What it is like to be a CIPR Inside committee member

As we head towards our AGM on 17 March (you can book here to come along) and invite members to join our active committee, we thought you’d like to get an insight into what it’s like to be a committee member. We know it’s rewarding and we know it’s helped each of us in our professional development and our day jobs. So we thought we’d share some of the insights from our committee members with you.

To put yourself forward to join the committee all you need to do is email us at ciprinside@gmail.com To be a functioning committee four key posts need to be fulfilled, Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. We also have general committee members who support key events and programmes.

You need to be a CIPR member to be on the committee, and being a committee member earns you 20 CPD points – a huge benefit to your development plan as well as stretching your skills and knowledge in areas outside of your day job. Committee members join many of the events that we hold, especially the conference and awards ceremony.


So, what is it like to be a CIPR Inside committee member:

Who are you, what you do in your day job and what you do on the committee?

Steven: Steven Murgatroyd, Director at CommunICating Limited. I manage Ask the Guru among other things

Marsha: Marsha van Moorsel and I currently work at Tullow Oil as a Communications Advisor.

James: James Harkness and I’m partner at HarknessKennett, a busy internal communication agency which also supports clients on resourcing. I’ve been Chair of Inside and also this year supported Jenni (this year’s Chair) as a Committee member.

Denise: Denise Cox and I’m Lead Communication Consultant at Newsweaver by day and a general committee member.

Claire: Claire Hallam and my day job is Employee Engagement Manager for EDF Energy.  I’m part of the wider committee and have a particular interest in measurement and employee engagement

How long you have been on the committee and any changes in role throughout your tenure?

Steven: This is my first year

Marsha: I’ve been on the CIPR Inside Committee for two years now. First organising the Ask a Guru events and most recently as the committee Treasurer.

James: This is my second year… I think over the two years I’ve seen greater Committee working which is definitely a great step as this means different perspectives are brought to the table.  I also think there’s more connection to the wider CIPR and links with both sectoral groups and regions.  This too is progress.

Denise: This is my first year

Claire: This was my first year as a committee member.

Why you joined in the first place?

Steven: I want to make a difference in the way IC is viewed by businesses and I feel that CIPR Inside is able to help me to do that

Marsha: I joined the committee as I was new to the industry and I thought it would be a great way to get involved with the IC community and to learn more at the same time.

James: Because I was asked!  But also because like many people I’d been a member but had not really got involved other than going to the annual conference.  Like any organisation, CIPR Inside is only as good as the members that  get involved.

Claire: I attended the CIPR Inside AGM last year and signed up to be a committee member. The reason I signed up was because as an Internal Communications professional I felt that this part of the CIPR was the most appropriate for me/most relevant. I wanted to be part of the group, work with other like minded professionals to make a difference at all levels and in all regions.

What you enjoy about the committee?

Steven: Great to run events that people find benefit from, great chance to meet new people and network.

Marsha: I really enjoy the team that I’ve worked with and the people I have got to meet over the last two years.  Everyone is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about Internal Communication and ensuring that it achieves it’s rightful place in today’s business, it’s been a real inspiration.  I look forward to see what we can achieve in 2015.

James: working with people who are working in the broader communications piece across different industries and agencies.  I think sometimes in Internal Communications it’s quite easy to be blinkered to certain approaches and I find working in the Committee you’ve people with a wide range of strengths and who bring their skills to the Committee. People are also candid about the broader business and communication issues they face so again I think this gives me insights as to what’s happening day to day in internal communications in a raft of organisations.

Denise: I have loved the free flow of ideas, the energy of the committee members – and the enthusiasm to try and fulfill the internal communicators needs for knowledge and networking. There’s a great  ‘hey, let’s put on a conference’ or a ‘Great idea – let’s ask <expert name here> to speak on our next webinar!’… We know what the pain points are in the function – we’re in it all day! – and it’s great to be able to put together events and research that help others gain insight AND get ideas for their own day to day challenges at their organisation. If you want to network and ‘do good things’ AND have a great time too, I urge you to join.

Claire: The opportunity to spend time with such a great group of people.  Having such a diverse team of professionals on the committee, all with different backgrounds and current roles, means that we are able to ensure that our input and the subsequent offering we provide is truly representative of the needs of internal communications professionals within all sectors, at all levels (whether just starting out or for those who are more experienced). We are able to provide them with tangible benefits and offerings that they want to engage in.

What your role specifically entails e.g. treasurer, secretary etc,?

Steven: I feel like my role is to be the anarchist of the group. I like suggest things that people find uncomfortable but get discussions started

Marsha: As treasurer for the committee I work to make sure that our books are balanced and that we have the necessary funds to commit to events that we run such as the annual CIPR Inside Conference, Inside Awards and other events throughout the year. I’ve also had to work closely with the finance team at CIPR HQ and our event team so it’s been quite a good learning experience.

James: Providing support where needed!  Have ended up supporting on facilitating a session at the Annual Conference and supporting the Committee with ideas and plans.

Denise: I sat on the committee (as a general member), and also helped schedule and run the webinars (which I think have been a great success). I also volunteered to do anything. That was needed at the conference – plus, I had a cracking good time at the conference. Hats off to Chair for keeping the momentum going on the conference, and making it a memorable day.

What you are looking forward to about next year?

Steven: Carrying on the great work we’ve done this year and continually pushing the barriers!

James: I really hope the next Chair can maintain the active Committee involvement.  This is hard as everyone is so busy, everyone has day jobs after all.  But is definitely the way to go.

Claire: We achieved some great things as a committee this year and I’m looking foward to being part of even more exciting times in 2015

What you are most proud of this year?

Steven: I’ve really enjoyed the Ask the Guru sessions I’ve run, we’ve had some great gurus as well as good turnouts for the events.

Marsha: I really enjoy the team that I’ve worked with and the people I have got to meet over the last two years.  Everyone is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about Internal Communication and ensuring that it achieves it’s rightful place in today’s business, it’s been a real inspiration.  I look forward to see what we can achieve in 2015.

James: The fact that a whole range of activities have been delivered from large events like the Annual Conference and Awards to smaller learning events and also the first Ask the Guru outside London all put together by people who have very busy full time jobs……

Denise: Working with Trudy Lewis and Katie Marlow – I think we got the webinars running on a regular basis – and had terrific guests, and great interest from CIPR members to attend.

Claire: It took a little time to get to know the committee members and understand what it meant to be part of the team.  For me it feels natural and right to stay on as a committee member this year as I’ve got to know everyone much more now and feel like I’ll be able to add more to the team.


If you have a specific question do get in touch and we can put it to the committee to answer for you ciprinside@gmail.com


We look forward to welcoming new members to our group and helping to keep pushing internal communication up the corporate agenda.


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