A question of comms: Kerry Sheehan

What’s the one book you think every comms pro should read?

Today Kerry Sheehan, Head of Communications at North East London NHS Foundation Trust, one of the biggest in England, is in my hot seat.

She’s revealed what she couldn’t do her role without and what she likes most about working in this field.

Over to you Kerry…

1. When did you know internal communication was what you wanted to do?
On realising the link between highly effective internal communications equals greater employee engagement and commitment, which leads to better organisation performance and patient/customer satisfaction.

2. What do you like most about working in this field?
Helping to make a difference to the bottom line and the variety of people

3. What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?
Voice of the employee – always involve them in your communication strategy as they, in turn, will become your communications ambassadors and champions, which in turn makes your job easier in the long-term.

Also, as one door closes, another one which is usually a better one, opens. Never give up!

4. What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a career in comms?
Technical skills, such as writing and editing remain hugely important. To the point, jargon-free comms please!


But, you need to keep up with digital development as it is changing behaviours in the workplace constantly. IC is really important role to play in the success of a switched on workforce and good organisational results, so don’t be afraid to push back to colleagues who ask for an event or a poster with how does this help us achieve our business objectives?

If it doesn’t, it’s ‘nice to do’, but we don’t have to do it as we will not be able to show the return on investment (ROI).

5. What does a typical day or working week look like for you?
Working from a variety of sites and settings across north east London and Essex. Attending senior leadership meetings, Tweeting from Board, to writing a communications strategy to support a campaign to holding a coaching session with our junior staff members. Working agilely means not forgetting my kit!

6. Name a book you think every communicator should read, and why you’ve chosen it
Dwight McNeil: Applying analytics – easy to understand guide on how to adapt and apply the best analytics techniques from finance, sport, politics to help inform your communications – a real must to get your head around the importance of insight!

7. What’s the one thing you couldn’t do your job without?
Triangulated data/insight and sentiment analysis (well, it’s on the wish list!) so we can align our communications to the business strategy/objectives.

8. What is the future of internal communication?
Integrating more with external communications, so the strategies are more aligned.

9. Where can people find you online?

On Twitter @PRWhizKSheehan.

Thank you Kerry.

Your name here?

If you’re an in-house or freelance comms professional and would like to answer these questions, do contact me to see your name here.

Here’s who has been featured so far in this series:

  • A question of commsRachel Miller, Director, All Things IC
  • A question of commsLou Robinson, Global Internal Comms Lead, Costa
  • A question of commsSara Luker, EMEA Content Manager, eBay
  • A question of commsGary Vyse, PR & Engagement Lead at Alternative Futures Group
  • A question of comms: Helen Deverell, Director, Helen Deverell Communications
  • A question of comms:  Katy Gibbins, Head of Internal Communications and Engagement, Department for Culture Media and Sport
  • A question of comms: Shona Sullivan, Communications and Engagement Executive, Capita BBC Audience Services
  • A question of comms: Keith Lewis, UK Social Business and Channels Manager for Zurich Insurance.

Thank you for stopping by,


First published on the All Things IC blog 24 February 2017.

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