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Spotlight On Leadership Engagement | Edition #32 | Yasser Mohamed Zaki | PR Strategic PR & Communications Leader | C-Suite Counselor | Brand & Reputation Expert 

What is the role of internal communicators in counseling leaders on organizational priorities? How can internal communicators get stronger in their trade? Which approaches work to enhance communication effectiveness? 

Get answers to these questions and more in this free-flowing chat with expert communication consultant Yasser Mohamed Zaki in the 32nd edition of Intraskope’s Spotlight Series.  

Yasser is a Chartered PR professional with expertise in global communications & marketing communication. Through his work, he has focused on business results and built brands and managed reputation through strategic advisory and effective decision-making. 
A Certified Media Quality Internal Auditor and a Certified PR Manager he has over 20 years of combined experience throughout the EME region including external/internal communications, integrated marketing communications, crises communication, digital communications and social responsibility.  Yasser has served as the Vice-Chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ Energy Leadership Platform (CIPR-ELP), Council Member at the PR & Communications Association (PRCA_UK), Vice President of the Gulf Chapter for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and is currently the Strategy Board Member at the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA). He is based in Saudi Arabia. 

I had the opportunity to chat with Yasser about leadership engagement, an area, which I am sure, many professionals would love to learn more about.  

In this conversation, Yasser shares talks about some of essentials while approaching leadership engagement, the nuances of understanding leaders and communications and practical tips to be successful. 

“The partnership and the often overlapping and contradicting role with HR and top management are crucial. I would call out that understanding the human factor is a key challenge. There are opportunities for increased specialization in this space as academics and professionals continue to leverage and develop newer practices”, believes Yasser. 

 Interview (excerpts from the conversation) 


1. You have been a strategic and global communication expert for many years. What according to you is the role of internal communications?  

According to me, the role is to build the brand internally and create a forum for advocacy. The goal is to keep the information open and consistent. It is also vital to focus on efficacy in communication. The role goes beyond just the function and influences organizational culture, employee loyalty, and engagement, Org culture as well as employee loyalty, and engagement. 

2. Since you started working, how has internal communication changed? What are some of the impacts you have witnessed?  

Earlier the emphasis was on information and communication sharing only.  Employees weren’t considered much as an audience. Today, we see how internal communication is reshaping and aligning with organizational goals and values for measurable impact. We are seeing the role of change management and effective execution has triggered this thinking. Staff are an asset and the evolution of internal communications as a science, a management function as well as a bouquet of technology, channels and platforms is changing how organizations value what it can offer. Today, internal communication is also responsible for building brands internally and creating culture and engagement. The strategic role in sustainability and people matters is well known. 

3. Based on your experience, how does internal communication help to improve employee engagement at the workplace?  

The two-way flow of communication is essential for success within organizations. It is not limited to just messaging and the interlinking with external communication approaches and tactics makes it very useful.  

4. What is the role of leadership engagement when it comes to internal communications?  

It is to deliver outcomes and behavioral changes; lead people rather than just managing and developing as well as educate staff on continuous improvements the organization is making. 

5. What is the biggest challenge you think internal communicators face today?  

It is the recognition of its importance. We can see how external media gets more appreciation – for example, Twitter, Meta & Amazon. The partnership and the often overlapping and contradicting role with HR and top management are crucial. I would call out that understanding the human factor is a key challenge. There are opportunities for increased specialization in this space as academics and professionals continue to leverage and develop newer practices. 

6.What is the biggest opportunity you see for internal communications?  

The pandemic and the challenging times we faced have revealed the importance of internal communications. role and importance. It is time to demonstrate more results. More importantly, employees still will be your top brand ambassadors and advocates. 

7. You are an accomplished CIPR Chartered professional – what advice do you have for younger professionals to get stronger with their careers? What advice do you have for them?  

I would encourage the younger generation to be associated with a professional entity. There needs to be continuous learning and development. It is important to practice what you learn. 

In the Spotlight on Internal Communications Series, I talk to thought leaders on topics interrelated with internal communications such as culture, crisis, change, executive presence and leadership. The goal is to help unravel why they matter, what can leaders and communicators learn from experts and how we can put insights to practice.   

Watch the complete video interview on YouTube or read the complete transcript above.  

Missed the earlier episodes? Watch them here: D. Mark Schumann (Culture), Peter Yorke (Executive Presence), Sia Papageorgiou (Leadership Communications), Dianne Chase (Strategic Storytelling), Gloria Walker (Communication Planning), Rebecca Sangster-Kelly (Stakeholder Management), Ray Walsh (Localizing Employee Communications), Prof. Matt Tidwell (Reputation), Geri Rhoades (Manager Communications), Erik K Meyers (Business Acumen), Russell-Olivia Brooklands (IC Practice Governance), Paul Barton (Public Speaking and Business Communication), Cyrus Mavalwala (Digital Communication), Elvera N Makki (Social Impact Communication), Philippe Borremans (Communication Preparedness), Magdalena Petryniak (Influence in Communications), Priya Bates (Communicating Diversity & Inclusion), Zora Artis (Communication Alignment), Diana Bonczar (Communication Execution), Jane McConnell (Gig Mindset), Paul Mathews (Trust & Communications), Brad Whitworth (Creativity in Communication), Zane Ewton (Podcasting), Andrea Greenhous (Employee Experience) and Jonas Bladt Hansen (Digital Technologies), Luis Suarez (Data Analytics & KM) , Laura McHale (Neuroscience in Communications),, Christopher Flores (Internal Communication Hiring) Chaya Mistry ( Human Leadership), Jenni Field (Organizational Productivity)and Mike Klein (Communication Innovation). 

 You can also look up the ongoing Intraskope’s Spotlight on Internal Communication Series featuring practitioners from around the globe sharing best practices and perspectives.  

Liked the interview? Post your comments and share it with your network.   

Keen to participate in the ongoing series on Personal Branding, Crisis Communications, Internal Communications or CSR Communications? Drop me a note at [email protected]   


Here are Internal Communications resources you can use:   


You can also visit my website www.intraskope.com and You Tube channel to know more about my work.   

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