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As the only professional body dedicated to internal communication in the UK, we exist to help organisations and people succeed through promoting internal communication of the highest standard.

Increasingly, helping organisational leaders to communicate effectively is becoming a key part of the IC practitioner’s role.


The ability of leaders to instil trust in their people is a key consideration, and studies suggest there has been a decline in the level of trust felt by UK employees towards their organisations in recent years.

Now a major new report - released by Westminster Business School, University of Westminster, in collaboration with Top Banana and the Institute of Internal Communication - explores the connections between leadership, communication and trust.


Topics covered include:


  • The evolved nature of leadership in the 21st century
  • How many leadership communication approaches are completely unfit for purpose
  • New business concepts of leadership and how these are better at facilitating trust
  • The importance and role of listening skills
  • Maintaining good face-to-face communication in a digital age
  • The key nature of emotional intelligence
  • How trust can be built and repaired
  • The critical role of line managers

It provides practical guidance for business leaders and those who support them on developing new, trusting work environments and driving higher performance and a more ethical organisation.

This is a must read for IC practitioners who want to help managers and members of the senior team be better, more authentic communicators, as well as develop communication strategies and programmes that tackle the issue of trust effectively.

IoIC members can download the full report, and e-book summary and an infographic summarising key findings here.

The actions of leaders and the quality of their communication are critical factors in embedding an ethical culture.


These are key findings from IoIC’s ethics survey, released at the Ethics in Internal Communication Summit in September 2013 in London.

Respondents said that the most important factor in creating a sustainable ethical culture was ‘Leaders who lead by example’ with 95% rating this as very important, and 5% as important (i.e. 100% of respondents).

A culture of transparency, openness and honesty’ came second, rated by 84% as very important and 14% as important.

Clear organisational values’ came third – 67% rating it as very important and 30% as important.

When asked to rate internal communication activities in terms of their importance in embedding ethical culture, leadership issues were also high on communicators’ list. The most important activity was seen as ‘Promoting open/two-way communication’; 96% rated this as very important or important (74% and 22%).

This was followed by ‘Helping leaders understand and fulfil their communication responsibilities’ at 94% (62% and 32%) and ‘Supporting leaders/managers in projecting themselves as open, honest and ethical’ at 91% (52% and 39%).

The survey also revealed that gaining employee trust was proving difficult for many leaders. 34% categorised employees’ level of trust in their leaders as ‘neutral’, while another 28% said it was low (24%) or very low (4%).

There were also indications that the public sector faced particular challenges in relation to leaders inspiring trust in their employees, with 60% of public sector respondents saying levels were low or very low (40% and 20% respectively), compared to 21% in the private sector (20% low, 1% very low).

Other findings include:

  • 83% of respondents agreed with the statement ‘My organisation has a clear ethics policy/code of conduct’
  • 58% of respondents thought their organisation’s culture was very ethical (21%) or ethical (37%), with a further 29% considering it to be quite ethical. 7% believed it was not very ethical
  • 72% said that communication practitioners could influence their company’s ethical policy, and 76% their organisation’s ethical performance. However, there was some degree of uncertainty around these questions with 20% saying they did not know in relation to policy, and 18% in relation to performance.

IoIC chief executive Steve Doswell (pictured) comments: ‘These findings illustrate that, while an ethics policy and code of conduct provide important foundations, some other factors are critical to achieving a sustainable ethical culture – and foremost amongst these are leaders seen to behave in an authentic fashion, who communicate effectively and encourage open, honest, two-way communication.

‘The survey also shows that a significant proportion of communicators do not feel well equipped to deal with ethical issues, and there is considerable uncertainty about what they can and should aim to achieve for their organisation in relation to its ethical performance.

‘The Ethics in Internal Communication Summit, co-hosted with the Reputation Institute – and this survey – are the first in a series of initiatives to continue over the coming months, in which we will explore the ethical issues and challenges facing internal communicators and provide guidance on how to tackle them.’

A detailed report on ethics in internal communication, produced by IoIC’s Advanced Diploma graduates, will be published later in the year.

* 132 internal communication practitioners responded to IoIC’s online survey.

Further information on the survey is available below:

The Institute now and in its previous incarnations has always had a good cross-section of members representing the interests of in-house teams, agencies, consultancies and freelancers. So, over the years, we have heard a lot about the type of situations that can arise in the client/supplier relationship.

The coming together of two organisations to develop and implement a project can optimise results, but it can also bring challenges. Apart from relationship issues and changing situations in one or other organisation, there is also the impact of more global considerations such as tough economic conditions and the pressures that these bring.

Whatever the circumstances, there are two principles that should always be adhered to. Firstly, aim for ‘best value’ rather than ‘low cost’ – as the latter option could actually turn into ‘quite costly’ over time as a result of negative outcomes from not selecting the right supplier. Secondly, it is important to maintain a systematic approach to managing the relationship – do not leave anything to chance, regardless of how well things may seem to be going at any given time. How to keep improving performance should remain at the forefront of everyone’s minds and in the
widest context – it shouldn’t just relate to what the supplier is doing!

In producing this guide, the Institute has benefited from a body of existing work including the excellent A Fine Romance, produced by the British Association of Communicators in Business in the late 1990s, and recent IoIC freelancer surveys. We have broadened out the scope in this guide so that it is relevant to a wide range of suppliers, and we have also sought to reflect recent developments affecting the marketplace, such as e-auctions.

We hope that you find this publication useful, and that it helps you in developing and maintaining positive and fruitful client/supplier relationships. Members can download it from below:

Nearly half of respondents to our 2011 membership survey said that they would like the Institute to provide more information and guidance specifically for members. This is something that we intend to do in the coming months, and I am very pleased to introduce this Guide as the first of a series of documents that we will produce to provide guidance and insights exclusively to Institute members.

We know that evaluation of internal communication activities is an area that many practitioners find challenging. A number of responses to a recent IoIC online survey highlighted difficulties in establishing what approach would be most appropriate in particular circumstances.

However, it is a skill that we all need to fine-tune: a systematic approach to measurement has never been more important, with employers wanting evidence of positive impact in terms of achieving business objectives and the need to demonstrate ROI.

We have taken a two-pronged approach with this guide.

Part 1 provides useful general information on how to tackle a measurement project.

Part 2 offers case studies from a variety of organisations illustrating a range of situations, considerations and choices. I hope these real-life examples will provide inspiration to you in the evaluation challenges you face.

IOIC Members can download the guide below:

Social media is impossible for internal communicators to ignore, which is why seven graduates from the Institute of Internal Communication’s Advanced Diploma have produced a 15,000-word report into the subject, titled Social Media In The Workplace.


The report – available free to Institute members below - introduces social media and social media tools, and covers:

• The emergence and rise of social media

• How does social media affect the internal communicator?

• Benefits of social media within organisations

• The challenges and pitfalls of implementing social media, and

• How to implement social media successfully.

It also includes a survey of around 100 organisations on the use of social media internally. Plus there are nine case studies of social media at work within large businesses, including Asda, IBM, Nestle, BUPA and Vodafone UK.

IOIC Members can download the report from below:

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