PROOF | change communication & employee alignment


Book: Alignment 2.0

For many professionals, alignment is still a difficult word. However, that will soon change as our fourth book is published: Alignment 2.0. The sum of internal branding and employer branding put into practice.

Alignment 2.0 is about how Communication and HR professionals can collaborate effectively to achieve alignment. Throughout the employee journey. Alignment of employees and potential employees lies at the heart of reputation management and gives rise to considerable discussion. Organisations that successfully apply alignment have a lot to gain. The book describes the steps to come to an aligned workforce. With 15 cases from everyday practice, 15 interviews with professionals and the necessary reading tips, it is above all a practical book.

The author is Bea Aarnoutse, managing partner and strategy director. Read five questions to Bea about the book and / or order the book.


Five questions to Bea 

  1. Why alignment?

It’s vital for organisations that their employees are aware of, and can contribute to, their strategic goals. After all, delivering on the promises made to the outside world starts with your own employees, with what they do and what they don’t do. Alignment of employees boosts an organisation’s reputation. Companies sometimes underestimate the power of employees. Yet each day we see what the alignment of employees, with each other and with the organisation, can do for it. That’s what we explore in detail in our book. The customer can never be central if not first the employees is central.

  1. Are these new insights?

No; ever since PROOF was founded in 2001 our motto has always been ‘start inside, win outside’. That may sound like a cliché, but it’s precisely where so much can still be gained in practice. In the foreword to our first book, Internal Branding 2.0, (2010), Dr Cees van Riel acknowledged that the growing focus on strategic alignment was one of the most important developments of recent times, and that you build your reputation based on a clear understanding of the organisation internally and in relation to its organisational values. That’s what we and our clients work on each and every day.

  1. And the next stage in the process is this book?

Of course, books have been written about alignment before, such as Dr Cees van Riel’s The Alignment Factor (2012), which outlines in detail the theory of alignment between relevant stakeholders. But what has not so far been available is a book offering useful advice on how to apply alignment in practice. After all, theory is one thing; practice is quite another. And as with our previous books, practice is the key. After reading it, you should be thinking: ‘I’m going to apply that tomorrow’. Our book is geared to both communications and HR professionals. And we emphasize the employee journey.

  1. What’s the main insight you’ve gleaned?

There is a lot to gain when organization not only look at what the customer wants, but also learn and work on what employees want. There is a lot to gain in that area. The HR, communications and marketing disciplines often do not automatically know where to find each other (and sometimes never manage it). That’s a real missed opportunity, especially since all these disciplines are based on the same strategy. We take this strategy as our starting point, and explain it through an engaging story and communications concept with which employees can feel connected. Obviously, we also ensure that they can translate the strategy of their organisation into day-to-day practice. It’s all about asking yourself how you can help make it happen each day. That will then automatically bring together HR, communications and marketing. Since the publication of Internal branding 2.0, we’ve come across many cases demonstrating this.

  1. What’s the relationship between alignment, employer branding and internal branding?

Internal and external communications are increasingly converging. Internal and employer branding therefore also has to have the same starting point, i.e. the strategy and associated narrative of the organisation. We believe in integrated communication, and this requires tangible interconnections between the internal and external world. We see the same thing in our clients. It’s these two worlds we bring together. And that in turn strengthens alignment.

Order the book Alignment 2.0. De optelsom van internal en employer branding in de praktijk. (In Dutch only)



Bea Aarnoutse
Language: Dutch
Number of pages: 224


17 mei 2016


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