Thriller or Filler? Internal Communications: A manual for practitioners

This month's book review features a handbook for internal communications by Liam FitzPatrick and Klavs Valskov. Published by Kogan Page.

In July, Sir Martin Sorrell’s LinkedIn blog revealed the ten trends he sees shaping the global ad business. At number five was the growing reputation of internal comms, "once an unloved adjunct to the HR department" but now "critical to business success".

So the arrival of this thorough, pragmatic and well-written manual is timely, both for in-house communicators whose expertise is increasingly called upon to improve the quality of internal comms, and for those with an HR background looking to accelerate the cut-through of change programmes and operationalise new ways of working.

In a complex and connected world, business lives and dies by its ability to respond quickly to new challenges: changes in markets, in consumer preference, in social and environmental concerns. FitzPatrick and Valskov do a great job of explain­ing how to build, plan and segment a comms programme and, crucially, how to measure the impact of comms in delivering organisational objectives.

Bringing together the best of traditional theory with some of the latest thinking around employee channels, including a realistic assessment of social and collaborative media, the book is accessible, even enjoyable to read. It’s packed with case studies, checklists and suggestions that draw equally on comms theory and common sense to provide clear, actionable ideas that will help deliver value in any organisation.

Reviewed by Andrew Platt-Higgins, head of employee engagement at Fishburn

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