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The IoIC started its life as the British Association of Industrial Editors in 1949


Britain emerged from the Second World War a changed nation on many fronts.  The country was left with a huge re-building requirement and rationing that would extend for many years.  Women had become accustomed to having full-time employment, domestic service had virtually disappeared and unionisation saw a post-war surge. 
 
There were a number of major companies that provided newsletters/magazines – then called “house journals” for their (largely) blue-collar workforce, and many of these did not reach very professional standards.  From the disparate group of employees responsible for these productions, a group of senior members gathered with the aim of “creating out of an amorphous mass of journalists, advertising men, company secretaries’, secretaries, welfare officers, publicity men, sports club managers and others who had been given the added responsibility of writing, editing and publishing a house journal, a homogeneous, professional organisation”.            
 
These founders quickly realised that a more modern approach to industrial editing was needed, and this was emphasised early in 1949 when an in-depth analysis of 115 house magazines was carried out with many being described as “cheerfully amateur”. 

On 12 March 1949, 51 founder members got together at the National Cash Registers offices in London to form the British Association of Industrial Editors, which was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee with no share capital with the purpose to raise the profile and professionalism of their industry. The Association’s internal publication Industrial Editor launched in May and ran until May 1963.  You can also view our first newsletter here


1950s:  Establishing Standards & Skills


The first general meeting was held with 35 Founder members and 16 Associate members.    
                                               
The first conference was held in London with keynote speakers including the Minister of Labour, and this was followed a year later by the first European Congress of Industrial Editors, which was also held in London, when delegates could hear the views of a major steel company chairman, and journalists from five European countries.

During this period the newly-formed association concentrated on setting up a training course programme, and devolving a system of regional organisation. Annual conventions were held in London, St. Leonards-on Sea and Stratford-upon-Avon. 

The National House Journal competition was also staged for the first time attracting 125 entries and membership numbers rose steadily.
 
Among the books published were Starting a House Journal and Why House Journals?
 
By the late 50's the Association was producing its own publications and eventually claiming a combined circulation figure of 4.3 million for journals produced by its members and a readership of 10 million people.  Most of the publications were in magazine or newsletter format and three-quarters still had editors with other major duties.   The BAIE was instrumental in forming FEIEA – the Federation of Industrial Editors Associations – the first advisory clinics were set up and an information service inaugurated. Regular annual conventions continued to be held in Cheltenham Spa,  Harrogate, Llandudno and Folkstone and the FEIEA Congress was held in the Hague. 

The book The Case for Effective Industrial Publications was published. 

By this time BAIE was so well respected that HRH the Duke of Edinburgh proposed the toast to the Association at its 10th anniversary luncheon at the Dorchester Hotel in London attended by 460 people. He said “The most important function of a house journal is to maintain a proper relationship between the industry it serves and the community which serves the industry… and all of you know the impact and influence which house journals can exert.”   


1960s:  Innovation and Growing Membership 
 

The 1960s are always described as “swinging” and certainly for the BAIE it brought innovation, excitement and an ever-bulging membership list, against a world background of international turmoil. The first text book on industrial editing was produced by a BAIE founder member, and a major education programme was launched. Conventions were held in Torquay, Southport, Southsea and Paignton, and the FEIEA Congress was held in Vienna. The Association was certainly in a stronger financial position and the first salaried Secretary General was appointed.
 
Books published included Industrial Editing by Bernard Smith, and British House Journals.   

The decade was proving to be a catalyst for change to a tabloid version of company newspapers.  There were many reasons for this but frequency was very important. Also impacting on the change were readability, cost, speed of production and professional layouts.  During this period Conventions were held in Scarborough, Brighton, and Folkestone  and the FEIEA Congress took place in Turin. The first 24 Fellowships were awarded, ten of them honorary.
 
Books published included Communication 64,  Industry’s Press,  BAIE The first twenty-five years and Why House Journals?

In 1968 the Association’s profile was raised by the Guest of Honour at the Annual Convention, held in Brighton, being the Rt. Hon Edward Health, MBE, MP  who two years later would become Prime Minister.  Later in the year a plaque was presented to BAIE by the ICIE in Dallas.

