As the saying goes, the more that you read, the more you know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. Books are an invaluable resource if you’re wanting to hone your craft, get some inspiration and ideas and back up your decisions with ‘additional evidence’ to underpin your thinking. In this blog post, we have a whole host of internal communications books that cover different areas to help you nail your internal communications strategy and improve employee engagement in your organisation. We've helped businesses like PaperChase, Five Guys, Miller Homes and more become engagement experts - read our comprehensive list of suggestions below so you too can also become a verified pro.
📖 Exploring Internal Communication by Dr Kevin Ruck
Topic: Internal Comms
Key Takeaways: Understanding better organisational communication and how to create a more employee-centric workplace, focusing on the employee voice.
Author Bio: After a career in BT that spanned customer service, community engagement and internal communication, Kevin developed his special interest is internal comms and employee engagement. He saw the need for a qualification in this topic and initiated and developed both the internal comms certificate and diploma courses for the CIPR. Kevin is a regular speaker on internal communication and employee engagement.He is the editor and co-author of Exploring Internal Communication, published by Routledge and now in its 4th edition.
With lots of handy information on best practices, strategic planning, psychological theories, employee engagement, intranet management, measuring your comms, the importance of storytelling and dealing with the digital workplace, Exploring Internal Communication with Kevin Ruck is a must-have for your reading list. Kevin Ruck is the founding director of PR Academy, the largest CIPR qualifications centre providing education, training and coaching for communication professionals. With over 20 years in various communication roles, he places a huge focus on employee communication.
📖 The Public Relations Toolkit by Alison Theaker & Heather Yaxley
Key Takeaways: Brush up on the basics of public relations, PR planning, corporate communications and engaging with stakeholders.
Author Bio: Alison Theaker - Has 30 years experience in public relations, marketing and management as a practitioner, academic and author and is an established business mentor and coach.
Heather Yaxley - Heather Yaxley, founder of Applause Consultancy and Greenbanana is passionate about sustainable careers and is a qualified academic who leads CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and has experience teaching at various Universities.
This is a great book for those wanting to develop their communication skills with key themes of corporate communications and stakeholder engagement. You’ll find key theoretical concepts with original and established methodological approaches as well as case studies and interviews, to give you all the real world insight and advice to put theories into practice.
📖 Chartered Institute of Public Relations Internal Communications: A Manual for Practitioners (PR in Practice) by Liam FitzPatrick and Klavs Valskov
Key Takeaways: Great for showcasing credibility and expertise to stakeholders through the basics of communication using a range of tools and approaches.
Author Bio: Liam Fitzpatrick - Works with organisations to help make communications functions more impactful. Advising on focus, structures, staffing, processes and data across corporate, financial and internal communications across multiple sectors
Klavs Valskov - Karl is Joint Managing Partner of change communication consultancy Agenda Strategies. Since 1999 he has worked in PR, marketing, and communication with organisations including L'Oreal, Accenture, Nordea Bank and the Danish Government.
After a no-nonsense, step by step guide that will help you curate a great communications strategy? Internal Communications: A Manual For Practitioners has been written by experts and shows you exactly how to build an internal communications team and plan, create meaningful messages, ensure you’re using the right channels, working with line managers and senior leaders, evaluating your internal communications and supporting changes in your organisation.
📖 Start with Why - Simon Sinek
Topic: Communication and values
Key Takeaways: The go-to guide for communicating with passion and purpose.
Author Bio: Simon Sinek is a British-born American author and inspirational speaker. He is the author of five books, including Start With Why and The Infinite Game. Sinek has spoken at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in 2016 and at TEDx conferences several times, beginning in 2009.
The golden circle - why, how, what…You might have seen Sinek’s TED talk, Start With Why, after all it has amassed a mighty 9.9 million views. Even in 2023 the message of this TED talk is still so relevant so if you really want to delve into how to inspire action Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why is the perfect place to start. This book provides the perfect explanation on how to communicate your purpose, define your values and inspire action, as well as how the passion behind the ‘why’ is responsible for communicating with your audience's limbic brain - the part of the brain that deals with feelings of trust, loyalty and decision making.
📖 Influential Internal Communication by Jenni Field
Topic: Internal Communication
Key Takeaways: Go to book for those wanting to solve specific internal communications challenges and problems.
Author Bio: Jenni is an international speaker, author, podcaster and business communications strategist and having worked in communications for almost 20 years she specialises in helping teams and leaders use communication to take people, and organisations from chaos to calm.
From seasoned practitioners to complete newbies, Jenni Field’s book is one that should be on your reading list if you’re wanting to tap into harnessing the power of internal communications to impact engagement and teamwork. It’s a book especially relevant in our post-pandemic era where organisations have more challenges than ever before. Influential Internal Communication provides businesses with the means to overcome a variety of problems and offers e simple, actionable concepts to engage with your employees straight away.
Searching for an internal communications podcast? We have a podcast episode where we chat about how to create safe spaces in the workplace with Jenni Field right here.
📖 Inclusion on Purpose - Ruchika Tulshyan
Topic: Diversity & Inclusion
Key Takeaways: Getting to grips with diversity and inclusion and how to promote it meaningfully within the workplace.
