Show 11 – Internal Communications

Russell Goldsmith was joined in the markettiers studio by Nicola Green, Director of Communications & Reputation at O2,  LinkedIn’s Senior Internal Communications Manager for EMEA, Natasha Gowans and Sarah Ogden, Board Director at 3 Monkeys Communications.

Nicola talked about O2 Amp, which is how the organisation gets employees to be brand ambassadors.

She explained that O2 has a list of its top 50 employees who share content and they are briefed, just as journalists would be, so that they can share company content externally, which is one method she uses to communicate with other employees, a theme that certainly cropped up throughout the podcast.

Natasha then talked through her company’s Bring in your Parents Day, which centred on the fact that, according to LinkedIn’s own research, 1 in 3 parents didn’t know what they ‘grown-up’ children did at work!  They had around 1,800 parents of LinkedIn staff take part, as well as other business getting involved too, but the key outcome was that their employees took to social media to share the initiative externally, which Nicola agreed is a great way to expand the message to a wider audience, resulting in a great positioning for the brand too.

[Download Natasha’s presentation from the PR week event]

Sarah, reflecting on those initial two case studies, felt that they showed social media is both a tool for communication and engagement from an internal comms point of view but also it’s a platform for collaboration, where you can bring employees together to build things, whether it’s product ideas, thinking about innovation in the workplace and how as a business you can be better beyond communications.

The issue HSBC had earlier that week was then discussed, when employees posted an incredibly inappropriate photo on Social Media of a mock ISIS execution, taken at a team building event.  HSBC, had handled the situation extremely well by sacking the individuals involved immediately.  However, Sarah said that opportunities always bring challenges and that it’s about how it’s managed.  Nicola added that this also comes down to trust and O2 do a lot around educating their employees around the power of social media and the potential issues they could fall into the traps of.

Continuing the theme of creating internal content that is shared externally, in and interview recorded at the PR Week Europe event, Heineken International’s Global Channels Manager for Internal Communications, Holly Bostock talked about their Green Room project.  Holly described her team’s role in the project as ‘Curators of the Content’.  She explained that from their own research, 78% of their own employees talk to their social circles about Heineken, and 30% share something on social media every month, but rather than just sharing the latest adverts, she thought the project enabled them to share something different, like company CSR stories.

[Download Holly’s presentation from the PR week event]

Sarah said the importance of this kind of comms by the fact that if an individual shares something about a brand or a business it will get much higher levels of engagement than if the business posted it.  Natasha backed this up with the fact that according to LinkedIn’s own research, employee networks are 10 times bigger than the corporate network and seen as more authentic too.

To continue the discussion on twitter, please use the #csuitepodcast

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