During 1969 the Federation of European Industrial Editors’ Associations undertook a massive project to look at company publication in its 12 member countries.  A total of 1,670 publications, with a total circulation of 15.35 million provided the first continent wide snapshot of who was producing what and how they were operating.  Thus in BAIE’s 20th year the UK reported 432 publications, with only 4% of British editors reporting that they received editorial help from outside their companies.    The FEIEA President said “The survey reveals that well over 59% of journals are only issued four or six times a year.  It cannot be over-emphasised that a large measure of the success of the internal house journal in its primary role of informing employees, lies in the frequency of the impact which it makes – it is much more effective to publish once a month or even more frequently.”

And most importantly membership reached the magic figure of 1,000 for the first time. 
 
Among the publications were The Way Ahead for Company NewspapersHouse Journals by Alan Cameron and The house journal in a changing world by Bernard Smith.

1970s: Balance Shifts 

 
This was to be a decade of violence all over the world, while at the same time technology made significant advances.  Continuing troubles in Northern Ireland, unsanctioned and wildcat strikes, and the approach of a swinging 26.9% rate of inflation combined to cause concern in many circles.
 
But for internal communicators it marked the emergence of specialist house journal agencies.   For some years house journals had been viewed as inoffensive and ineffective organs of company propaganda, but companies began to recognise the benefits of communicating directly with their staff.  
 
And for the BAIE this was when women finally started to come to the fore, with two female national chairmen and ultimately seven ladies serving on Council.  The male-only dominance of the 40s, 50s and 60s was over.  

Technology saw the first message sent via ARPANET (forerunner of the Internet) and the development of email including the first use of the @ symbol. Annual conventions were held at Peebles, Bournemouth and Harrogate and the FEIEA Congress was held in Paris.  A consultancy service was launched, and steady membership numbers were recorded.  Also initiated was a President’s trophy for regional activity, the Communicator Of The Year award and the BAIE Diploma.  On-going comments regarding governance were considered and there was a realisation of the need for full time headquarters staff.  An Extraordinary Meeting voted that the existing Articles be amended.  FEIEA Diplomas of Honour were awarded to John Boyle, Charles Mann, Richard Wilson and John Aspery.
 
BAIE celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special thanksgiving service at St. Bride’s Church in Fleet Street. Other special  events included a feature competition, a luncheon at the Dorchester Hotel, an anniversary cake and an exhibition at the Royal Exchange. 
 
In August a survey was conducted among Council members and Fellows where the phrase ‘new media’ began to be used.  The technology being discussed was microfilm retrieval, document transmission, video telephones and closed-circuit television links.  More than a third of respondents were worried that the written word was in decline, with 40% predicting that newspapers would eventually be replaced by electronic media. 
 
Convention was held in Bristol and a new Code of Conduct for members was distributed. A FEIEA Diploma of Honour was awarded to Barry Isted.
 
Publications included Freedom and the industrial editorWho’s who in Industrial Journalism and Editing for Industry by Charles Mann. baienews began in June/July 1974 and metamorphosed into BAIEnews up to October 1992. 
                                                                                                          
These years were more a time of membership consolidation rather than major growth but circumstances were changing so fast that the Association was becoming uneasy where it stood in the marketplace.  The first Colquhoun lecture was given on “The Industrial Editor: Preparing for Participation”. The question “Do we need to change” would haunt BAIE for the next 30 yeas as it struggled to come to terms with its role.
 
An important change at headquarters was the move to Sevenoaks in Kent in 1977.  And the Association published Charles Mann’s Editing for Industry, which became the standard work.  But on the whole the usual pattern of events ensued.   Conventions were held in Eastbourne, Peebles and Harrogate and the FEIEA Congress was held in Berne.
 
Communicators Of The Year included The Spastics Society, Charles Boxer – Communication Relations for the London Borough of Wandsworth, and Freddie Laker, chief executive of Laker Airways.  FEIEA Diplomas of Honour were presented to Peter Jackson, Norman Woodhouse, John Makin, Sir Kenneth Corfield, and Eric Towers. 

