Yesterday I attended the Internal Communications Conference in Manchester, which theblueballroom was pleased to sponsor.

There was much to learn but, for me, one of the key themes that came up was that internal communications is at its best when it acts as a true partner to the business. This means really understanding what makes the organisation tick, and how to work closely with not only senior managers but the most junior of employees, marrying their needs with the organisation's overall objectives.

Robert Cohen of the Co-op spoke about how much success depends on trust. One way this can be achieved is through measurement of channels and engagement; the more detail you can drill into, the more you can build on these results.

Rachel Tolhurst showed the insights that analysis of comms has brought to Amey; and Jon Hawkins of Aviva is another strong user of data analysis.

Another way to become a partner to your organisation was described by Joe Quick of adidas: get out from behind your desk and to talk to people across from where you sit to find out how life feels in their role. This approach is crucial for anyone who wants to build a relationship with their colleagues.

With discussions on many topics – from employee apps to Workplace by Facebook, from live polling to videos and how to make them yourself – we met and learnt from a great range of very experienced speakers and delegates, and thoroughly enjoyed the day.