group work.”


Course Synopsis:

Leadership Skills for Communication Professionals (10 CPD Credits)

Outline for our one-day workshop

Explore the demands of communication leadership and the skills and attributes needed to lead an effective team and achieve key organisational outcomes.

This class will be taught by Adrian Cropley OAM, FRSA, SCMP and draws on his extensive years of business, HR, communication and change experience, coupled with leading practices of his global clients. He will be supported by our own Jane Mitchell, FRSA, former IABC UK President and International Executive Board member with a wealth of experience of working with leadership teams during change and transformation programmes. During the programme, Adrian and Jane will help attendees through some of your specific challenges. Expect to walk away with helpful solutions, tools and techniques and have fun in the process.

What you’ll learn 

· Management vs. leadership – what’s the difference
· Identifying and developing your existing leadership qualities
· Collaborative working and relationship building
· Increasing your influence to become a strategic leader


Is this course right for you?

The course will be of interest to those currently occupying middle management positions with at least five years’ experience, who are preparing to advance to a more senior leadership level.


Course outline

The manager vs. the leader
· Learn the characteristics and behaviours of effective leaders
· Review the manager versus leader inventory
Explore the team and the Parker Team Survey
· Discover the attributes of a high performing team
· Define teams and explore the Parker Team Player Survey
Build great relationships and get the best out of people
· Gain insights into emotional intelligence and the emotional competence framework
· Explore how you influence others
Be an influencer and strategic advisor
· Understand why people come to you for advice and how to build your value
· Be a strategic advisor and trusted business partner in your organisation
· Keep people coming back for value-added work where you can make the biggest impact on driving the business


About the trainers

An accredited business communicator, and past global chair of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), Adrian Cropley is widely recognised as an expert in strategic communication. With a career spanning over 25 years, Adrian has worked with clients all over the world, including Fortune 500 companies, on major change communication initiatives, internal communication reviews and strategies, professional development programs and executive leadership and coaching. He has been a keynote speaker and workshop leader on strategic and change communication at international conferences all over the world, and has received numerous awards including international Gold Quill awards for communication excellence.

With a career beginning in broadcasting and award-winning film production, Jane has worked in the world of communications for over 30 years. She supports primarily global organisations at all levels in embedding values and ethics by advising on and developing communication strategies for company ethics programmes, designing and facilitating of values-based leadership programmes, and giving the most senior leaders news that may not always be good on the health of their ethical culture.

The course will be held at the DeVere Canary Wharf, 1 Westferry Circus, London E14 4HD.
Thanks to Barclays for kindly hosting


Reserve your Place 

Spaces are limited so book now. We have negotiated a special discount for IABC members and friends.

The rate will be £450 for IABC members. £500 for non-members. (All prices include vat) Your fee includes lunch and refreshments.

To register and for more detailed information about the course including learning outcomes, agenda and information about who should attend can be found here:

IABC Event – Rápido!

To kick-off 2019, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) invites you to come along to one of our world-famous Rápido events on 30 January.

For those of you that haven’t been to a Rápido before, we arrange a line-up of fantastic speakers and, to keep it lively, they are only allowed to speak for five minutes each on a communications-related topic. Keeping the speakers in line and to time will be our compere for the evening, former President of IABC UK, Stephen Welch.

Topics confirmed:

  • The future is dead, long live the future! – Ezri Carlebach
  • People don’t care. And it’s up to us to fix it – Matt Frost
  • Get over yourself – three catastrophic ways your ego gets in the way – Belinda Gannaway
  • Communicators do more than communicate – Daniel Schraibman
  • The power of followership – Stuart Preston
  • Are you talking to Spock or Homer Simpson? – Jennifer Marsden

This Rápido is being held at Truckles Wine Bar in London. Tickets are free for IABC members and £10 for non-members which includes a drink and nibbles.

Doors open at 6pm and the event will start at 6.30pm.


Ezri Carlebach: Ezri is a consultant, writer and lecturer with a background leading multidisciplinary comms teams in FTSE 100, non-profit, and government organisations. He has been vegan for nearly 10 years, but has never had a Gregg’s vegan sausage roll.

Matt Frost: Matt has nearly 20 years’ experience working with organisations of all shapes, sizes and sectors. His expertise is in developing communication strategies to craft, enhance and deliver compelling employee experiences. Matt’s passion for clear, honest and creative communication has helped some of world’s leading organisations successfully engage their employees at an emotional and intellectual level. In recent years he’s been heavily involved in a number of high profile cultural and change management programs – in the UK, Europe and US. He is viewed as a trusted advisor to company boards, executive teams, unions and management teams and advises on appropriate communications strategies to achieve desired results – whether that is cultural alignment, employee performance or reward participation.

