Listen to social media’s role in internal comms

Employee networks are 10 times bigger than corporate networks and are enhanced through the use of authentic employee voice.

CIPRSM podcastIn other words, if your people are sharing information about their workplace via social media with their friends and family, there’s more chance of it being seen and read. Plus it’s perceived to be real compared to content from organisations.

This stat was shared by Natasha Gowans, @NatashaGowans, Linkedin’s Senior Internal Communications Manager for EMEA, as part of the latest Chartered Institute of Public Relations Social Media Panel’s podcast. It was based on research LinkedIn conducted internally.

You can listen to the show online and below.

Social media’s role in internal communication 

The podcast focuses on social media’s role in internal communication and also features Nicola Green, @cola_green, Director of Communications and Reputation at O2 and Sarah Ogden, @ogstar, Board Director at 3 Monkeys Communications.

My fellow CIPR Social Media Panel @CIPRSM, member Russell Goldsmith @russgoldsmith hosted the show.

There are also contributions from Holly Bostock, Global Channels Manager for Internal Communications at Heineken International and Michael Nord, Principal Consultant at The Fifth Business, recorded at the PRWeek Internal Communications Europe event in Amsterdam earlier in the month.

It’s 36 minutes long and worth a listen. I submitted a couple of questions to the guests and recommend hearing their discussions.

A truly external/internal affair

Heineken's Green RoomI’ve written many times about the blurring of lines between internal and external communication, and this podcast underlines that fact.

It was fascinating hearing Holly talking about Heineken’s Green Room, a website used as an internal communication channel, but it can be accessed by anyone online.

You can see it for yourself at

It is hot on the heels of similar sites such as Asda’s Green RoomNational GridRoyal Mail and Tesco. All of these sites are intended for internal communication but are accessible externally. I’ve mentioned them constantly on my blog since 2009 and added to the list.

RBS Outside In Some of them require logins to get into more depth, but if you are an organisation with typically ‘hard to reach’ employees, sites like these can work well to ensure you have methods of communication for all to access.

This podcast also highlighted RBS’ Outside In, which I hadn’t come across before. If you know of any more, do please let me know and I’ll add them to my list.

Further reading: See my previous post about TfL’s Stations website to communicate the Night Tube, and my thoughts on these sites.

How LinkedIn is elevating conversations

LinkedIn is using an app internally called Elevate. It allows employees to choose topics or themes relating to corporate strategy or themes they wish to share.

Natasha said: “You can find the top influencers in your organisation. We found the top 150 most active employees on social media and invited them to join. We share content with them, both internal and external that has a theme around the same kinds of things we wish to talk about. Tweet this.

“We can measure that and see how it’s turned into leads and it’s more authentic and organic because we’re surfacing content which is already out there.”

Read more about Elevate via the LinkedIn blog.

How O2 employees use social media

O2 amp During the podcast, Nicola Green shared information about a programme O2 is using called O2 Amp.

O2 Amp was launched in September 2014. See the website to find out more. It describes itself as: “A quick and easy way to access O2’s social content and share across your own social media networks, all in one place. It forms part of our Rally Cry efforts to help us get 10 million customers loving 4G and 10 million customers loving our digital products and services.

The goal of the O2 Amp community is to “leverage the power of passionate O2 employees to grow our business while also growing their own social influence.”

I think this is an excellent idea. Have you considered something like this? Would it work for you? You’re welcome to comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

Nicola Green quoteNicola said: “30% of our workforce are using O2 Amp and reaching 9 million people, which is really powerful. Only 55,000 people are engaging in that content, which is good, but we recognise there’s growth and further opportunity.

“LinkedIn and Twitter is where people share our content more. Employees say don’t they want to share work stuff on their personal Facebook accounts, which we get. But our research shows employees are comfortable to share via LinkedIn first, then Twitter second.”

She also highlighted the view of O2’s CEO Ronan Dunne who thinks social media is a great way of walking the floor and finding out what employees think.

Nicola said: “On traditional platforms, like the intranet, employees will play the corporate game. But social media may be another way of unearthing what employees think about your organisation. That’s good for them and good for the company.”

Further reading on the All Things IC blog: See my article on Glassdoor – Seen what your employees are saying about you?

You can listen to the whole podcast below.

Liked what you heard? Please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes and you can contact the Social Media Panel @CIPRSM:

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Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on All Things IC blog 16 July 2015.

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