The Internal Communications and Engagement Awards judging panel is made up of in-house professionals and supporters of the awards.

Winners of the 'CIPR Inside internal communications team of the year', 'CIPR Inside internal communicator of the year' and the 'Grand Prix' will be invited to join the panel.

Judges from agencies/consultancies will be invited if they have won the Grand Prix.

Judging slots for the 2021 Internal Communications and Engagement Awards are filled. If you would like to judge the 2022 awards, or are interested in being involved in our live content across 2021, please send a short bio over to michelle.manton@communicatemagazine.co.uk for consideration.

Joanna Bleasdale
Internal communications director

A passionate communicator, with a mission for bringing purpose, products and possibilities to life, Jo grew up in PR, and now specialises in employee comms. Bringing first class consumer brand and corporate communications experience across a wide range of sectors (telecoms, media, entertainment, personal finance and travel), Jo has worked both in-house (BT, EE, Lloyds TSB) and agency side (Red Consultancy, Consolidated).

Miriam Boulia
Internal communications manager

Miriam has been managing internal communications at TransferWise for the past year. Prior to that, Miriam has managed employee engagement and internal communications at fashion house Alexander McQueen and unicorn tech company Farfetch. Miriam has worked in communications since graduating in 2012 and her passion lies in employee experience, engagement and using internal communications to enhance and improve employees experience. 

Alissa Burn
Senior communications officer
Citizens Advice

Alissa Burn is a Senior Communications Officer in the national team at Citizens Advice. She is based in Birmingham and supports the employee engagement and wellbeing of over 1,000 staff working across the UK. 

Alissa made the move back in-house after two years as an Internal Communications Consultant at a PR agency. She is a certified member of the Institute of Internal Communication and has previously worked in corporate communications roles at The National Lottery Community Fund, HS2 and Capita. Her specialities are change management and digital transformation, including an award-winning SharePoint intranet launch.  

Asif Choudry
Sales and marketing director

Asif is a multichannel communicator working with marketing and comms teams to deliver innovative comms campaigns that get results. He is the founder of #CommsHero the award winning conference that is a celebration of the heroics comms people perform every day.
Asif's approach communicating to build profile, relationships and share best practice is impressive. He has remained true to the golden rule of communications - knowing his audience and sticking to a personalised approach- and allowed his personality shine through at the same time. Asif's approach has got people talking (and tweeting) too!

Zac Costello
Internal communications manager

After a brief spell as a professional footballer, Zac’s passion for people took him from the pitch to the workplace leading internal communication and employee engagement strategies for some of the world’s most recognised brands including Coca-Cola European Partners and Rolls-Royce.

Zac has more than 10 years’ experience in IC and is thrilled to join the panel of incredible comms pros to recognise and celebrate the achievements of Internal Communication teams, in a year where our work has been vital.

Lia Crooks
Internal communications manager
Simply Business

Lia has a breadth of experience across communications, specialising in internal comms, where her expertise and insight has enabled meaningful communications strategies and employee engagement.

Her experience is complimented with an academic qualification in Internal Communication Management (MA) from Kingston University, for which she received a distinction.

She is a leader in internal engagement, and has made significant contributions across channel strategy, culture and values, recognition, wellbeing and inclusion. She is passionate about the role internal communicators play in creating inclusive cultures as has recently spoken on the topic at an IABC event as well as contributed to All Things IC.

Alyson Davis
Group internal communications and colleague experience manager

Alyson is the Group Internal Communications and Colleague Experience Manager for Halfords. Having started her new role amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Alyson has hit the ground running, developing and delivering a comprehensive suite of new engagement, wellbeing and D&I tools for 10,000 colleagues. Alyson has ten years’ internal communications experience and has worked across multiple industries. With a mission to inspire and support colleagues to connect with values and each other through a suite of easily accessible simple tools, Alyson was key to implementing and driving user adoption of Yammer to over 56,000 colleagues at Boots UK.

Shalini Gupta
Leadership and CEO communications manager

Shalini has worked internationally for over 15 years in various communications roles in financial services and telecommunications sector at top FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, including GE Capital, Aviva, RBS/NatWest Group, Royal & SunAlliance Insurance and BT.

She has worked across a wide spectrum of internal communications, ranging from leading, shaping and delivering strategies for crisis communications, diversity and inclusion to leadership communications, people campaigns and organizational change. 

A committee member of CIPR Inside, Shalini is a CIIC and MCIPR accredited communicator who is passionate about the role communicators play in shaping leadership communication strategies so they’re at the heart of everything the businesses do and has also spoken at global events and written blogs on the topic.

Neil Jenkins
Director of internal communications
Iron Mountain

Neil is a highly experienced internal communications leader who’s worked in the industry for more than 20 years. He joined Iron Mountain in 2019, a business with 25,000 employees in over 50 countries, and has held senior positions at BT, Coca-Cola, Vodafone and Siemens.

