Countdown to Christmas: Day 19 – ESN Tremors

What happens when you encourage employees to become the stars of an advertising campaign and how can you use your enterprise social network to recruit them?

You’re in the right place to find out. In February I featured comms pro Tony Stewart writing about the good work he was doing with his enterprise social network and have republished it today as part of my countdown to Christmas series.

If you’ve missed a post, search via my blog or check out the Advent tag.


Video, and creating an impact (tremor) with your ESN

TonyTony Stewart, @TSDigi, (pictured) is International Internal Community Manager at NBCUniversal International. Here he writes for my blog to share what happens when employees became the stars of the show and how to use your enterprise social network well.

Over to you Tony…

Enterprise social networks (ESN) are a real sandbox for the modern internal communicator, and it’s fascinating how these tools can enable many new ways to engage and communicate within a business.

Here at NBCUniversal International, our UK home entertainment business recently rolled out their Christmas Gifting Campaign, showcasing new and classic content available on Blu-ray and DVD before the festive period.

Members of the public were invited to participate online through popular social media channels, while the advertising campaign featured stars and consumers sharing their favourite Universal DVDs and why these were great Christmas gifts for friends and family.

To tap into the passion we have inside the company, we also wanted to ensure our colleagues had the opportunity to participate in the campaign too.
However, trying to replicate the social nature of the campaign while sharing video content internally with colleagues can be pretty tricky using traditional email and Intranet tools.

Luckily, we’re taking great strides in building our own Enterprise Social Network here called Wave, and while the network is still very much in its testing phase, this campaign gave us a real opportunity to put this channel to the test! (Tony – do please keep us posted with how Wave gets on, I’d certainly love to read more in future – Rachel).

nbcTeaming up with marketing, we created a competition group on our network that included the rules and details on the awesome prize: the winner would be invited to a studio and have their video professionally shot, to be broadcast as part of the national TV campaign!

And before long, colleagues were positing videos and having a lot of fun parodying and sharing their passion for features like Kick Ass 2, Psycho, The World’s End, Jurassic Park and Dynamo.

There were a lot of likes, and comments of encouragement too!

Through a combination of peer voting on the network via likes, and a separate judges panel, Adam Eldrett, (pictured) a product manager in our London office, took the winner’s prize.

Adam was sent to the studio to film the short for TV, with his advert broadcast during the festive season! You can view the finished product below:

Why was Wave so great in helping this campaign work?

  • Our ESN provides us with a video hosting solution, so it’s really easy for our community to upload their own videos to share with peers
  • Content on the platform can be liked, commented on and shared, which allows popular content and competitions like this to go viral across our business
  • The social nature of an ESN means fun and creative campaigns like this can tap into the passion of our employees and drive engagement with our products and brand
  • We didn’t have to rely on email to share updates about the campaign, meaning those who were interested could get involved, while not spamming the rest of the business

What we learnt about the campaign

  • With our network being so new, some of our colleagues were a little nervous about posting videos of themselves. Engaging with your advocates and encouraging them to be ‘first onto the dancefloor’ is a great way to encourage others to get involved
  • Be clear with your instructions on how to share video, to demystify the process and encourage participation
  • Rich content like video really does get people talking, and the competition became our most visited group in November!
  • Even in the early days of our network, there was enough enthusiasm to make the campaign work. And it drove new people to the site to see the exclusive content and colleagues enjoying their work.
  • A *lot* of people really do love Jurassic Park

We had a fantastic experience with the competition and the competition was fun while also getting our people involved in the campaign too. We absolutely plan to do a lot more of this kind of thing in the future, and really get our people behind our great movies, programmes and theme park events.

I’d encourage any company with an ESN to pick up their smart phones, cameras and the like and encourage video sharing across the business, be it via competitions, leadership videos, volunteering highlights and video blogging – it can really bring your community to life!

Post author: Tony Stewart.

Thank you Tony, I really like this idea and it’s an excellent example of combining video and ESN capabilities. I particularly like how you got employees interested in and sharing what you’re focusing on externally.

Your point about demystifying the process resonated with me too, it’s a vital step in reducing barriers and encouraging people to take part. The “being first on the dance floor” analogy also struck a chord.

What do you think of what you’ve read? How are you using your enterprise social network? Does this spark new ideas that you could use in your company?

They are using Jive. Want to read more about how other people are using Jive? See my list of Who is using what for internal social media.

Award-winning NBCUniversal team

NBC teamHuge congratulations to the NBCUniversal International team for scooping a Highly Commended award in the CIPR Inside #insidestory awards on 20 February for the Best Use of Video.

I had a chat with them on the night (and we shared some amazing creme brûlée deserts together) and am thrilled for them. The judges said their entry was “Outstanding. Compelling, engaging and a fantastic example of creating a real brand to support the initiative.”

The other Highly Commended award in their category went to Coca-Cola Enterprises (HRCommunications Team) and ASDA won that category for Best Use of Video.

You can see the winners of all the CIPR #insidestory awards here plus you can view photographs from the night.

I’m honoured to have won the Best individual Contribution to Internal Communication award. I have plans afoot for how I am going to invest the learning bursary that I was given in memory of Clare Latham, I will keep you posted with my decision.

Using video for internal communication

How are you using video for internal communication? I’ve written about this topic numerous times on my blog.

See my previous articles below and if you have a story to share, do let me know:

Looking for advice on how to introduce an enterprise social network? See this article for advice and guidance.

Thank you as ever for stopping by, and don’t forget you can sign up to receive articles via email – see the box on the right-hand-side – so you don’t miss one.


First published on All Things IC blog February 2014, republished December 2014.

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