Belinda Gannaway: Belinda is quite loud, nearly always enthusiastic and talks too much. She is strategy director of Fathom XP, a creative network specialising in employer brand and engagement. For fun you can usually find her outdoors. With a background in journalism, PR, marketing and more recently digital transformation, she’s helped to supercharge capability and change programmes for Diageo, Nectar and Jaguar Land Rover among others.

Daniel Schraibman: Daniel helps companies build successful relationships, manage change and deal with crises. He has also bought millions of pounds of sound systems for Land Rover, worked as a journalist in Ghana and is writing a book about his time on a travelling funfair in the US. For more information, here’s his LinkedIn.

Stuart Preston: Stuart joined IDG in 2015, he is responsible for the identification, design, delivery and evaluation of bespoke leadership development programmes. Stuart has led teams in front line commercial roles and as a service provider worked with senior managers to develop individual and organisational capabilities. He has a Certificate in Return on Investment (Jack Philips methodology), Certificate in Coaching (Cognitive Behavioural Techniques), Certificate in Sales Management. He is also a Trained Emotional Intelligence user. He began his career by passing out of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and spent 5 years as an officer in the British Army. Clients appreciate Stuart’s innovative but pragmatic approach to development which focuses on behavioural and organisation change that delivers improved performance.

Jennifer Marsden: Jenny has the small task of managing reputation for the energy company, Shell, specifically in New Business Development and Exploration. This requires a combination of impact management, media and community relations. If Shell is buying a business, selling it, leaving or entering a region – Jen is likely somewhere nearby. She has worked on projects across the globe from Alaska to Sakhalin, but these days focusses most of her time on Shell’s new renewables department – Shell New Energies, in particular Offshore Wind. As a Biological Sciences graduate with a Diploma in PR she is passionate about responsible reporting of science. In her spare time she enjoys singing, sailing (only old boats, no ‘plastic’ ones) and skiing.

Pricing: all tickets include first drink and nibbles. Additional drinks can be purchased by guests on the night.


Tickets available here

A year of listening – please help us by completing our survey

We’ve called this year (2018/19) a year of listening. This has been in response to concerns that listening, a critical tool for the communicator, is in danger of being shuffled to the bottom of the pile as we struggle under the pressures of delivering more content, often with less resource.

If it is a year of listening, then it is fair to ask what are we doing about it?

Well, one thing we want to do is listen – to you, our members and colleagues, to hear whether this assertion carries any weight or not. And we are interested in finding out about how communications professionals and organisations are listening to their stakeholders externally and internally.

To help with this, I’d like to invite you to spend no more than five minutes completing a short survey which you can find here

Your feedback will provide valuable input into the state of listening in organisations today. It will also help Mike Pounsford, Kevin Ruck and I to shape a workshop we are running at the IABC EMENA Region conference in February, a workshop we will also look to run in the UK in the spring.

Thank you in advance for completing the survey. If you would like a copy of the report please contact me and I’ll happily send it to you.

How can communicators survive in the new corporate world? – IABC UK introduces Bushcraft for Communicators

Inspired by their experiences as consultants and specialists in organisational change, employee engagement and leadership, Mike Pounsford and Stephen Welch have joined forces to create Bushcraft for Communicators.


As traditional approaches in marketing and strategic communications don’t seem to work in the new corporate world, Welch and Pounsford have devised 12 tools to help communicators navigate this new landscape. The pair use the bushcraft analogy to show how to be more agile and move faster to face the challenges encountered in the ‘bush’.


During an interactive event in London conducted by the two IABC UK past presidents, attendees had the opportunity to get a taste of how bushcraft tools can help communication professionals facing periods of uncertainty at their organisations.


The starting point


In a time when things can appear to be moving too quickly and changes arise unexpectedly, communicators and leaders need to ask where they are heading.


According to Welch and Pounsford, organisations need to be prepared if they want to survive in this new landscape, which is influenced by so many different factors. And how can they do that? By acknowledging where they are and where they want to go. However, the real challenge here is getting people to a common destination, while keeping in mind everyone’s journey will be different. As Pounsford says, ‘Not everyone departs from the same starting point’.


In order to reach sustained change, leaders shouldn’t focus on the process or the journey, but on the destination. They need to understand that it’s not only the leadership’s perspective that matters. it’s also importenat to pay attention to other employees’ points of view when they ask the big question: where do we want to go?

Good leaders, those who bet on sustained change, will know they have succeeded when they reach common consensus on the destination.


As Welch explained during the event, ‘HQs tend to remain in their little bubble of the world, and for them it will seem very simple. But, actually, their view of the world may not be shared by the rest of the organisation, who have different perspectives on how changes should be implemented or the journey to follow to achieve those new results’. Welch also maintains that communicators have a key role to play in devising a new strategy to bring about change in an organisation, encouraging them to ‘remind leaders they’re not the centre of the universe’.


