Making connections: the internal communications journey

Philip Graham, United Kingdom

Philip joined the University of Edinburgh in 2016 as Head of Internal Communications, managing staff and student communications. Part of the central Communications and Marketing team, his role includes building relationships with other key staff across the university to coordinate communications at a central and local level.

He originally studied architecture and has a range of prior experience of engagement, education and strategic communications in the heritage sector.


Exploring the opportunities and challenges of joined-up staff and student communications

In this session, Philip will discuss his work over the last two years focussing on improvements to internal communications at the University of Edinburgh. He will highlight the importance of taking staff on the communications journey to build relationships and establish networks, with the goal of successfully implementing culture change and building a cohesive sense of community. He will discuss the challenges involved in such a large, devolved university (over 50,000 staff and students) and future plans for strategic communications. 

Internal and external communications often cannot be separated, so he will share a range of initiatives which seek to implement consistent approaches across digital and social (and analogue) channels. Examples will showcase coordinated communications around diversity, celebrating student success, promoting excellence in teaching and global research. These include the ‘Inspiring Students’ campaign which focusses on improvements to the student experience, crisis communications, and ongoing Brexit communications.

Interactive sessions will give the opportunity for discussion and to share your own experiences and best practice.

Philip will also discuss the outcomes of the first EUPRIO Mobility Programme, a new initiative to support innovative projects in university communications. The Universities of Edinburgh, Utrecht and NHL Stenden in the Netherlands recently collaborated on a project called ‘Tell me: what's going on?’, with the aim of sharing best practice and innovative solutions to improve communications with international students.