russell-olivia brooklands

44 Queens Road, New Malden, Surrey, KT3 6BX

07395 902 335

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A highly experienced and successful, Internal Communication and Engagement Specialist and thoroughly affable fellow – with an impressive track record in both digital and non-digital disciplines, across the private and public sectors, throughout the UK, Europe and SE Asia.

Able to help you out at three levels:

Strategic PlanningTranslating Business Plan or Change Programme outcomes into Internal Communication and Engagement Strategies, including message calendars, channel mix and feedback management systems

IC & Engagement campaign management Translating business and programme plans into effective IC and engagement campaigns, and overseeing projects from end to end, including client, supplier and budget management

Writing & Editing – A safe pair of highly creative hands, with a love of English and a natural facility for storytelling. (Oh, and serious skills at not only switching employees on, but keeping them that way.)

Looking for a role which will enable me to use my ability to add extraordinary bottom-line value.

Core skills

  • Auditing of IC practices and channels
  • Aligning IC Practices to organisational values
  • Communication & engagement planning
  • Employee surveys and feedback management
  • Coaching business managers in effective IC
  • Excellent writing & editing

Career History

Internal Communication & Engagement Specialist – ICM Training & Consulting Ltd 1996-present

Corporate Brand Manager – Allied Dunbar (now Zurich Financial Services) 1993-96

Senior copywriter – Allied Dunbar (now Zurich Financial Services) 1990-93

Freelance copywriter & journalist 1986-90

Radio broadcaster 1984-89

Achievements & Experience

Examples of consultancy/interim work:

NB All consultancy projects are interspersed with periods when ROB is running his professional development programmes for IC Specialists and non-specialists in the UK, Europe and SE Asia.

October 2017-March 2018 – Novartis – Internal Communication Programme Lead: Brought in to sort out a global IT programme which was in trouble. Twelve months into the programme they had no communication plan. ROB needed to create a plan to satisfy the needs of 32 stakeholder groups – for most of whom English was their second or third language. He also needed to educate every member of the Programme team so they would be capable of executing the plan. All the while deadlines were being shuffled back and forth, goalposts moved, and members of the team (including the programme sponsor) being changed.

ROB delivered the plan and oversaw the first two phases of the programme rollout. He also identified the hole in the company’s programme management system, and was asked to produce from scratch a job profile for a new Programme Communication Planning role, which he executed himself on a second programme. He also provided the company with two reports for redesigning their approaches to programme planning and management.

August 2016 – Blind Veterans – Change communications: Reviewing and editing sensitive internal communications to help underpin employee engagement in the face of redundancies.

January 2015 – Virgin Management – New intranet design: Virgin was rolling out a new type of Intranet to support people in its 150+ companies to share best practice. It’s called The Virgin Way. ROB worked with the Group Head of Internal Communication at Virgin Management, to help her put together the design for the Internal Communication mini-site.

January-May 2014 – Ofsted – Communication Needs Analysis & Delivery: Many of Ofsted’s inspectors were not writing reports of a sufficiently high standard. The Organisational Development Manager brought ROB in to develop appropriate writing standards and the training with which to enable these inspectors to better fulfil their remit – long term.

June-October 2013 – Sony Computer Entertainment – Internal Communication Lead: Sony had set up a £10M programme to revamp, and consolidate it onto a single platform across five continents. The programme was in trouble and ROB was brought in to sort out the internal communication problems. He:

  • consulted with the programme’s numerous sponsors, on both sides of the Atlantic, and got them to articulate a clear, agreed vision for the programme (what success and failure would look like) and communicated that vision to the programme management team.
  • overhauled the programme’s management reporting, so both the process and its outputs became meaningful rather than perfunctory for participants and audiences alike.
  • set up a new intranet site, and feedback protocols, for engaging and supporting employees in significant business change across 40 locales in Europe, Oceania, Africa and the Americas
  • wrote briefs for 20 new business processes, developed the appropriate IC templates to develop those processes, and the training guidelines to help people follow them
  • coached senior managers to improve their ability to engage the employees in business changes
  • provided the Creative teams with an objective critique of their new Brand Style Guide, with recommendations for turning it into a credible and practical tool anyone could use.

15 months after he rolled off the programme, his processes and templates were still being used.

April 2013 – IFAD (United Nations) – IC process development: working with the Communications Unit of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, ROB helped them design and sell in a three year strategy to establish new practices for every type of IC activity – from business planning to writing policies and procedures to internal training to managing meetings – all objectively aligned to IFAD’s core values.

May/June 2008 – Zurich Financial Services – Marketing proposition ‘rework’: working with the Legal and Product Development teams, ROB translated their ‘technical communication briefs’ into language that could be easily understood by financial advisers, their clients, and the customer service teams.

April-August 2006 – Glaxo SmithKline – Intranet redesign: ROB carried out a comprehensive redesign/rewrite of the Primary Care Marketing Division’s intranet, including the HR, Finance, and Sales Support mini-sites: planning the content with the various clients, writing and/or editing the content for seventy new pages – leading to an 800% increase in usage.

November 2005 – European Central Bank – Overhaul of key HR communications: ROB helped the IC Manager to identify problems with ‘Linguistic Triggers’ which were making (250) line managers switch off when reading Performance Appraisal instructions. ROB worked with members of the IC and HR teams to develop and introduce more effective corporate language for these and other HR comms (leading to a 150% increase in correctly completed reviews).

Examples of other Consultancy work

Mar/Apr 2010 – Virgin GroupExecutive coaching for the Global Head of IC: working with the Group IC Manager during the corporate restructure, ROB helped her redesign her role so it could best support the IC teams in the individual companies to:

  • develop consistent best practice and
  • deliver measurable results.

May-Jul 2007 – Glaxo SmithKline Campaign planning: working with the Head of GSK’s Environment Health & Safety IC Department, ROB helped them to plan the first of a series of campaigns for improving the environmental management and CSR in the company’s 100+ sites across the world. ROB also developed the template with which they could plan and manage all future campaigns, which have led to ongoing reductions in accidents and perpetually improving environmental responsibility scores.


Oct 1993-Apr 1996- Allied Dunbar (now Zurich Financial Services) – Corporate Brand Manager:

Designing effective IC planning processes and corporate language: working as part of a small project team to develop and introduce the new corporate brand, ROB had personal responsibility for the ‘Verbal Identity’. This meant developing a new briefing process and style guide, ensuring that all the rules and guidelines were shown to objectively support the brand values, so that the company’s 8,000 people would understand not just ‘what’ to say and ‘how’, but ‘why’. ROB also trained 40 senior communicators across the business so they would be able to deliver and manage the new Identity in their areas.

Change Management: ROB developed and managed the IC plan, to support the merger of shared services run by Allied Dunbar and Eagle Star’s 5,500 office staff – giving particular attention to the timing and content of messages. Staff motivation levels remained steady throughout, despite 25% redundancies.

Team management: ROB recruited and managed two copywriters

Oct 1990-Sep 1993 – Allied Dunbar (taken over by Zurich Financial Services) Senior Copywriter:

ROB wrote and edited the copy for both internal and external communications: newsletters, posters, exhibition stands, brochures, mailshots, point of sale leaflets and customer letters, as well as internal bulletins and team briefs for departments as diverse as HR, IT, Sales, Facilities Management and Marketing.

ROB produced (with the Design Manager) all press advertising for the business from 1991-1993.