Great Summer Reads for Internal Communications Professionals

Great Summer Reads for Internal Communications Professionals

Great Summer Reads for Internal Communications Professionals

Last updated on May 28, 2024 at 10:41 am

Summer is the perfect time to relax, unwind, and catch up on some reading. And for internal communications professionals, a good book can not only provide escapism but also valuable insights and ideas that can be applied in the workplace. With remote work becoming the new norm, it’s more important than ever for companies to maintain strong internal communication practices. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of must-read books for internal communications professionals this summer. From practical guides to thought-provoking reads, these books will help enhance your skills and keep you updated on industry trends

Category 1: Sharpen Your Core Skills

Writing & Storytelling

“On Writing Well” by William Zinsser

This is a revered guidebook for improving your writing skills. Zinsser emphasizes the importance of simplicity, clarity, and brevity in writing, advocating for a clear and direct style that resonates with readers. This book is particularly valuable for IC professionals like you, as it offers practical advice on crafting compelling narratives and concisely communicating complex ideas.

Zinsser covers various aspects of writing, from sentence structure to organization, showing how to eliminate clutter and convey information effectively. He also emphasizes the importance of choosing the right words, structuring your sentences effectively, and developing a strong sense of grammar and mechanics. This book doesn’t just focus on technicalities; it also underscores the significance of storytelling in engaging audiences.

Read more: Communication strategies for deskless employees in remote setup

“Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley

This book is a great read for internal communications professionals at all levels. Marketing veteran Ann Handley addresses the reality that, in today’s digital age, writing is an essential skill for professionals across all industries. Handley’s approach is practical and accessible, offering actionable tips and strategies for creating engaging content that cuts through the noise. 

She emphasizes the importance of authenticity and relevance in communication, urging you to write with empathy and clarity.

The book covers a wide range of writing formats, from emails and blog posts to social media updates, catering to the diverse needs of internal communicators. Additionally, Handley stresses the role of storytelling in capturing and holding the attention of readers, encouraging you to infuse narratives into your communications to foster connection and understanding.

Overall, “Everybody Writes” is a valuable resource if you are looking to enhance your writing skills and create impactful content that drives engagement within your organization.

Strategic Communication & Employee Engagement

“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek

This thought-provoking book delves into the power of purpose and inspiration in leadership and communication. Sinek challenges readers to think beyond “what” their organization does and focus on the “why”—the  core purpose, values, and beliefs that drive the company forward. By understanding the “why” behind your organization’s mission, you can develop a more effective communication strategy that resonates with employees on an emotional level.

Sinek argues that a strong sense of purpose can lead to increased employee engagement and a more cohesive workplace culture centered around shared values.

Read more: Importance of internal communications in business

“Strategic Internal Communication” by David Cowan

This book for internal communication professionals provides a comprehensive guide to developing effective IC strategies aligned with organizational objectives. Cowan emphasizes the strategic importance of internal communications in driving employee engagement, productivity, and organizational success.

This internal communications book equips you with practical tools and frameworks for designing communication plans that resonate with diverse employee audiences. Cowan stresses the role of strategic alignment, emphasizing the need for internal communications to support broader business goals and initiatives.

By adopting a strategic approach, you can elevate your impact within the organization, driving positive outcomes and fostering a culture of open communication and collaboration.

Learn more: What makes internal communications essential for modern business success?

Category 2: Gain Fresh Perspectives

Understanding Your Audience

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain

Many workplaces favor extroverted personalities, often overlooking the valuable contributions of introverts. Cain sheds light on the power of introvertism and the importance of creating communication channels that cater to different employee preferences. 

She explores the unique communication styles of introverts and extroverts and offers insights on how to create a work environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas.

By understanding your employees’ diverse communication needs, you can develop a more inclusive communication strategy that ensures everyone feels heard and engaged.

“Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel Pink

Traditional models of motivation often focus on external rewards and appreciation. Pink challenges these notions and introduces the concept of autonomy, mastery, and purpose as key drivers of employee engagement. 

He argues that employees are most motivated when they have a sense of control over their work, the opportunity to learn and grow, and a feeling that their work contributes to a larger purpose.

Understanding what motivates your employees is essential for crafting communication strategies that resonate with them and encourage them to do their best work.

Learn more: 10 Steps To Make A Brilliant Internal Communication Plan

Trends in Communication & Technology

“Digital Body Language” by Erica Dhawen

In today’s digital world, nonverbal communication takes on a whole new meaning.  This book is one of the great summer reads that explores how we communicate online through emojis, email formatting, and other digital cues. 

The author explains how seemingly insignificant details, like the use of exclamation points or caps lock, can convey different meanings and emotions. Understanding these nuances is crucial for internal communications professionals in the digital age.

By learning how to read and interpret digital body language, you can ensure your message is being interpreted correctly by your employees, and you can craft more effective online communication strategies.

“The Future of Work” by Darrell M. West

The world of work is constantly evolving, driven by advancements in technology, globalization, and changing demographics. West’s book explores these trends and their impact on the workplace, particularly on communication practices. He examines how technology is changing the way we work and collaborate, and he discusses the rise of remote work, automation, and the gig economy.

By understanding these future trends, you can anticipate your workforce’s changing communication needs and adapt your strategies accordingly. This book equips you to prepare your communication plan for the ever-evolving work landscape.

Read more: How transparent communication improves company culture in frontline settings

Find Inspiration & Creativity

“The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben

Sometimes, the best way to gain a fresh perspective is to step outside the realm of traditional business books. Wohlleben’s fascinating exploration of trees’ interconnectedness offers a surprising source of inspiration. 

The book delves into the complex communication networks within a forest, highlighting the importance of collaboration, information sharing, and a strong sense of community.

Wohlleben’s book draws parallels between the natural world and the workplace, inspiring readers to think creatively about how to foster better communication and collaboration within their organizations.

Business Biographies of Inspiring Leaders

Reading about the communication strategies of successful leaders can provide valuable insights and inspiration. Look for biographies of CEOs known for their strong communication skills, such as Mary Barra of General Motors or Satya Nadella of Microsoft. 

These leaders understand the power of effective communication to motivate employees, build trust, and navigate challenging situations. By learning from their successes and failures, you can gain valuable insights into how to craft compelling communication strategies for your own organization.

Read more: Engagement and interaction management in internal communications

Summing Up

By incorporating these great summer reads into your break, you can return to work feeling refreshed, inspired, and equipped with the skills and knowledge to take your internal communication strategy to the next level. Whether you’re looking to hone your writing skills, gain a deeper understanding of your audience, or stay ahead of the curve on communication trends, this list offers a variety of resources to fuel your professional development. So grab a book, soak up some sun, and get ready to return to work with a renewed sense of purpose and creativity for your internal communications efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m new to the field of internal communications. Are there any resources specifically designed for beginners?

Absolutely! Consider enrolling in online courses or certificate programs offered by organizations like the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) or the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). These programs provide a solid foundation in internal communication best practices.

Are there any online communities or forums for internal communication professionals?

Yes, there are several online communities where you can connect with other IC professionals, share best practices, and ask questions. Look for groups on LinkedIn or Facebook dedicated to internal communications. You can also participate in online discussions on industry websites or blogs.

I’m an introvert, but I know communication is a key part of my role. Do these books offer any advice for introverted communicators?

Yes, several of the books listed can be helpful for introverted IC professionals. “Quiet” by Susan Cain specifically addresses the strengths and communication styles of introverts, offering strategies for thriving in a world that often favors extroverts. Additionally, books on clear writing and storytelling, like Zinsser’s “On Writing Well,” can empower introverts to communicate their ideas effectively without feeling the need to dominate conversations.

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