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

IABC Event – Defining Communications Excellence

Join us on Wednesday 12 December 8.00–9.30am for Defining Communications Excellence, a breakfast event for communicators.

Whether or not you’re planning to enter the 2019 Gold Quill Awards, this event will be incredibly useful to anyone in corporate or internal communications. We’ll be joined by a panel of experts who’ll share their insights, and a number of strategies and tools to help you plan and develop communications that are truly world-class.

The event is being hosted by Instinctif Partners at their central London office.



  • Meaningful Measurement – a key ingredient for communications success. Our panel will explain how to include SMART goals and objectives within your communications plans
  • Gold Quill Winning Case Study – an in-depth look at Tarmac’s award-winning communications strategy and plan
  • Recognition – how to get your hard-work recognised both within and outside your organisation and bench-marked against your peers’ work globally.
  • Final word – the event will close with an interactive session where our experts will address any additional questions in small groups or individually.


Confirmed Speakers:

Kate Jones, Head of Communications & Corporate Affairs, Tarmac
Neil Griffiths, ABC, Chart.PR, Senior Manager, Global Communication at ERM
Ezri Carlebach, consultant, writer, lecturer
Howard Krais, President, IABC UK Chapter



Tickets include breakfast and are free to IABC members* and cost £20 for non members.

Please are limited so please register now to secure your place.

Tickets available here.


About our Speakers:

Kate Jones is an award-winning internal communications specialist with 25 years’ experience, both agency and in-house, across a range of industries. She is elected Chair of the Institute of Internal Communication, an IoIC Fellow and was named IoIC Internal Communicator of the Year 2016. Twitter: @how_IC_it

Ezri Carlebach is a writer, lecturer, and consultant with over 20 years’ experience in corporate communications, public relations, and internal comms. He has worked for government, non-profit, and FTSE 100 organisations, and now splits his time between Turin, Brussels, and London with a variety of clients. He is also Visiting Lecturer in Public Relations at the University of Greenwich.

Neil Griffiths, ABC, Chart.PR is Senior Manager, Global Communication at ERM, the world’s largest sustainability consultancy. Neil is an advocate of professional standards in communication and has been a part of some of IABC’s flagship efforts in this area, such as the Career Roadmap Committee, the Global Communication Certification Council and World Conference. Neil has been Gold Quill evaluator and/or EMENA evaluation panel chair for almost 10 years.

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 currently leads communication for Johnson Matthey’s Clean Air division.


Cancellation policy:

For paid tickets you may nominate someone to attend in your place if you can no longer attend. Otherwise the following applies:
100% refund if cancelled >14 days in advance
50% refund if cancelled 2-13 days in advance
No refund if cancelled within 24 hours of the event.

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

IABC Leeds event – summary and conclusions

Getting to grips with internal communications

The importance of listening and tackling cultural barriers were just some of the topics covered at November’s IABC event on internal communications.

As well as discussing the latest industry trends, attendees heard from a panel of experts who outlined the challenges faced by their companies and the strategies they’re adopting to tackle them. The event, at Squire Patton Boggs’ office in Leeds, was held in association with Calls9 and Halston Marketing.


The value of listening

Howard Krais, this year’s IABC UK President, who is also the communications leader for Clean Air division at Johnson Matthey, focused on the importance of listening for internal communications.

While everyone has the ability to be a good listener, he said, grasping and understanding another person’s point of view can be trickier and is a key part of the communicators’ armoury. Better listening leads to valuable insights, which can be shared and ultimately lead to broader influence.

Ken Armistead, Director of Corporate Communications for PPG in Europe, Middle East & Africa used his presentation to underscore the importance of aligning communications to overall business strategies and global company guidelines.

He encouraged delegates to “put people first, have a smart presence and make positive impact.”

Language can be a barrier in communications, Ken said, but simple strategies can be used to make things more accessible. For example, sharing successful career stories and utilizing social media channels, to engage with employees.


The future of employee engagement

Ken also emphasised how PPG has used community engagement to boost employee engagement, enhancing people’s well being as well as the company’s outlook. PPG has harnessed these strategies to bolster employee satisfaction and generate strong content by motivating people to contribute to stories, messages and internal news.

Understanding changes in communications and employee engagement is Jess Archer’s area of expertise. As internal communications manager at Network Rail, she designs and delivers campaigns to engage employees with the organisation’s strategy and vision and has a reputation for showing how businesses can be strengthened with through internal dialogue.

She used her presentation to underscore the importance of remaining creative for employees who are “digitally disconnected” and making sure non-digital communications are given as much thought as those for digitally-engaged employees.

For example, she said older people can struggle with communications strategies that are too digitally focused. Jess said she sees her main challenge as finding solutions that make employees feel satisfied with their work and therefore more likely to produce robust work.


By Mathilde Schneider