9 questions with…

Post by Trish Macready

Thursday 29 March 2018

9 questions with

Hi I’m Trish Macready and I’m Head of Corporate Communications for HM Courts & Tribunals Service. We’re responsible for the smooth-running of the criminal, civil and family courts and tribunals in England and Wales and non-devolved tribunals in Scotland and Northern Ireland. My team and I are responsible for our internal communications content and channels – getting the right information to our 15,000 employees at the right time – as well as corporate design, insight and evaluation, senior leadership communications and supporting employee engagement.


I’m also Chair of the Arms’ Length Bodies (ALB) Heads of Internal Communications Network. We get together every month to discuss internal communications news, events and share ALB-specific good practice and lessons learned. The Network has really helped foster a sense of community amongst our various ALB organisations. So, if you’re an ALB Head of Internal Communications, do get in touch and come along to one of our meetings. We’re a very friendly group and we’d love to meet you.

Work email: trish.macready@justice.gov.uk

Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/patricia-macready-649340b7

  1. What was your first ever job?

A: I was a Christmas Casual at Myer (an Australian department store). I loved it as I got to work in the confectionary and books section plus it was air-conditioned – a real bonus in the middle of an Australian summer!


  1. How did you get into internal communications?

A: I was working in marketing in Canberra and looking for a change when I decided to live and work in London for a year. After I’d settled into London life, I applied for an internal communications adviser role at HM Customs & Excise. I remember thinking that the interview process was pretty full-on as I had to attend a GIS (as GCS was known then) assessment centre which took hours and involved four different tests. I was lucky enough to get the job and that’s where my internal communications journey began. It’s worth noting this all happened in 2003 so the ‘a year in London’ idea didn’t go exactly to plan.


  1. What about your job most excites you?

A: HM Courts & Tribunals Service is currently undertaking one of the biggest reform programmes in government – focusing on our people, settings and technology, we’re ensuring the justice system is fit for the 21st century. It’s a really exciting time for our organisation and for internal communications as we get to play a key role in ensuring that our people understand why change is happening, what it will mean for them and what our future will look like.


  1. What do you think makes a good internal communicator?

A: I think it helps to be empathetic, diplomatic and a good problem-solver. You also need resilience, excellent planning skills and the ability to absorb lots of information on a wide range of corporate projects, programmes and initiatives.


  1. What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

A: That’s a tough one. I have a soft spot for dystopian fiction such as 1984 and Brave New World. The Handmaid’s Tale has always been one of my favourites – I was so relieved that the TV series did it justice.


  1. What’s the biggest challenge for internal communications and how do you see it getting solved?

A: Reducing corporate ‘noise’ – making sure that our people don’t feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that can come their way every day. It’s heartening that there’s such an obvious willingness to communicate but it has to be carefully managed. It’s important to regularly ask people for their views on the volume and type of communications they receive and adapt your internal communications strategy and how you manage communications requests accordingly. We’ve also found that employee insight can be used to great effect to demonstrate why that additional all-staff newsletter might not be such a great idea after all…


  1. If you could ban one piece of jargon what would it be and why?

A: ‘Sheep-dipping’. Just no.


  1. What have you learned from any mistakes in your career?

A: Regroup and keep going – the most important thing is to learn from your mistakes. And remember that everyone makes them!


  1. Who is the person you most want to meet and why?

A: Margaret Atwood. I love the way she writes and it would be great to get her insight into the different worlds she’s created over the years.