1980s: Technology Advances  


This was a time of steady success in events, training and the awards competition – which was renamed the Editing for Industry Awards - balanced against a steady stream of discussion and debate regarding the name of the Association.  Conventions were held in Peebles, Torquay, Scarborough, Brighton (under the banner of “Widen Your Horizons) and Bristol (which was entitled “The Challenge of Change”).  BAIE also joined the prestigious Debating Group and issued the first Editor’s Handbook, a huge publication which was a manual and reference work for house journal editors. 
 
But the overwhelming changes were technological – from IBM came ‘personal computers’, from Motorola the first mass-market mobile phone and from Apple CD-Roms.  And the move to digital photography was helped by the formation of the first Jpeg and Mpeg standards.
 
Internal publications were beginning to become more “hard-nosed” with readers demanding answers from management.  As the years progressed it became important for internal communications to not only beat external news streams in speed, but be more transparent to the employees.  A fine example occurred during the miner’s strike, when the BAIE editor of Coal News persuaded the chairman of British Coal to allow a whole tabloid page of space for the miners to give their views of the conflict – this was ground-breaking indeed.
 
Communicators Of The Year were Sir James Goldsmith, Founder of NOW! Magazine, Sir Peter Parker, chairman of British Rail, Peter Prior, chairman of HP Bulmer Holdings, Sir Austin Pierce, chairman of British Aerospace,  and Sir Kenneth Newman, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.  FEIEA Diplomas of Honour were awarded to Harold Hillyard, Stella McGrath, Les Holloway, John Ford and Douglas Lea.
 
Measurement and evaluation really started to come to the fore and BAIE was heavily involved with a pan-European survey of internal communications. This would be followed by an Association survey which revealed that one in three members and split working roles between external and internal communications.  The privatisation of British Telecomm seemed to pinpoint the boom in freelance work.
 
For the Association 1985 marked a major change in communications when the first computer system was installed in headquarters. The FEIEA Congress was held in Munich while in Stratford-upon-Avon delegates attended “Taking a Wider View” with keynote speaker Colin Marshal, Chief Executive of British Airways. The FEIEA Diploma of Honour went to John Henderson.

Yet more discussions were taking place on the services being offered by BAIE, the composition of the Steering Committee, proposals to hold occasional Council meetings in regions and further reconsideration of the Association’s name. The 1987 conference in Harrogate was entitled “Communication, Involvement, Commitment”, while the 1987 event took place in Peebles.
 
Communicators Of The Year were John Egan, chairman and chief executive of Jaguar Cars and Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Airways. A FEIEA Diploma of Honour was awarded to John Winters.

Acceptance of a MORI/BAIE survey finally confirmed the need for a new name for the Association, and widening of BAIE roles within the field of communications in industry, commerce and public service organisations.  The recommended new name at that time was The British Association of Corporate Communicators.  

BAIE marked its 40th anniversary year by holding its “Setting New Standards” conference in St. Helier in Jersey. After all the previous discussions delegates were asked to vote between the current name, the British Association of Corporate Communicators, the Institute of Corporate Communications, the Institute of Corporate Communicators, the Association of Corporate Editors and BAIE – the association of Corporate Journalists.  Unfortunately so divided were the opinions that no majority view was reached and the resolution to change to the name failed at the AGM. 
 
However the year was marked by one significant change when Barry Isted became the first President to be chosen from the membership.  His election followed the role always having been held by external luminaries – Lord Crook, Lord Shackleton, Lord St. Oswald, Sir Peter Parker, Sir Ken Corfield, Sir Frank Price, Michael Montague and Roy Watts.
 
Communicator Of The Year was Michael Bishop, chairman of British Midland Airways. A FEIEA Diploma of Honour was awarded to Sam Weller.
 

1990s: A New Mission


After the travails of the 80s, the groundwork for change was laid early when the strapline “communicators in business” started appearing on BAIE literature.  However the 90s was to prove to be a decade of nationalisation, strikes  and protests but spiced by the exciting innovations of the first commercial text, first blog, pdf introduction and the growing business of Email.
 
“Action for the 90s” headed the annual conference in Scarborough.
 
Communicator Of The Year was John Cole, political editor of the British Broadcasting Corporation.  A FEIEA Diploma of Honour was awarded to John Morgan.

