What I learnt from the Internal Communications – A Manual for Practitioners book

Gihan Hyde, has read and reviewed the book Internal Communications – A manual for practitioners, and shares her review with us here.


When I heard that Liam FitzPatrick and Klavs Valskov were launching a book backed by the CIPR for IC practitioners I was intrigued to see what they would say that is different than what I already know? As an internal communication consultant who recently been introduced to the practice – 5 years now – I read every single highly regarded book out there in order to catch up and fully understand what I have signed up to.

open book


The book is not offering something that experienced practitioners should not already know but what I liked about it is that it made me reflect on how I am currently approaching my communication campaigns. For example, in the ‘What’s In It for me?’ (WIIFM) and ‘Why should I care?’ (YSIC) chapter they stated that when communicating a change start with by focusing on the outcomes for the audience instead of how great the change is. Yes this is something I should know and yes I know that it is best practice but NO I still forget to do it sometimes because I am too involved in the process.

As a senior practitioner I am regarded as a trusted advisor by my leaders but sometimes I am too involved in office politics. This book opened my

Learn what good practice looks like with this no-nonsense guide to devising an internal communications strategy.

Learn what good practice looks like with this no-nonsense guide to devising an internal communications strategy.

eyes to the fact that I need to “provide honest feedback, keep my leaders’ messages clear, and ensuring that my colleagues (my true clients) hear what it is really important to them” instead of being politically correct. AGAIN, yes I know this but I tend to get caught up.

Being close to the CEO is a real challenge but the best way to do so is to befriend his PA. This is one of my favourite pieces of advice because its outcome is powerful and will make your life a lot easier. I also took their advice in asking my COO’s – whom I work closely with – PA to book his meetings away from his office so he is forced to walk around and get noticed. That of course happened after posting his picture on an intranet article otherwise until this day no one would have known who he is.

My second favourite piece of advice is on storytelling, which is a current ‘Buzz word’ in the IC circles. However, what I appreciated was the fact that they quoted Ezri Carlebach on how storytelling is “a universally shared experience, part of what makes us human. It is rooted in the fact that our brains are wired to respond to stories and we prefer stories because they require less effort to take in”. AGAIN! Yes we all know that story telling is the most effective means of communication but I never looked at the psychological/ human part of it. I never looked at story telling as the way to provide the why of the message, I just took matters for granted.

In summary, Liam and Klavs’ advice is simple, direct and pure common sense, if you are thinking of becoming an IC practitioner, have newly joined the profession, or want to remember why you chose Internal Communications then this book is certainly the book for you.


Gihan Hyde,

Interim Head of Employee Communications- Operations Global Asset Management HSBC

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