Internal communications

Suggested ways to build your internal communications skills.

Specific areas for development within this capability include: working in partnership with leaders, engaging staff, organisational and cultural change and measuring effectiveness of internal communication.

This list is not exhaustive and should be used in conjunction with discussions with your line manager about your professional development plan (PDP). You should also look at what is on offer from Civil Service Learning and any professional body that you belong too.

All GCS courses and PRCA webinars are available for free to GCS members. Book a course.

Read, watch/listen, do

Clearly you have high level skills in this area but it is essential you still continue to build your expertise. At this level, it is most effective to network with colleagues, keep abreast of current thinking and contribute to senior practitioner groups both within the profession and across industry. As the GCS Professional Development Performance Management Standards specify everyone at Grade 7 and above should be actively helping to up skill others.

We also encourage colleagues with this level of expertise below Grade 7 to do the same. Contact if you are interested in being a trainer.


  • Website: GCS IC Space
    The IC Space is a dedicated online resource for all internal communications professionals. If you are looking to find out more about change communications, staff engagement, internal communications channels or just want to understand more about IC, this is a great place to start. It is packed with practical tools and tips designed to help you do your job more effectively.  
  • Website: Engage for Success
    Engage for Success is the dynamic movement for employee engagement. Their evidence-based, four pillars of engagement form the foundation for successful employee engagement, whatever your organisation.  
  • Blog: Internal Communications: A 101 Guide for New Managers
    A perfect place to start if you are new to Employee Engagement with a simple guide for new managers.

Read (advanced)

  • Book: ‘The Culture Builders’ by Jane Sparrow
    The Culture Builders takes a very practical approach for leaders, managers and professionals that explores the levels of engagement required to build a high-achieving culture.
  • Book: ‘From Cascade to Conversation’ by Katie Macaulay
    This book looks at how to really connect with your organisation in a two-way conversation in a digital age. It includes case studies from BT, Sainsbury’s, Oxfam, B&Q, Post Office, Crossrail, HSBC, Waitrose and Coca-Cola Enterprises.
  • Book: ‘Internal Communications: A manual for practitioners’ by Liam Fitzpatrick and Klavs Valskov
    ‘Internal Communications’ explores what good practice in internal communications looks like, providing a no-nonsense, step-by-step approach to devising an internal communications strategy.
  • Book: ‘Successful Employee Communications: A Practioner’s Guide to Tools, Models and Best Practice for Internal Communications by Sue Dewhurst and Liam Fitzpatrick
    Drawing on case studies from well-known organizations in the public, private and not for profit sectors, this book explains how to make the case for internal communications at all levels, advising on how to set objectives, select the right communication channel, suggest the best way to deliver tough messages, and evaluate and collect effective data.


TED Talk: ‘The Puzzle of Motivation’ by Dan Pink

What really motivates people at work?  With over 19 million views this is one of TED Talks most watched videos.
Watch: ‘The Puzzle of Motivation’

TED Talk: ‘Communication in the 21st century: is it what you say, not how you say it?’ by Vivian Ta

Nonverbal behaviours have historically been regarded as more important in communication than verbal behaviours. This talk argues how and why verbal behaviours, rather than nonverbal behaviours, are most critical in today’s digital society.
Watch: ‘Communication in the 21st century’

TED Talk: ‘What makes us feel good about our work? by Dan Ariely

What motivates us to work? It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioural economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work.
Watch: ‘What makes us feel good about our work?’

Watch/listen (advanced)

Talk: ‘The 6 principles of influence’ by Robert Cialdini

Robert Cialdini shares his six principles to help increase your chances of influencing people.
Watch: ‘The 6 principles of influence’

Talk: ‘How Vodafone transformed their internal communications’ by George Aitken, Head of Comms at Vodafone

A video case study on how Vodafone changed their Internal Comms model to become more efficient and inclusive.
Watch: ‘How Vodafone transformed their internal communications’

TED Talk: ’10 ways to have a better conversation’ by Celeste Headlee

Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations.
Watch: ’10 ways to have a better conversation’


GCS Aspire courses are scheduled throughout the year, check which courses are currently available and book.

PRCA webinar: Employee change communications

This webinar is designed for beginner-to-intermediate communicators looking to understand how to design and manage employee change communications. Drawing on real-life case studies and academic research, it will provide guidance and techniques that can be applied practically in the workplace.
Watch here

PRCA webinar: Building an internal communications campaign that works

This webinar is designed for beginner-to-intermediate communicators. It will give you the knowledge and confidence to develop a low-cost, effective internal communications and engagement campaign.
Watch here

GCS Aspire Course: ‘Introduction to internal communications’

This GCS course is for those who do not currently work in Internal Communications (IC) and those new to an IC role. You will learn about the standards, principles and best practice in internal comms as well as the importance of internal comms as one of the four main comms specialisms.

Do (advanced)

GCS Aspire courses are scheduled throughout the year, check which courses are currently available and book.

PCRA webinar: Moving from internal communications to employee engagement

This webinar aims to help you make the most of your biggest asset: your people.
Watch here

PCRA webinar: Developing an internal communications strategy

This practical webinar provides an overview of the key stages needed to develop an internal communications strategy.
Watch here

GCS Aspire course: Leading disparate and remote teams

This masterclass examines the challenges and opportunities that are faced by leaders in communication teams when they are not always co-located. It explores the evidence of what makes an effective leader of dispersed teams and their role in galvanising the team to be as effective as possible. It also provides practical tips to overcome some of the challenges dispersed teams face.


Share what you have learnt with those you work with so that we can all continuously improve and if you come across other great sources of learning to read, watch or do, tell us. Finally, once you are confident in your expertise in internal communications, contact us at so that you can help others build their skills.