The trust formula


Whether it is a business transaction or a friendship, trust plays an essential role in developing a relationship. Within strategic communications, a trusting relationship contains three key elements:


  • R: the results obtained or business outcome (what benefit will I obtain from this?)
  • US: mutual understanding and support (what is the relationship based on?)
  • T: low levels of risk (how will you reduce possible threats?).


When it comes to building long-term relationships with different stakeholders, the Trust Tool created by Welch and Pounsford helps communicators. The tool assesses how much effort communicators put into each element and outlines what can be done to raise their profile as a trusted specialist or consultant. For example:


  • To improve R: focus on solutions and results, show you understand the other person’s perspective and their world, listen and give feedback, show confidence in your skills.
  • To enhance US: share a social element, show empathy and put yourself in the other person’s shoes, find common ground and shared values, be generous with information and connections, be willing to learn more about them, do not forget about the power of face-to-face meetings.
  • To reduce T: provide examples of what you can do, do great work and solve problems, be visible and show commitment, demonstrate you are reliable, be responsible and available, give endorsements (mouth to mouth recommendations), show honesty.


Find out more about Bushcraft for Communicators and how you can apply these tools to your organisation.


By Alexandra R. Cifre


Internal Communications Masterclass: Step back. New rules. Go forward.

“Do less. Do it better” was the theme of Steve and Cindy Crescenzo’s Internal Communications Masterclass run by Simply Communicate last week.

The room was packed with IC professionals from organisations including AB Agri, Action for Children, BP, the European Investment Bank, Jaguar Land Rover, RBS, Sony, Virgin Atlantic and WeAreSocial.


Steve and Cindy are a charismatic husband-and-wife team, who travel the world offering training and helping people produce amazing communications that others love. They are fun company and delivered a highly effective masterclass. After all, we learn more when we’re enjoying ourselves, right?

The old way doesn’t work anymore,” said Steve. “As IC professionals, are we just everyone’s private publisher, pushing their messages out through different channels? No! We’re strategic communicators, changing behaviour.”

“In this age of 8,000 new apps launching every day, our communications have to fit in somewhere. If we don’t tell poignant creative stories then we will sink,” he said. “We all have employees in our organisations with passionate dramatic stories, but we’re not getting them because we’re ‘deck-heads’.”

It’s crucial to make the important interesting, the couple said. They advocate avoiding the four deadly Ps: Programmes, Policies, Products and Procedures and focusing instead on People. There are at least three layers to unveil when questioning an employee, before they really open up – so keep digging!

They shared several case studies depicting worst and best practice in Internal Communications. These were great reminders of what to avoid – the super-dull chief executive reading quarterly figures to camera – and what we should be aiming for, with the third layer of questioning. For example, an employee revealing the real reason they work for a pharmaceutical company: their father died young of cancer, their mother suffers from MS.

As communicators we need to prioritise to create the best content we can. Steve pointed out that it doesn’t matter if you made your deadlines if nobody read what you produced. Who cares if it got approved, if nobody liked it?

Cindy then took us through her step-by-step guide to measuring the effectiveness of communications. This was an invaluable strategy we could all implement the next day. Rarely is something we all find so difficult to action, made so clear and easy to adopt.

We finished the masterclass with an exercise called the six-word story. While this can be used as an effective tool to elicit sentiment from employees, Cindy and Steve asked us to create a six-word story about the masterclass we’d just completed.

Mine was: “Step back. New Rules. Move forward.” Others included: “Take risks, make it about people” and “Influencing leaders through data and evidence.”

Afterwards I asked Steve and Cindy where they felt they’d made the most difference with a client, practising what they’d taught us about reaching the third layer of questioning! They’d worked with a number of global blue-chip companies, so their answer surprised me.

When working with the Seattle Children’s Hospital to improve communications with the families and relations of patients, they conducted focus groups and collected feedback. This included powerful stories about the patients’ and families’ experiences at the hospital, as well as the positive impact of the employees. Cindy smiled as she recalled how, what started as a simple communications audit, turned into something much more meaningful for engagement, as employees learnt first-hand about the difference they were making to families’ lives.

I came away from the masterclass with a refreshed positive attitude about the importance of the role of internal communications in changing behaviour. I was also reminded that challenging leadership is part of the role, and it’s down to IC professionals to help business leaders get it right, even if that’s as fundamental as coaching them to appear as their best selves on video.

Finally, Cindy’s measurement strategy was a fantastic takeaway for anyone working in communications to add to their armoury.


By Sarah Harrison