Digital news site to reach ALL employees
To reach an internal audience where nearly 50% of employees are firefighters and fire station based. That means they work different shift patterns and don’t access computers as often as support staff.
Nearly 30% of employees are on-call firefighters. That means that the only time they can access the service intranet and emails is during their evening training sessions that they attend once a week.
These employees do not all have a computer each. That means they are typically harder to reach using traditional communication methods.
Similarly, the information they want to see (or have time to see) may not be the “usual” type that head office shares.
Listening to ALL employees
We asked people what they liked and didn’t like through a survey, workshops and face to face through networks.
We learnt that operational employees at stations don’t always have the time (particularly on-call employees) to “boot” their computer up, log on and access emails and the intranet/
They find their email inbox is littered with “noise” and find it hard to navigate around the intranet to find relevant and the latest information.
So what did we do?
First off we took immediate action to cut the email noise. The sporadic all employee emails that are sent by different people were immediately stopped. These were then collated an added to a Monday morning consolidated email.
Then we had a think about using an externally hosted platform where we could publish news. We spoke to IT and the senior management board to check this would be ok from a corporate perspective and that it didn’t go against any of the company policies.
We did our research and looked at how ezines/ online news sites work. The benefit of using something like this is that it’s externally hosted. That means that any of our employees can access it at any time using either a company computer, smart phone or other hand held device.
We decided to go for an externally hosted ezine with no password protection. Why? Well we wanted to make accessing the site as easy as possible. The site is of course internally focused, but the content isn’t sensitive, so not the end of the world if it gets into “external hands”. In fact, it strengthens the employer brand. All SEO is turned off so wouldn’t ever appear in search engine results.
What does this site include?
It’s important to note that this site does not replace the intranet. It is for news only.
We went for:
- Need to know news – this is the one place we want employees to go to if they’re short on time. It’s the need to know comms
- News – this includes all news, such as the nice to know things
- Industry news – this is news from the media about the fire service industry
- Most read – we’ve got the most read items highlighted on the homepage. This means those employees on shift patterns will see the most popular items even if they’ve missed publication day
- Blog – this is our Chief blog
- Photos – after a bit of research, we opened a Flickr account and installed the plug-in for it. It’s a great way to organise albums
Who did we use?
I’m not usually one for mentioning brand names on here, but I really do have to take my hat off to Sequel Group. They have been fantastic for start to (nearly) finish.
I can absolutely see why they won the Institute of Internal Communication’s Agency of the Year 2015 award.
If you have any questions then give me a shout. I’ll happily talk more about this project: firstname.lastname@example.org