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Professional Development

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Will Mullins is a writer with a Master of Arts degree in English. He has also headed his own award winning film and commercial production company, served as the Assistant Director of a growing film festival, worked as a Marketing Coordinator for a start up, and worked as a Business Analyst and Product Manager.
Michael Hartland is an Internal Communication Specialist at SnapComms, a leading provider of digital employee communication solutions.
Sarah is the professional development manager at the IoIC and is responsible for ensuring that all professional development activities are relevant and appropriate for the needs of anyone working in or with an interest in internal communication – from those who are just starting out in their careers to the more experienced practitioner.
The professional development portfolio includes short courses; Foundation and Advanced diplomas; mentoringCPD programmes and the Masters in Internal Communication Management.
After working in Performing Arts Education, I turned my hand to business and studied a Business Management and Marketing degree. On finishing my degree, I joined Marston’s – that was a year and a half ago, and I haven’t looked back!
A multi-award winning MD at Words&Pictures, Andy has helped the company build a world-class portfolio of brands. Committed to creativity and co-development, he and his team, have delivered imaginative, effective internal communications for the last 25 years. Andy is IoIC Northern Region Director, an IoIC Fellow and joined the IoIC Board. He helps grow IoIC in the regions and promotes the North as a centre of internal communication excellence.
Sheila Hirst is a Master Coach with a special interest in authentic leadership and creating connecting relationships. As a partner in Omilia Hirst and Director of Hirst Executive Coaching she has been in the communication and change business for 25 years working across corporate, government and third sector at all levels. She also brings 15 years’ experience as a senior manager and MD in global and small organisations leading individuals through the challenges of change and transition so knows what it is like to be at the ‘sharp end’ having to deliver and communicate measurable results.
Donna Fox is Head of IC for Plusnet, part of the BT Consumer Group alongside  BT and EE. She is responsible for the internal communications and engagement strategy for this unique and quirky operation, and its 1,600 strong employee base. Donna has almost 15 years’ experience in internal communications and colleague engagement. With experience across energy, retail and telecoms industries, she’s a trusted advisor on internal communications strategies that are far from ‘corporate’. Her expertise is centred around helping leaders to forge a credible and authentic connection with their people, through plain speaking communications and honest conversations. Making communications fun and real life!
Marc has over 15-years agency experience and has had the privilege of working across a diverse range of clients and sectors. A specialist in developing integrated creative solutions for live events, internal communications and brand activation. By getting under the skin of a brand, Marc supports businesses and leaders communicate their story in a truly agile, dynamic and multi-channel way.
Marc currently works for leading creative communications agency, Top Banana - working with household brands in retail, finance, technology, FMCG, automotive and pharmaceutical.
Liz Havern is a radio and TV professional with more than 30 years of broadcast and international news agency experience. She is a specialist in promoting communications and journalistic best practice, an accredited trainer and a qualified workplace mediator with extensive client-facing skills. She has worked as a journalist, editorial leader, trainer and senior manager nationally and internationally for Thomson Reuters, the BBC, independent and non-profit sectors. Liz has devised and delivered crisis, media communications and messaging training programmes to improve the key internal and external communication skills needed to succeed in a constantly evolving 21st century business environment and to reinforce ethical best practice in journalism. Amongst her clients are Oxfam UK, International Alert, The University of Oxford, The Thomson Reuters Foundation, John Lyon’s Charity, BSI Group, Parliament, The Outward Bound Trust and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity. Author of Reuters Television News Operational Guidelines and co-author of the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s “Making Video News”, Liz is also a Royal Television Society Awards judge and an Associate of the Mediators Institute of Ireland.
Alissa is an Internal Communications Consultant at the agency spottydog communications. Having lived in Hong Kong, Thailand, London and Manchester, Alissa is now based in spottydog’s Birmingham office. She works alongside their PR, content and social media teams to deliver engaging strategies and projects for clients. Alissa brings specialist internal communications and employee engagement experience to the business from previous roles at Capita, HS2 Ltd and the Big Lottery Fund.
I’ve worked in internal comms for four years, but my background is employer branding and recruitment marketing. Since moving in-house and taking on internal comms responsibilities, I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned to a new discipline. I'm working in a multinational energy company; a sector which is constantly evolving and pushes me to continually find new ways to inform and engage employees on everything from organisational strategy to the circular economy.

Steve Knight has been a journalist, editor and communications consultant for more than 40 years. A former editor of the multi-award-winning British Rail staff newspaper, Railnews, he has run Knight Train & Consult Ltd since the 1990s. He has been an IoIC tutor for more than 20 years, served on the organisation’s board, and was one of the driving forces behind the setting up the institute’s professional development accreditation programme in 2008.

Sheila Parry is a lifelong business communicator and Fellow of the IoIC. She was founder and former MD of theblueballroom, an award-winning internal communications consultancy, where she worked with some of the world’s largest employers. She is now an independent consultant specialising in leadership communications, values and performance.

Jeremy Humphries is an award-winning BBC trained Director of Photography and Sony trainer whose recent credits include Hunted for Channel 4. He has been using a camera around the world to create video content for over 30 years. His company, Skills2Film, trains and equips you and your staff to create effective, compelling, engaging video content. No more reliance on external providers – we train you how to script, film and present your story and sell your brand.

Matthew Batten – Director of Communications and Engagement, Diocese of Llandaff (Church in Wales)
From humble beginnings in policy and public affairs via organisational development, employee engagement and internal comms, I’ve now landed by first senior role for a brilliant organisation. I get to combine all my previous skills while leading our internal and external comms and engagement activities. From dealing with media enquiries to tweeting and Facebooking for legitimate work reasons, my role is to showcase the amazing work churches do in the local community. I’m a bit of an internal comms nerd and constantly looking for new ways to engage an audience. I tweet way too much over at @CommsGuyMatt
A passionate communicator, James recently led Leadership and Employee Communications across Asia Pacific for Swiss Re. After eight years in Hong Kong he has now relocated back to the UK, and is currently a Senior Internal Communication Manager at KPMG.
He has partnered with CEO’s and Executive teams, providing them with communication advice and coached them in how best to articulate their strategies and position their business with employees, clients, and the media. Over the past 13 years James has gained extensive experience in some of the world's largest companies, including PwC, IBM, Royal Bank of Scotland, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered Bank.
James' responsibilities throughout his career range from corporate communication, employee and leadership communication; branding; advertising; sponsorship; marketing communication; employer brand marketing; and reputation management.
Tobi is a 21 year old Politics and International Relations Undergraduate at the University of Kent. Outside academic life, she is a freelance content creator and blogger, focusing on fashion and lifestyle. However, her ultimate goal is to create change by developing fresh, new and engaging campaigns in international affairs, sustainability and development. She is currently doing a communication internship at the Cabinet Office.
Steve Doswell recently went 'back to the future', returning to an in-house role as the latest twist in a 30-year career in corporate communications. Appointed Nationwide Building Society's first-ever IC Manager in 1990, Steve later spent two decades in client consultancy with the likes of Rolls-Royce plc, National Grid and Brussels-based euRobotics. He has also played many roles for IoIC, notably as professional development director, and was IoIC chief executive for five years until 2015. A keen runner, linguist and football supporter ('sufferer may be more appropriate'), Steve lifts the lid on a typical day.
Debs spent many years working in politics, in the political office in 10 Downing Street under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major. She then spent time working for a strategic communication and event management company, before moving to set up an internal communication function in AXA PPP healthcare.
After 20 years in the business, Debs has now gone freelance as an internal communication and engagement consultant. She is particularly interested in the science of employee engagement and the role of language in creating trust. She has also just published her first children's book.
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