Although the normal conference was held in Stratford-upon-Avon (preceded by the  “One Europe?” seminar) of far more importance was the President’s conference held in Watford – “1994 Aspirations and Actions” – the first detailed look at future strategy for the Association.  The agenda for the two day event discussed Central Services and Resources, Staffing and Premises, Education, Membership, and came up with a succinct “Plan for the future”. 
 
For the first time the Association had a five-year strategy which included improving financial projections, moving headquarters to London, increasing head office staff, a structure to improve the quality of decision-taking and a revised committee structure.
                                                                                                                       
The outgoing BAIE chairman was appointed Secretary General of FEIEA.
 
Communicator Of The Year was Robert Horton, chairman and chief executive officer of The British Petroleum Company with a special award going to the Friends of John McCarthy for the campaign they waged.

The Association clearly signalled its intention to become a management “thought leader” with the launch of Communicators in Business magazine, a large glossy publication that was intended to be produced quarterly.  The Liverpool conference was entitled “The New Frontiers” and there were changes at head office following the retirement of the chief executive.
 
Communicator Of The Year was Howard Davies, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, with a special award going to Anne Diamond for her work in highlighting cot death.  A FEIEA Diploma of Honour was awarded to Alan Peaford.
 
BAIE News continued to be published every month, but was joined by Communicators in Business until October 2002. 

1993 was an important year for the Association for no other reason that after years of debate official incorporation came on November 21st as THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNICATORS IN BUSINESS LIMITED. 
 
Communicator Of The Year was Sir Robert Scott, chairman of Manchester 2000, with a special award going to Colin Parry for his efforts towards peace in Northern Ireland, following the Warrington bombing.  A FEIEA Diploma of Honour was awarded to Phillipa Burrow.
 
A new mission statement was adopted: “The Association aims to be the market leader for those involved in the management and production of corporate media by providing professional authoritative, dynamic, supportive and innovative services”. 
The search for a permanent London headquarters gained momentum, annual conference was held in Edinburgh and Alan Peaford was nominated to take over the Presidency of FEIEA in 1997. 
  
Communicators Of The Year were John Towers, chief executive of the Rover Group, with an additional award to the Rover Team.  A special award went posthumously to Roy Castle for his work on the Cause for Hope Appeal.  A FEIEA Diploma of Honour was awarded to Kathie Jones. 

At an Extraordinary General Meeting the Special Resolution “That the name of the company be changed to the British Association of Communicators in Business Limited with effect from midnight on May 5th 1995” was passed.  There was a subsequent more informal resolution to use Communicators in Business as the main title.
 
The annual conference “Start People Talking” was held in Harrogate and upon the forthcoming retirement of the President John Makin was elected to take office with effect from January 1st 1996.
 
Communicator Of The Year was Julian Richer, chairman of Richer Sounds. The Environmental Award went to Dr David Bellamy with an internal award to Neil Jones. A FEIEA Diploma of Honour was awarded to Oliver Dewar. 


2000s: The Rise of IC and Engagement 


Sixty years after the Association had been formed, internal communication was finally emerging from the shadows as a modern, robust and necessary business function.  And the CiB began the “noughties” with a new air of fiscal prudence and a will to rebuild itself.
 
CiB’s intent was on becoming the “voice of the industry”
 
Conference was held in Manchester with the inception of an annual charity golf day. A FEIEA Diploma of Honour was awarded to Tricia Young.  Communicator Of The Year was Matt Barrett, chief executive of Barclays plc. An Environmental Award went to Jonathon Porritt and a Charity Award to David Reading of the Anaphylaxis Campaign.  A FEIEA Diploma of Honour was awarded to Fran Broady.
 
By 2002 the headquarters office was established in Davy Avenue, Milton Keynes, and a possible amalgamation with the Internal Communications Association considered.
The Brighton Conference was called “The Power of Persuasion” and it soon became apparent that many delegates were taking a more flexible approach by working from home, and utilising technology such as that afforded by the Blackberry.
 
Communicator Of The Year was Major Sir Michael Parker, with Internal Communicator Of The Year for the Public Sector  Major Peter Boxell, of the British Army  and for the Private Sector Katie Hadgraft, editorial manager of Cable & Wireless plc.
A FEIEA Diploma of Honour was awarded to Steve Doswell. 

