Who are the engaging leaders gurus?

UPDATE: This event has been re-scheduled due to severe weather in the Manchester area on 29 January. The new date is Thursday 12 February.


Ahead of our Ask the guru event on 29 Jan in Manchester, on the topic of engaging leaders we’ve spoken to the speakers to find out more about them, and their backgrounds.


Daniel Bradley

Daniel Bradley

Daniel Bradley is Senior Internal Communications Partner and East Midlands Trains.  He’s worked in a range of business before the train operator, including  a specialist retailer, mobile telecoms, IT and most recently internal communication and events.






Oliva Hall

Oliva Hall

Olivia Hall began her comms career at Humberside Police. She then moved to media, working as a set runner for ITV and an editorial assistant for Kays media before joining Swinton insurance. Starting as internal communication executive, Olivia has moved up to become Internal Communication Coordinator at the insurance firm and is solely responsible for the comms for the commercial sector of this business including their weekly communications packs and large scale events like their annual conference.





Anna Harvatt is Internal Communications Manager at  the UK’s leading safety company, Arco. She’s worked in the communications industry for

Anna Harvatt

Anna Harvatt

over 12 years in a variety of sectors including local authority, agency and a PLC. Anna has worked at Arco for 12 months and leads the company’s Vision and Strategy communications goal of creating great two way communication.


So we asked them a few questions:

What do you love about internal comms?

Daniel Bradley: “The opportunity to make a positive impact on the employee experience, building relationships across the business and the enthusiasm and passion of my internal communication colleagues”.

Olivia Hall: “The interaction you have with people across the business. Making a difference in the culture of the business and moulding the way that leaders engage with their people is certainly what keeps my passion alive in my role”.

Anna Harvatt:  I’m a people person and I love how internal comms not only connects people. We’re able to share news, drive change and inform but more importantly it provides a platform for great two way communication.”

What’s your biggest frustration about internal communication?

Daniel Bradley: “Organisations and individuals need to agree what they mean by ‘engagement’ before discussing ways to affect or measure it. And, the view that internal communication is a function that produces content, or delivers a product, as opposed to a function that enables achievement of business objectives.”

Olivia Hall: “My biggest frustration is how under rated the function of internal comms can be. I think sometimes the value of how important it is to effectively communicate to people is lost… the value that can be added by having an engaged workforce is by far the most valuable and important part of running a successful business in the modern day.”

Anna Harvatt: Internal comms can sometimes be a final thought, brought in at the last minute to help “send an email”. By prioritising and planning internal comms, we can take colleagues on a journey and ensure we use the most relevant and engaging method.

What’s your top tip for someone starting out in internal comms?

Daniel Bradley: “Research and network! Find out how internal communication works in a variety of businesses and industries and take every opportunity to network with peers. In my experience, internal communicators are willing and eager to share experiences, offer advice and discuss ideas.”

Olivia Hall:  “Don’t run before you can walk. Being an effective communicator is all about knowing your people. Spend time learning from everyone around you and understand what makes your particular workforce tick. I would also encourage people to push the boundaries with the way they communicate and not be scared to try new things. The communication industry is an evolving machine and it’s important to embrace it.”

Anna Harvatt: “Research, research, research. Learn not only from the business your working in but from other internal comms professionals and from other communication disciplines. By having a wide scope of communication knowledge you’ll understand the role internal comms plays and be best to adapt to future ways of working.”

Anna, Daniel and Olivia are our gurus at our next Ask the Guru event on 29 January, 5.45pm – 7.30pm at Manchester Airport.

They’ll each present a short lightning talk on their experiences of engaging leaders, and then it’s over to everyone to ask questions and join the discussion.

Follow @ciprinside and use #asktheguru to join the conversation

If you’d like to find out more about what they do to engage leaders then join us and book your place here.

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