INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS AND THE CHALLENGES OF COVID-19 *RECORDING AVAILABLE*
PR and communications executive
Rebecca Absalom is a PR & Communications Executive at Eversheds Sutherland. After graduating from the University of Brighton with a degree in the English Language and Media in 2018, this is Rebecca’s first professional role. She has been at the firm for two years and works across both internal and external communications, promoting key messages across the business and via the media.
Since joining, Rebecca has worked on various projects including the launch of the firm’s alternative legal services brand Konexo, Open House and embedding the firm’s purpose and values. As a digital native, she regularly leads on innovation for the communications team.
Director, EMEA corporate communications & UK public affairs
Kayode Akinola is Director, EMEA Corporate Communications and UK Public Affairs at NYSE-listed real estate and investment services company JLL. As communications advisor to the EMEA CEO, he is responsible for the strategy and delivery of CEO internal and external communications and engagement. He also leads JLL’s political activity in the UK. Prior to joining JLL in 2017, he was Chief Speechwriter to the CEO at HS2 Ltd, and EMEA Communications Lead in the Corporate Services and Real Estate division at Goldman Sachs.
Senior communications officer
Alissa Burn is a Senior Communications Officer in the national team at Citizens Advice.
She’s recently made the move back in-house after two years as an Internal Communications Consultant at a PR agency. She specialises in digital transformation and change communications, and was part of an award-winning SharePoint intranet launch in 2019. She is a certified member of the IOIC and has previously worked in communications roles at The National Lottery Community Fund, HS2 and Capita.
Having grown up in Bangkok, Alissa is a self-professed ‘third culture kid’, who is now living in the cultural hub of Birmingham.
Director of internal communications and wellbeing
Mairi joined Bupa in 2011 as Group Director of Internal Communications and is now also responsible for global employee health and wellbeing. Mairi works with colleagues across the globe to help people connect with Bupa’s purpose, vision, strategy and business priorities. A key part of this is to help leaders create an environment where people are supported to be at their physical and mental best. Prior to joining Bupa, Mairi held a variety of senior communications roles both in-house and agency.
Cliff has led the employee engagement offer at The Team since 2002, delivering projects for clients such as RBS, Three, Southwest Airlines and the BBC, as well as helping BP leadership release their new values and behaviours to the global organisation. Today, he leads a team delivering work for Avanade, Citizens Advice, Arcadis and IBM. Together with the wider employee engagement team they design employer brands, create employee experience and internal communication plans, and develop campaigns to bring business strategies and key messages to life.
Director of communications and brand
Judith Green is Director of Communications & Brand for Eversheds Sutherland. With over 20 years’ experience in senior leadership roles at a number of leading global law firms, she is passionate about using the power of brand to help organisations succeed. Her areas of specialism include executive communications, media relations, crisis communications, internal communications and digital marketing.
Judith is a Chartered PR Practitioner, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is a Trustee of the Military Wives Choirs Foundation.
SUEZ recycling and recovery UK
As Communications Director for SUEZ, Naomi has responsibility for both the communications and marketing teams for the UK and Sweden.
From starting her career in agency life working in public affairs, she became a specialist in sustainability communications, crisis management and corporate communications, with experience spanning industries from retail to banking. In 2009, she became SUEZ group’s youngest ever head of department, aged 28.
Naomi has been instrumental in numerous projects during her 11 years at SUEZ, including increasing SUEZ’s media share of voice in the waste management sector from fifth, to first position. In 2015, she project managed the group’s rebranding and repositioning in both the UK and Scandinavia, and has overseen the employee engagement programme resulting in the company being awarded the Sunday Times Best Companies’ ‘Best 25 Big Companies to Work For’ accolade in 2018 and again in 2020, for a predominantly operational and dispersed workforce.
Naomi has co-authored the book 'Managing a Crisis: A Practical Guide' (2006, Palgrave Macmillan).
Is a Chartered member of the CIPR and is a member of the CIPR’s STEM committee.
Head of internal communications and engagement
An award-winning communications professional, Emily’s passion is telling stories that connect people to a purpose and a mission. At work, this means creating world class internal comms that bring a company’s vision and values to life for people so they see how they contribute, why it’s important, and shout about it themselves. She believes compelling communication improves an organisation’s culture, reputation and profitability.
