🚲 Internal Communications Introductions: Meet Caitlin Landsman
Senior Manager, Internal Communications at Peloton Interactive
I enjoyed talking with Caitlin Landsman to learn about her career path. This is her internal communications story.
Caitlin Landsman leads internal communication at Peloton, where she has been for nearly three years. She cut her teeth in the advertising world, having worked on both the media and creative sides of house on corporate communications teams -- but with a love of sports (soccer, especially!), she gravitated towards the world of fitness.
Prior to entering the advertising world, Caitlin graduated with her M.S. in Communications from Illinois State University, and an undergraduate degree in PR from Marist College. Since being at Peloton, she has developed an internal communications strategy, playbook of best practices, and continues to feel inspired daily by the incredibly passionate and dedicated team that surrounds her. Her favorite thing about Peloton? Well, beyond Jess Sims’ Bike Bootcamp classes and her own Communications team -- it is the commitment to their values that is deeply embedded within the Peloton culture -- especially, Together We Go Far -- that lights Caitlin’s fire for internal communications.
What sparked your professional path into Internal Communications?
As a kid, I was a goalkeeper in soccer for over 15 years and I was also the editor-in-chief of my high school yearbook. If you put these two together, I think you get internal communications! There’s a love of being a protector and a supporter with a storyteller twist. I saw a 360 degree view of the field and was the champion of moments.
Before focusing on internal communications, I worked at a media agency where I got to be really creative with project requests for all different types of initiatives, everything from company moves to guest speakers. Then, I turned that into an official career as its own vertical at a different agency. Now, I’m at Peloton where I get to focus on this daily. I'm grateful to have found a line of work that I really love, but I also feel that a lot of my non-professional interests led me here.
How do you describe internal communications to others?
At its core, it is helping people do their jobs by getting them the information that they need, but doing so in a way that amplifies culture and connectivity. In today’s world, it’s so important that employers make us feel seen and heard. It is so much about how we're communicating which has become just as important as what we are communicating.
It is about creating a sense of belonging, it is about transparency, and it's about relationship building that comes through in the tenor of your communications, the way they look, the tone, consistency -- it’s all of that. I always say that I hope it feels like you're part of this really exclusive club by being an employee here. I want it to feel different when you’re here. Even when you are presenting at All Hands, think of it as you are sitting around a campfire with your friends rather than presenting to the board. It’s about adding that warmth and making us feel connected despite our size as we grow.
How do you make internal communications scalable when you’re on a small and mighty team?
I've created an internal brand guide. It memorializes our tone and had lived in our heads for so long, but now it’s an official way of working. It gives cross-functional partners the look, feel and voice so when a team needs to develop a project I will give it to them so their writing sounds like Peloton and that our assets resonate. I started to focus on the way that we can make our work scalable. It used to be how we can help with everything, but since we’re growing so fast, we can’t always write every project. We need to ensure other teams are taking that spirit so it doesn’t feel disjointed.
What is one project you are particularly proud to have accomplished?
Supporting Peloton through the IPO process is my favorite memory. It was such an intense speed, from the moment I joined the company to a few months later going public. It expedited my relationships with leadership in developing partnerships with them early on, gaining their trust, and setting me up for success on future projects.
This included providing the company regular updates, in the form of face-to-face All Hands meetings, written communications, FAQs, and beyond, at every stage of the IPO process -- starting from when we filed our S-1, to when the S-1 flipped, to the Roadshow, and all the way to Listing Day. It was very important to us that we maintained regular communication with the team on what was happening with the process of becoming a public company, and that employees felt like they were along for the journey. I also worked closely with our incredible Brand team, to ensure that on Listing Day at NASDAQ, it felt special for the many team members and leaders who would be in attendance.
Being able to help Peloton share this incredible experience with the team and play a role in it was just so fulfilling and exciting. It was definitely a crown jewel career moment for me.
What are the skills that are most important for someone to succeed in Internal Communications?
As internal communicators, we need to be scrappy and we need to be honest.
We are often part of very lean teams and can’t be stunted by not having all the resources or extra headcount or the tools. It’s so important for us to work with what we do have. Being solutions-oriented is key, whether you are at a startup or in a large corporate team.
We are also often the boots on the ground. We know how employees are feeling. We have an obligation to share this with others. As the bridge between leadership and the rest of the company, we know the pulse of how people are feeling and what they are talking about in their roles.
How do you continue learning about the field of Internal Communications?
Reading The Switchboard! It has been an inspiring publication. [Editor note: Thank you. This was such an honor to hear Caitlin share this with me. I hesitated whether or not I should include it, but it made me feel really proud so I did.]
I do have a lot of friends who are in PR or in internal communications so I like getting informal coffee chats with them. This really helps navigate current and timely situations as we are all focused on the return to office now. Conversations are really the richest form of learning for me.
I’ve attended conferences, which have been helpful. I’m always hungry for more learning as I think about leadership development or organizational development courses in the future. If you are reading this and would like to connect to talk all things internal communications, please feel free to reach out!