24 November 2015 - event agenda

Digital employee engagement and storytelling b reakfast briefing

Breakfast briefing is optional to attend, and costs additional £99+VAT to attend

07:50  Breakfast briefing registration

08:15  Breakfast briefing starts

In this one-hour practical briefing, learn how digital has completely reshaped the way we do internal communications and employee engagement. What are the new trends and techniques that you can apply to your organisation? What are the best platforms available? How can you make use of telling stories and narratives to employees, creating better content on social and digital that they will engage with?

Victoria Lewis-Stephens, Managing Partner, Instinctif Partners

Seamour Rathore, Senior Engagement Specialist,  Instinctif Partners

09:10 End of breakfast briefing

08:30 Registration and refreshments

09:15 Chair’s opening remarks

Julian Hilton-Johnson, Corporate VP Corporate Relations - Europe & Chief of Staff to the President, McDonald's Corporation

Opening keynote address

09:25 Aligning your IC strategy with business needs

HR Director at the Adidas Group will explore the current IC landscape today, and what is needed to ensure IC remains at the top of the business agenda. Catch up on new trends, challenges and opportunities. 

Tony Cooke, Human Resources Director, Adidas Group

360° Interactive panel discussion

09:45 Internal vs external comms: the blurring of the functions

This lively panel discussion will dig deep into how internal vs external functions approach employee engagement in their organisation, and the role that each of them play in the greater-good:

  • Creating integrated comms strategy: how can IC feed on external campaigns and vice-versa? How can you create successful integrated comms from the start? What are the requirements to look for, and what is the right capability structure to have in place?
  • How can IC better support branding and make sure that when people think about external messaging, they also think about the internal reflection?
  • The big debate: where should IC belong? As a separate IC function, or part of external comms, HR, marketing departments.... explore what works best with our experts!

Thomas Coops, Director of Communications,  English National Opera

Iain Cracknell, Director of Communications,  Seadrill Management Ltd

Ian Burrows, Head of Internal Communications,  Deloitte LLP

Conor McKechnie, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, GE Healthcare Life Sciences


10:25 Middle management: the key to unlocking the potential of the workforce

Management activation is the biggest concern for all IC and employee engagement professionals. Middle management is crucial in landing new initiatives, but for this to happen you need to effectively engage with them and catch their attention, all while they are so busy with “other priorities”. This session will look at new and innovative ways to activate middle management and get them on your side:

  • Motivate middle management and influence them to act and communicate on your behalf
  • Transform managers into real people coaches: give them the skills and tools to be effective advocates and inspire their employees
  • How can you deal with resistance to change: the Tate’s lessons from their change programmes working with middle managers

Vilma Nikolaidou, Head of Organisational Development, Tate Gallery

10:55 The power of storytelling to engage a diverse workforce

We know that diverse and inclusive workplaces perform better than those that aren’t.  So how can Internal Communications help to promote diversity, value difference and build a more inclusive workplace?  This is not simply about responding to generational differences, but to think about the narrative we promote, the stories we share and the channels and tools we use.

Henry Davies, Founder - Communications Consultant, 106 Communications

11:10 Morning refreshments

11:40 Breakout sessions 1:  choose between A, B or C

A.  Organisations are increasingly alive to the importance of a definitive purpose. But how do you translate it into genuinely purposeful action?

  • Explore our roadmap for transforming Cisco’s culture around a Big Simple Idea
  • Stop along the way at critical levers for change – including reshaping internal comms and key HR experiences
  • Discover how to crystallise your strategy, liberate your people, and realise your true commercial potential
  • Spark your own more purposeful future

Richard Wilding, Boss,  WMW

Kate Hetherington, Client Service Director, WMW

B. Small budget

Discover how you can develop your IC strategy with limited resources:

  • Use social collaboration sites to drive greater levels of engagement: mixing personal and professional

  • Give employees a voice: the good, the bad, and the ugly
  • How can you create interesting and powerful stories that will generate engagement?

  • Involving employees in your stories and helping them to tell 

Kate Waters, Senior head of communications,  Prince's Trust

C. The dos and don’ts of social media

Explore the dos and don’ts of employees’ use of social media

  • How do you harness your workforce in a way that is both supportive and protective of your brand’s image?
  • How open can you let your colleagues be on social?
  • Treating employees as consumers who read your news: how do they filter your information with other external news?
  • Digital leadership: how can you make sure your leaders are comfortable and engaged on social media?

Paul Morgan, Communications Director,  Premiership Rugby

12:10 Swap or Stay

12:20 Breakout sessions 2:  choose between D, E or F

D. Changing behaviour and influencing

Explore the psychology behind employee engagement:

  • Where does the 'engaged' feeling come from?
  • How can you use the understanding of neuroscience to increase employee engagement?
  • How should you be communicating to effect real change?
  • Is there a checklist you can use to plan and create effective people strategies?