Emily has spent the last 14 years running comms and engagement at leading media, professional services and technology companies including the FT, EY and BBC. She’s currently Head of Internal Communications & Engagement for BBC News. Find her on Twitter @emilyjg
Stefano is an entrepreneur in the creative industry. He is the founder and MD of Nucco Brain, non-executive director of the storytelling hub Book on a Tree, and also a mentor on the Google for Startups Accelerator programme.
Stefano was featured in 2018's "100 under 30" Forbes list for Marketing and Advertising, and is a guest lecturer for a number of leading UK universities, including Goldsmiths University of London, UCL, SOAS and ESCP.
After a career in advertising agencies in Italy and entertainment in Canada, Stefano moved to London where he received a MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths University, then founded Nucco Brain, which is now part of the Unit9 Group. Nucco Brain produces high-quality cross-media content for brands and organizations, spanning from video production to brand design to VR and AR projects.
He is passionate about storytelling, and finding innovative ways to tell stories with the latest technologies available and in the most relevant channels.
Internal communications executive
Dev has worked in communications for over six years, across a number of industries, specialising in relationship management and stakeholder engagement. Currently working within the Internal Communications team at Virgin Media, Dev works across company-wide campaigns, belonging and inclusion, and leadership communications. Prior to Virgin Media, Dev was responsible for CSR and dealer network communications at Honda, and PR and Social Media at Subaru. Outside of work, Dev is involved in several organisations which champion diversity and inclusion across a number of industries for people of all ages.
Internal communications manager
Steven has been part of the Internal Communication world for the last 10 years. Starting at Asda, he spread his wings to KCOM Group, Transport for London, River Island and finally AXA (with a few stops at agencies along the way). Steven's proudest moment was being described as a maverick by a previous comms director, she meant it negatively but he can't see anything but a positive connotation. You can find Steven on twitter using the handle @steve_murg.
Senior manager, Internal communications
British Business Bank
As the British Business Bank’s senior manager for internal communications, Christine has led the Bank’s internal communications response to Covid-19, during a period when the Bank was thrust into the national spotlight as it delivered the government’s coronavirus loan schemes for small businesses. This year, Christine has also been responsible for rolling out the Bank’s new values, brand proposition and visual identity. When she joined the Bank two years ago, she developed and delivered the Bank’s first internal communications strategy putting in a place a multi-channel approach to keep colleagues engaged and informed by bringing to life the Bank’s purpose, mission and objectives.
Prior to the Bank, Christine worked for the Financial Ombudsman Service, where she led a team of communications managers and advisors working both internally and externally across range of channels. She led the engagement workstream for the Ombudsman’s transition programme, bringing together more than 4,000 employees from different business areas and cultures.
Christine is passionate about people, and how engagement can help businesses and their employees innovate and deliver results. She believes in the importance of communicating with clarity and authenticity, creating openness, and encouraging it in others.
Head of internal communications
An Garda Síochána
Joanna Parsons is the Head of Internal Communications for An Garda Síochána, the police service of the Republic of Ireland.
She established the Office of Internal Communications in An Garda Síochána in May 2019, the first in the organisation’s history, and is implementing an evidence-based and employee-centric internal communications strategy. She is also leading on COVID-19 communications, with a particular focus on showing how COVID-19 public health measures can be implemented in the complex world of operational policing.
She credits her success in all of her communications roles to date to her crowdsourcing approach, in which she regularly seeks feedback and input from personnel in order to deliver a communications service based on user needs.
Employee and change communications director
Max is currently Director of Employee and Change Communications at Sodexo - a multi-award winning managed services company operating in 72 countries around the world. Max leads the team responsible for reaching, engaging and inspiring 31,000 employees working across 2,000+ sites in the UK and Ireland. Max is also a Non-Executive Director on the board of the Salvation Army in the UK and Ireland. Previous roles include Chief Communications Officer at the UK Ministry of Defence and Account Director at healthcare communications agency, Pegasus. Max is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Public Relations and a Certified Member of the Institute of Internal Communication.
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.