13 Internal Communications Blogs That Are Actually Worth Your Time
I reviewed 50+ blogs to narrow it down to these top contenders
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Conduct a simple search for “best internal communications blogs” and you’ll get mixed results.
Much of the content is from companies or individuals motivated to sell a product, rather than providing straight-up internal comms insights.
Many search results point to general “communications” blogs, which stray outside the IC space into PR, HR, and marketing.
I reviewed more than 50 resources to create a list of 13 internal communications blogs that are actually worth your time. The content is:
substantive and not just SEO-friendly fluff
almost solely focused on internal communications, which is what we’re here for
Write to me or leave a comment below if you think I’m seriously missing something (editorshaun at gmail).
The Four Best of the Best
Photo by @rstone_design
These four internal communications blogs are Top Gun because:
The content is solid
They have nothing to sell other than a passion for and insights into the world of internal communications
Engage for Success is an all-volunteer effort made up of employee engagement nerds — our people! Be sure to browse their resources for interesting PPT presentations, white papers, infographics, and much more.
Blog posts are written by the consortium’s volunteer network, as well as by IC professionals outside the group who have something meaningful to say. Strict guidelines ensure that nobody is blogging to sell a product or service. Because the content is written by a wide range of practitioners, there is equally a wide range of topics. The cool part is that a lot of the content reminds us that IC professionals are human beings too, so some of the content can be introspective (e.g., Addressing Bias in Your Performance Reviews) or just plain fun (e.g., What’s Your Office Personality Type?).
IC Kollectif is a nonprofit dedicated to internal communications. But let’s be real — the reason I like them is because the “collective” in their name suggests something revolutionary, even subversive.
There is plenty of useful content, such as summaries of industry reports, dispatches from conferences, and interviews with IC professionals. For sheer variety and depth, IC Kollectif is one site you’ll want to regularly visit. It’s the only blog, for example, where I’ve seen reviews of industry books (e.g., a review of Bosses: True Stories of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly by Roger D’Aprix).
Intraskope bills itself as the “internal communication blog for students, practitioners and academia.” I love this blog because the man behind it, Aniisu Verghese, is a total geek about internal communications. Going strong since 2006, the man is so passionate about the craft that he looks for internal comms lessons in everything, like in this video where he discusses what internal communicators can learn from George Orwell’s Animal Farm. I swear!
The man does it all — videos, podcasts, research papers, blogs. He is a prolific publisher, but what sets Mr. Verghese apart from everyone else on this list is that he brings his whole self to the work. To know Intraskope is to know the man.
The Institute of Internal Communications has been around for 70 years, which makes me wonder…what did internal comms look like in 1950? Seriously — that’d be a great blog post. The IOIC is a professional organization dedicated to our field, so you won’t find stray PR or content marketing pieces on their blog.
The website is chock full of resources; it’s worth spending time and doing your research across a trove of material. On the blog you’ll find the usual patter of internal comms topics, but you’ll also across come across gems that you can’t help but click. To wit:
Because so many people are contributing material, there is no “blog voice.” Each article reads like an authentic contribution and provides a sense of the human behind the professional.
Nine Other Blogs Worth a Regular Check-in
Photo by @mikepetrucci
Rachel Miller is well-known among the internet surfing IC crowd. Ms. Miller is prolific, publishing a couple of articles each week. With that much content there’s much variety in her work, covering everything from mental health in the workplace to conference reports to tips for using Microsoft 365 to podcast episodes. Just about every blog post has useful links and tidbits from across the industry, so she’s not just (solely) tooting her own horn. I recommend using the search function on her site to find exactly what you’re looking for, and for serendipitous surprises. For example, searching for “mental health” and “remote working” conjured these two posts, respectively:
Backstitch is a holistic digital platform for employee communications — an employee app, content creator, etc. Their blog posts aren’t dated so it’s hard to tell how often they publish. Hit the “Load More” button at the bottom of the page five times though and you’ll see there’s plenty of content. The company mostly blogs about internal communications, but there’s a fair amount of traditional HR pieces too, as one of their products is catered to that profession. I tip my hat to Backstitch for mixing it up and creating content that plays around the edges of bread and butter IC content, like these two pieces:
Brilliant Ink must have a graphic artist on staff, because you won’t find stock photography on their blog. That’s refreshing. Here you’ll find insights into employee engagement, internal comms strategies and tactics, and, just for fun, content thrown in that’s labeled … just for fun (e.g., Why Work Affirmations Are Just So Powerful).