The annual conference was held in Harrogate on “Striking The Right Balance” where the advent of Google could be seen for the first time.  A silent auction raised £2,518, part of which was donated to the Samantha Dickson Research Trust.
 
Communicator Of The Year was John Timpson. Internal Communicator Of The Awards went to Ken Runicles of BT and  Eleanor Kyles of J Sainsbury plc.  A FEIEA Diploma of Honour was awarded to Suzanne Peck.  In 2004 Business Communicator Of The Year was Jacqueline Gold, of Ann Summers. Internal Communicator Of The Year was Ann Galletly of Severn Trent Water.

In 2005 after detailed discussions in September three different sections of the Internal Communications Association were amalgamated into the CiB database

Business Communicator Of The Year was Lord Coe and the successful bid team for the Olympics 2012 in London.

Internal Communicator Of The Year was Megan Wilshire of Terminal 5, BAA. A special award went to Lloyd Slater of Lang communications, project leader on the Olympics 2012 bid team. 

The Business Communicator Of The Year was Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, with the Internal Communicator Of The Year being Sue Mason of Rolls Royce.
 
It was agreed that a working group be established in anticipation of the 2009 Diamond anniversary. 

In 2007 conference entitled “The Strongest Link” was held in Newcastle and membership was reported to have reached 1,100. By now Apple was influencing the world of social media with the launch of the I-phone.
 
The Business Communicator Of The Year was Deanna Oppenheimer, chief executive of Barclays UK Retail Banking while the Business Influencer Of The Year was named as  Jonathan Porritt, director, Forum for the Future (who was invited to become a vice-president).  The Internal Communicator Of The Year was Juliet Ward, internal communications executive for NFU Mutual.  

in 2008 “Change-Engagement-Communication” was the title of conference held in Brighton, with day one concentrating on Change Management and day two on Engagement.
 
It was decided to announce the goal of becoming the Institute of Internal Communication be announced publicly at the 2009 AGM. 
 
On  September 23rd  2009 an Extraordinary General Meeting was held  to consider the Special Resolution:  That the name of the company be changed to the INSTITUTE OF INTERNAL COMMUNICATION with effect from 6.00pm on Thursday 13th May 2010.  The majority in favour was 80.2% of those voting.
 

2010s: The rise and rise of internal communication 


The world of work changes as innovation comes faster and we further political turmoil and increasing distrust as the world of communication changes irrevocably.  Apple debuts the iPad. Augmented Reality is ever mainstreaming. British forces withdraw from Afghanistan. Japan earthquake and tsunami. Consumer level robotics are booming. London hosts the Olympics. Scotland votes ‘no’ to independence. Windows 10 is realised by Microsoft. Sales of electric and hybrid trucks reach 100,000 annually. Web-connected video devices exceed the global population. Greece is bailed out of the EU. Prince William and Kate Middleton marry.  Osama Bin Laden dead. Nasa ends spec shuttle program. Pope Francis is elected. Boston Marathon Bombing. 3D printing becomes mainstream consumer technology

Owing to the ongoing national financial crisis much of the initial work of the new IoIC board in the latter part of the year was concentrated on reducing expenditure and increasing income. Discussions also began with Solent University with regard to proposed accreditation, to drive the standards for the Internal Communication Professional. Leading to the launch of the professional accreditation programme to include the Foundation Diploma for “entry level” communicators in 2011, followed by the Advanced Diploma in 2012.  Accredited by Solent University for dual academic and professional body awards. 

After the launch of the pdf magazine InsideOut in 2010 IoIC returns to print in 2017 with the launch of the award winning Voice magazine. Also launched was a new profession map and competency framework to encapsulate the skills and knowledge of today’s internal communicator. 

The training programmes was expanded, CPD was introduced and a mentoring scheme launched. Extending our partnership with Solent University in 2018 IoIC takes over the Masters in Internal Communication Management By the end of 2018 membership of the IoIC has reached the highest in its history. 

Our purpose has the remained the same, and it as powerful today as it was 70 years ago, as by communicating effectively we will not only improve organisations but create better working lives because #WeMatterAtWork 
 
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