Author Bio: Ruchika is an author and founder of Candour, an inclusion strategy practice. A former international business journalist, Ruchika is a regular contributor to The New York Times and Harvard Business Review and a recognized media expert on inclusive leadership and workplace culture.
Diversity and inclusion is becoming more important now in organisations than ever before. 67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor when considering employment opportunities.More than 50% of current employees want their workplace to do more to increase diversity. This book details the necessity of awareness, intention and regular practice to maintain inclusivity within your organisation. The book offers ways to learn cutting-edge inclusion best practices. It's the perfect book for leaders and organisations that want to meaningfully promote inclusion, diversity and equity at all levels of their organisation.
📖 Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking - Matthew Syed
Topic: Thought Leadership & Problem Solving
Key Takeaways: Learn how to think more creatively about the world around you and bring these ideas into the workplace to strengthen teams.
Author Bio: Matthew Syed Consulting works with an impressive portfolio of global clients in the public and private sectors. Building on the work of best-selling author and influential thought-leader Matthew Syed, we establish thriving growth mindset cultures that drive higher performance in individuals, teams and organisations.
Like books that really make you think? Rebel Ideas examines the power of ‘cognitive diversity’ – the ability to think differently about the world around us. From a fantastic range of case studies, including a fatal communication breakdown on top of Mount Everest and a moving tale of deradicalisation in America’s Deep South, rebel Ideas will strengthen any team or organisation. It has dozens of individual applications, too: from the art of reinvention to the remarkable benefits of personalised nutrition. It shows us how to become more creative, how to collaborate in a world becoming more interconnected, and how to break free of echo chambers that surround us all.
📖 Digital Body Language - Erica Dhawen
Topic: Understanding Employees
Key Takeaways: Learn how to communicate and build trust properly in the digital age and world of work.
Author Bio: Erica is an internationally recognized leading authority, author and advisor on 21st century teamwork, collaboration and innovation. She is the author of two books Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence and Digital Body Language. Dhawan was recently listed on the 2022 Top 20 Motivational Speakers list by GlobalGurus and rated #1 on the Top Women Keynote Speakers of 2020.
You’re on mute, ooh sorry you go first, frozen screens - we don’t need to describe the situation because you most probably experience these digital encounters daily in your job. Humans rely on body language to connect and build trust, but with most of our communication happening from behind a screen, traditional body language signals are no longer visible — or are they?
Erica Dhawan, a go-to thought leader on collaboration and a passionate communicator blends cutting edge research with engaging storytelling to decode new signals and cues that have replaced traditional body language. With so many businesses working hybrid and even fully remote reading carefully is the new listening and writing clearly is the new empathy. This book will show you how to communicate properly in the digital age, investigating an array of situations from large conferences and video meetings to daily emails, texts, IMs, and conference calls―and offers insights and solutions to build trust and clarity to anyone in our ever changing world.
📖 The Purpose Revolution: How Leaders Create Engagement and Competitive Advantage in Age of Social Good - John Izzo and Jeff Vanderwielen
Topic: Communication and Employee Engagement
Key Takeaways: Learn how to engage your employees and customers around your purpose.
Author Bio: John Izzo - Dr. John Izzo is a leading business leadership expert and community leader. He consults and advises some of the most admired companies in the world, teaches at major universities, conducts leading edge research on workplace values, and has spoken to more than one million people across the globe.
Jeff Vanderwielen - Jeff Vanderwielen is co-author of The Purpose Revolution and vice president of consulting at Izzo Associates. He’s a former senior change consultant at Ernst & Young with 20-plus years of experience helping organisations manage large-scale change and articulate a compelling purpose – their core good – as the organising centre for their vision, strategy, and culture.
Purpose-driven companies perform better on nearly every traditional metric: greater customer loyalty, higher retention, more innovation, and a healthier bottom line. But it’s not about a nice mission statement or a corporate responsibility agenda. This book shows you how to get a real competitive advantage by engaging your employees and customers around your purpose. Using scores of real-world examples and practical exercises you’ll be able to identify your organisation's authentic purpose and communicate this through leadership and organisational culture - so that employees own it, customers and recruits connect with it, and every corporate action and activity reflects it. Once you find and communicate an inspiring purpose, your organisation will be revitalised, top to bottom.
📖 Surrounded by Idiots - Thomas Erikson
Topic: Understanding Your Employees
Key Takeaways: Through the DISC approach, you can learn how certain employees work, why they think the way they do and the best way to communicate with them.
Author Bio: Thomas Erikson is a motivator, author and lecturer. His book Surrounded by Idiots is one of the world’s best-selling non-fiction books and has been translated into over 40 languages. Thomas has devoted over 20 years of his career to helping people communicate with each other, and along the way he´s developed practical and functional tools that facilitate both professional and private life.
Variety is the spice of life but with variety comes differences in the way we communicate and understand people. Not everyone will communicate in the same way as you. In Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behaviour and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life), Thomas Erikson explains how we all communicate differently. Something incredibly crucial to understand, especially before approaching your (internal) target audience: people are different, and all your colleagues are just human beings. They might just need a different approach or different kind of information and they'll get what you want them to do. They might actually support your cause when you approach them in a way that makes sense to them.
Make sure you add these books to your reading list. Have we missed any out? Let us know your favourite internal communications books over on our social media channels. And if you’re just looking for a bit of light reading then why not read our Ultimate Internal Communications guide?