I’ve seen the Brilliant Ink team present at conferences and they’re as lively and spunky in person as their blog is online (or vice versa). You just have to stop when you come across a headline that actually makes you want to sing: Stop! Collaborate and Listen…How to Constructively Receive Feedback.
The employee engagement consulting firm Davis & Co has been around longer than many junior internal comms professionals have been alive. Founded in 1984 — ten years before Yahoo! was born — they’ve seen every technological and cultural sea change in the past thirty years. Meaning, there’s much wisdom to be found on their blog.
The blog relies heavily on stock photography, which makes the content look business boring. Squint your eyes to get past that and you’ll be rewarded with a multitude of resources beyond the regular blog post, such as infographics, videos, tutorials, and podcasts. The nifty filter on the top-right allows you to easily browse material.
For old school inspiration, check out Unlock the Power of Posters.
For new school inspiration, check out The Best Way to Improve Employee Videos? Watch a Pixar Movie.
The International Association of Business Communicators, founded in 1970, is an organization whose members include professionals in public relations, internal comms, graphic design, media relations, investor relations, and other sectors. Ergo, their blog content is as varied as their membership. You need to sift through all of their content to find content specific to internal comms.
You can also search the site for “internal communications” (use the quote marks), but the search results aren’t always helpful. For example, that search yielded “Get Ready for Blockchain,” an article that has nothing to do with internal comms, other than they quote someone who is the director of internal comms of Webcor, a construction company. (I can’t figure out why they’re even quoting this guy about blockchain…)
This boutique firm specializes in activating employees. The CEO and my mentor, Ethan McCarty, is a hot commodity on the speaker circuit, so the blog serves up a lot of cool videos and multimedia from his various appearances and webinars — a refreshing change from the text-based content we normally drink.
Two recommended video presentations:
Poppulo is probably the gold standard employee newsletter tool. I’ve used it and am a fan. The company continues to increase funding for research, development, and expansion, showing how serious they are about employee communications. Their well-stocked blog is worth checking out for best practices in the field, as well as creative insights with real personality. A couple of choice examples:
Moreover, Poppulo employs nifty tricks that keep me coming back:
Regularly publishing content from practitioners, not just Poppulo employees
Little features like “read time” really up the polish
It’s elegantly designed and pleasing to read (and scan)
Lastly, I recommend signing up for their newsletter to get webinar invites and essential reading white papers and case studies.
Anyone in the internal comms profession knows Ragan — probably the leading trade organization and resource for communications news, reports, conferences, and training. Thankfully they’ve segregated their internal comms blog from the other comms columns.
While the blog content isn’t so spectacular to stand out among the crowd, at the very least you should sign up for their newsletter, so you’re up to speed on what’s the what in internal (and external) communications and can sound smart at your next comms cocktail party.
The Simply Network is composed of internal communications professionals, so you know the content they’re producing is narrow and targeted. They are prolific. Some of the content veers off-topic (e.g., Skype Tries to Compete With Teams via a Tweet), but hey, who else is talking about that kind of stuff in the IC space? (I clicked.)
The best part of the Simply Communicate forum is the mini-feature on employee comms efforts at specific companies, like Coca-Cola, Best Buy, and WD-40, so you can apply some already learned lessons to your internal comms projects.
Did I miss anyone? Make sure that the blog you recommend doesn’t a) put out hack material just to increase SEO, b) isn’t hard selling in every other sentence, and c) is genuinely well-written!
Leave a comment below, email me (editorshaun at gmail) or hit me up on Twitter @MrEditorial and let me know!