Neil is passionate about harnessing the power of communication to get the best out of people, connect them to their organisation and build reputation and trust from the inside out. He’s a champion of digital solutions that enable great internal communications, and of brilliant content and experiences that make employees proud of who they work for.

Liz Larvin
Head of internal communications & change
Legal and General

Liz Larvin is Head of Internal Communications at Legal & General Group, where she leads the organisation’s group-wide communications, including communicating the Group’s response to Covid-19. Liz, who has sixteen years’ experience in strategic communications, is a recent convert to internal communications. She is particularly interested in the impact of internal communication on employee engagement and in driving high performance. Prior to joining L&G, she worked in various PR and crisis communications roles, dealing with everything from train delays and contaminated food to Brexit to cyber-attacks.

Jody Lewis
Head of internal communications
Lloyds Banking Group

Jody is the Head of Internal Communications for Lloyds Banking Group – a financial services company that includes famous brands like Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Lloyds Bank and Scottish Widows. Jody and his team develop and deliver strategic internal communications for more than 65,000 colleagues. This covers everything from major corporate announcements, internal news, leadership engagement, strategy, events and intranet through to creative design and photography.


Debbie is a Chartered PR Practitioner and Treasurer of the CIPR Inside committee.

Sinead Meckin
Head of internal communications
Hanover Communications

Sinéad is an award-winning reputational management professional, with a specialist interest in internal communications. She helps to protect and enhance the reputations of her clients through proactive campaigns, issues mitigation and management – and where appropriate, change management programmes.

With more than nine years’ experience in external relations, she also brings another perspective and can advise on how internal communications and external communications can work together.

Sinéad was awarded the title of ‘CIPR Inside Internal Communicator of the Year’ at the 2020 Internal Communications & Engagement Awards and ‘IC Professional of the Year’ at the IC Brilliance Awards 2020.

Rachel Miller
All Things IC

Rachel Miller is an internationally recognised authority on internal communication. Through her business, All Things IC, she advises professional communicators via training, consultancy and mentoring.

Her clients include ARM, BBC, LEGO, NHS, HSE, Telefonica and Transport for London. She’s taught 2000 Comms pros via her in-person and Online Masterclasses and written her popular blog since 2009.

Rachel is a Chartered PR professional and Fellow of both the Institute of Internal Communication and Chartered Institute of Public Relations. She’s a regular keynote speaker whose thoughts have been featured in a number of best-selling PR books.

You can find her on Twitter @AllThingsIC or her website www.allthingsic.com.

Chaya Mistry

Chaya is the founder of Humanly, a communication coach and consultant. Coaching leaders 1-1 and in groups to become confident, authentic, human communicators who thrive in business and enable others to flourish with a balance of executive presence and emotional intelligence and core communication skills. Her work is all about helping humans to be better to humans.

With creativity and a unique blend of communication and psychology, her strong experience in change and transformation means that as a change, engagement and communication consultant she tackles mindset and behaviour change.

She has 15 years of in-house communication experience and a varied background and unique mix of psychology, public relations, internal communication and is a qualified business and personal coach.

Chaya is an active committee member of the Chartered Institute for Public Relations- Internal communication group and a leading research team member.

Lauren Mottram-Heathcote
People communications and engagement lead
Auto Trader UK

Lauren has over 10 years’ experience in all things people; starting her career in HR she transitioned into internal communications, holding roles with many brands. She has experienced complex markets and organisations with varying demographics including global audiences. As Lauren progressed through her career, she has led company-wide messaging, managed organisational change projects and experienced mergers and acquisitions where employee engagement has been key. She is currently leading employee communication at the UK’s number one automotive marketplace, Auto Trader.

Áine Murphy
Head of internal communications and engagement

Áine Murphy is an Internal Communications Leader with a decade of experience in the charity sector. She currently heads up the Internal Communications department at Scope, the disability equality charity, and previously she worked at Macmillan Cancer Support, where among other things she led their intranet redesign. She’s passionate about employee engagement, creating internal brand ambassadors, and shaping and developing organisational culture. Outside of work, she loves to be outdoors, whatever the weather. You can find her running, cycling, or more recently dog walking! 

Nazia Nathu
Internal communications manager

Nazia joined BDO LLP as their Internal Communications Manager in September 2017. Responsible for supporting the international communications strategy and people plan for over 6,000 employees, Nazia uses her extensive knowledge and understanding of the business and its people to create the right approach using the best channels to deliver messages across the firm. This includes establishing new channels of communication and working closely with various business areas to ensure that the focus is on how to get colleagues to engage with key information in a creative way at the right time.

Yvonne O'Hara
Head of internal communication
Metropolitan Police Service

Yvonne is a communication expert, with strong specialisms in reputation management, culture change and leadership communication acquired through roles in the education, oil and gas, government and policing sectors. A passionate advocate for building inclusive workspaces, Yvonne is a strong supporter of gender equality which is reflected in her professional and personal life where she is a mentor for the Girls Network charity. She is currently Head of Internal Communication at the Metropolitan Police Service, the U.K.’s most iconic police force where its 43,000 officers and staff are dedicated to keeping London and Londoners safe.

