Our top takeaways from Attune London 2023

Many of the conversations we have with clients feature digital communications. Often, it’s about improving the digital experience for their colleagues or whether introducing a new communications tool is the right way forward.

Firstup’s digital employee experience summit, Attune London, took place at the end of April 2023. It was the first time they’d hosted it in the UK, and they welcomed nearly 300 internal communicators, HR professionals and tech leaders.

Regular readers of the All Things IC email newsletter The water cooler will have spotted Rachel Miller, Founder of All Things IC, attended to host ‘Spin the wheel’ with Chuck Gose, their IC game show launched during the Coronavirus pandemic.

I was fortunate enough to attend with Rachel and here are my top takeaways from the day.

Rachel Miller and Chuck Gose stood on the Attune London stage with the Spin the Wheel

Rachel Miller co-hosting ‘Spin the wheel’ with Chuck Gose at Attune London.
Photo credit: TyneSight Media

Creating an inclusive culture

The opening keynote from international speaker David McQueen was both energetic and insightful. He shared some powerful messages about the work we can do as communicators to support leadership teams by having open and honest conversations with integrity.

Closing his keynote, David shared his four L’s towards building an inclusive culture:

    • Listening
    • Language
    • Love
    • Leverage

You can hear from David over on his podcast channel.

Spotify banner of the The David McQueen Podcast featuring a photo of David

A personalised content experience

It’s not uncommon for us to hear feedback during All Things IC internal communication audits that there is too much content for colleagues and not enough personalised content relevant to their roles.

This isn’t an easy one to solve, especially if you’re working in a large, global organisation but during the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) session, I was impressed at their approach to overcoming this challenge.

Deb Copeland, Director Internal Communications and Engagement and Jonathan Elliott, Head of Internal Communications and Engagement, took us through the relaunch of their internal platform ‘Ariel 3.0’ and how considering the content needs of their colleagues sits at the centre of the channel. They use three content categories:

  • Company comms – Need to know and relevant to all colleagues.
  • Divisional comms – Content for specific colleague groups that aren’t for other groups.
  • Opt-in comms – Nice to know but not essential.

I think there are many instances where adopting this approach can make a significant impact. The challenge of course will be getting your stakeholders to shift from saying everything is ‘company news’ and to think harder about what really is ‘need to know’ versus ‘nice to know’.

Jonathan shared a great point and way to think further about content – relevance, choice and personalisation. I can easily see how viewing content through these lenses can help internal communicators push back on unnecessary communications and help their organisation shift its approach to content.

Employee empathy map

I love a good model or framework that is straight forward to under and use. During the event opening by Nicole Alvino, Co-Founder and CEO of Firstup shared the below map, which is a great tool for thinking about your colleague groups.

You could create one per colleague persona group or even for each stage of your change programme to help you consider the different perspectives of your colleagues.

Employee empathy map on a conference screen

Employee empathy map shared by Nicole Alvino

Recognise and use your strengths

Some of you might know that I’m currently studying a coaching and mentoring qualification so I joined Trudy Lewis’s session on ‘Simplifying your impact in complex times’.

A great point was made on the difference between complicated and complex. Complicated is something that’s difficult but solvable and complex is something impossible to predict (so it can bubble in the background for years).

To help us as communicators support our leaders, being aware of our strengths and when to dial them up or down can help us be the trusted advisers they need. Working through the EDGE Framework is a means of identifying how to approach those challenging situations.

How will you cut back the waste?

I kept a stat shared by Nicole Alvino from research completed by Firstup in 2022 in my mind throughout the day:

‘employees waste 2.7 hours a week dealing with poor communication’.

What a powerful statistic! We’re keen to hear whether you feel this is accurate from your own experiences and what do you feel gets in the way for colleagues?

If you missed the event, search #Attune23 on your social channels to catch up with attendees’ thoughts and insights.

First published on the All Things IC blog 3 May 2023

Post author: Dan Holden


  1. Frank says:

    fantastic share Dan, thank you

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