James Dalton, Group Head of Employee Engagement & Health, FirstGroup

E. Creating and stimulating conversations

Discover the best techniques to get your employees sharing, talking and collaborating:

  • How can you use social collaboration sites to drive greater levels of engagement?
  • How can you give employees a voice?
  • What are the tools and techniques out there? Apps, mobiles, social sites or events?
  • How can you create interesting and powerful stories that will generate engagement?

Anna Bowen, Director of Employee Communications, UK & Core Markets, Pearson plc

F. A practical guide for going through an M&A

Best techniques available to engage employees through difficult times during a merger and acquisition (M&A) process:

  • Identify key drivers for engagement during a M&A
  • Maintain a high level of engagement at all times, even when you are under media scrutiny: work in collaboration with other functions
  • Use your staff advocates and ambassadors’ influence to re-engage the disengaged

Debra Channon, Head of Internal Communications,  Tarmac

12:50 Lunch and networking opportunities

13:40 Knowledge exchange hour

Following from the lunch networking... it’s time to get practical and share experiences with your peers! Pick two topics of conversation of your choice: the first one will be a topic you’d like to learn more about; and the second will be a topic where you have best practices and advice to share. Mingle with your peers to get solutions to your most pressing issues, and in return share your knowledge to help your fellow.

An interactive, fun, informal session to widen your horizon!

Engaging with non-networked employees

Facilitator: Iain Cracknell, Founder - Communications Consultant, Seadrill Management

Connecting with a remote workforce

Facilitator:  Virginia Tirado, Principal, Executive Recruiter for EU Operations, Supply Chain, Transportation and CS, Amazon

Powering CSR and sustainability

 Facilitator:  Debra Channon, Head of Internal Communications, Tarmac

Creating a culture of collaboration and trust

Facilitator:  Henry Davies, Founder - Communications Consultant,  106 Communications

Driving IC strategy from the top and engaging leaders

Facilitator:  Lynn Morrison, Head of Business Engagement,  Opus Energy

Moving towards more agile, flexible ways of working



14:30 Treating employees as your customers... redefining the employee brand proposition

This session will look at how you can improve the level of interaction by treating your employees as customers. It will examine the employee value proposition as part of the employee brand:

  • What is the employee journey, from recruitment to the moment they join the organisation, and then throughout their career?
  • How has an employee brand simplified and rationalised organisational design and also communications behaviour internally as a result?
  • What are the creative ways of embedding the employee brand into business, so it feels real to an employee?

Lynn Morrison, Head of Business Engagement,  Opus Energy

Case Study

15:00 Behind-the-scenes of Odeon’s new employer brand

This case study will demonstrate how employer brand has evolved to encompass every step of an employees’ journey from hire to retire, and the link between engaged employees and customer experience. It will do this by focusing on ODEON cinemas and showcasing the work the brand has completed with Synergy Creative.

Gemma McGrattan, Director, Synergy Creative

15:15  How to use video strategically to drive purpose

You want to do great things with video but commissioning just one film is hard enough. How can you possibly produce more? Think strategically? Stay ahead of the technology? Motivate your team? Please your boss? And deliver the other 18 projects that are all needed this month and have a home life after a 14 hour day? Every day. In this session hear how Pearson started using video more strategically: how planning ahead made the whole process more effective and efficient and as a result of this how they launched their own internal TV channel earlier this year – Roundup TV – and the results so far.

Richard Thomson, Managing Director, Kaptcha

Anna Bowen, Director of Employee Communications, UK & Core Markets , Pearson plc

15:30 Afternoon refreshments

Panel discussion bringing various perspectives

16:00 The secrets to measurement

Boost your measurement toolkit by putting all your questions to our diverse panel of experts, who have all been through the mill of measuring, proving and demonstrating their value!

  • How can you achieve business impact and what are the new methods available?
  • Quantitative vs qualitative: how can you select the most relevant indicators?
  • Beyond the Survey – best methods to get employees’ feedback – examples of focus groups and qualitative discussions across different levels and functions
  • Link IC to your overall strategy – identify  your real communication problem and then sell the solutions
  • Generate more buy-in and investment from senior management – identifying champions about the senior management team

Kirsten Walkom, Interim Director of Internal Communications, Save the Children International

Rae Stewart,  Director of Communications,  Department of Energy & Climate Change

 Emily Gibbs ,  Associate Director of Communications and Engagement,  EY

Closing talk

16:30 Communicating through the journey of change

This talk will look at how you can connect with your audience and keep your colleagues engaged when your organisation is undergoing constant changes that create uncertainty in the workplace. More than a presentation, concentrating on a specific time of change, this final speech will leave you empowered to manage your continuous journey of change.

Heather Wagoner, Head of Internal Communications and Engagement, BBC

17:00 Chair’s closing remarks and close of event

Prices and registration

11 places remaining!

Praise for 2014:

A great way to inspire new ideas and realise you share issues with other businesses

Brand and Communications Manager,  Insights

Fast paced, jam packed, nice mix of interesting topics and speakers

Client Service Director,  WMW

An ambitious Internal Comms line up which delivers - I left full of ideas and primed for action

Internal Communications & Events Manager,  Nestle Central & West Africa

Useful and thought provoking!

Head of Group Communications, The AA