Alan Oliver
Communications Director

Alan Oliver has had an extensive career in financial services, and has led the communications teams of several organisations.  Alan has experience in running internal and external communications terms as well as CSR and marketing functions. He was Head of External Affairs at Nationwide during the banking crisis of 2007/08, and worked with the team there to protect the building society’s reputation over several years when the sector was under great pressure. 

After that, Alan advised a number of organisations on reputational issues and crisis management before joining challenger bank Aldermore, where he oversaw the marketing and communications teams. Alan joins us from Santander where he was Director of Communications, managing a wide range of reputational challenges and being responsible for internal and external communications for the bank as it navigated the pandemic.

Max Puller
Head of colleague communications and engagement
Tesco Bank

Max is currently Head of Colleague Communications and Engagement at Tesco Bank. Previous roles include Director of Employee and Change Communications at Sodexo, Account Director at healthcare communications agency, Pegasus, and Chief Communications Officer at the Ministry of Defence. Max is also a Non-Executive Director for the Salvation Army in the UK and Ireland, advising on strategic communications, marketing and fundraising issues.

Sarah Robinson
Internal communication content manager

Sarah has specialised in Internal Communications for over 22 years, working in industries as diverse as financial services, not-for-profit, IT and energy. She puts her love of the profession down to the fact that she finds people fascinating and is innately nosey. She has worked on just about every aspect of IC during that time, including storytelling, leadership communications, change and crisis communications, business partnering as a trusted adviser to senior leaders, strategic planning, developing IC capability, resourcing and last, but definitely not least, measurement.


As well as delivering IC at a strategic level she has also rolled up her sleeves on many tactical jobs - interviewing everyone from the shop floor to the chairman and whipping up a web page yesterday, to creating & presenting internal Radio Shows, video filming and editing. She is currently a Content Adviser at Shell where she is able to indulge her love of writing. Although she sometimes describes the most important IC skills as being able to herd cats and nail jelly to the ceiling, she believes it is the best job you can have in any business and will happily tell anyone who will listen why.

Niall Ryan
Head of internal communications
Department of Health and Social Care

For over 15 years Niall has worked for global retail brands such as; Harrods, Liberty, World Duty Free, House of Fraser; as well as in financial services and as a founder of his own consulting firm. Recently, Niall has being leading internal communications and engagement for the Department of Health and Social Care.

Niall’s purpose is to ensure employees are armed with the information they need to be enabled and empowered to deliver their best work in support of organisational goals, and that this is underpinned by an exceptional employee experience that fosters increased employee engagement. His expertise encompasses internal communications, employee engagement, employee experience design, employer brand management, culture change and the use of insight to inform sustainable change.

Over the years Niall’s work has assisted significant transformation within the organisations he has worked for. He has helped organisations achieve lower employee turnover, dramatic increases in employee engagement and productivity and the creation of forward-thinking workplace cultures. He has helped the brands he worked for achieve numerous accolades and accreditations and his work has been featured in many case studies.

Finally, his work has contributed to building high performance organisations that have increased sales turnover, improved customer service and achieved higher profitability.

Michael Smith
Senior internal communications manager
Anchor Hanover

Michael is a senior internal communications manager at Anchor Hanover, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for older people.

A member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ Inside internal communications committee and a holder of CIPR diplomas in public relations and internal communications, he’s worked as a communicator in the public and not-for-profit sectors for 25 years.

His key interest is demonstrating the value compelling internal communication brings to an organisation - and how providing opportunities for employees to have a say and share their stories, creates connection, trust and engagement.


Prarthna Thakore
Head of internal communications

Prarthna is Head of Internal Communications at ISG and has more than a decade of international experience working across B2B and B2C sectors, leading on internal communications, employee engagement, CSR and stakeholder management. She has previously held roles at Barratt London, Alliance Pipeline and FGL Sports. Prarthna works closely with ISG’s C-suite and senior leadership team to advise, influence and provide strategic direction and execution for global communications initiatives. Prarthna developed and led the employee engagement communications plan, resulting in ISG achieving one-star accreditation and placing 17 on The Sunday Times Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For in 2020. She is passionate about building brands from the inside out, translating content into multi-channel campaigns and creating a culture of engaged and inspired employees.

John Townsend
Head of internal communications

John Townsend heads up Unicef UK’s Internal Communications team, making sure his colleagues are informed, engaged and inspired about the work of the world’s largest children’s charity. Prior to joining Unicef John helped to keep his colleagues in the loop at the NSPCC, The Children’s Society and at Hilton in the Community Foundation. Some of his key areas of interest include the power of storytelling, the importance of employee voice and the role of internal communications in promoting a culture of happiness and engagement at work.


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Andrew Thomas

publisher of Communicate magazine and founder of the Internal Communications & Engagement Awards

email: andrew.thomas@communicatemagazine.co.uk

call: +44 (0)20 3950 5356


If you are interested in being a supporting partner of the Internal Communications & Engagement Awards please email Robert Mitchell.