How UKTV launched its company purpose

This summer, UKTV launched its new company purpose to colleagues with a beautiful animation.

Soraya Shaboon, UKTV’s Internal Communications Manager is here to tell All Things IC readers the story behind the project.

Over to you Soraya…

How UKTV launched its company purpose

Barely a day has gone by during my time at UKTV when I haven’t felt proud to work here.

Soraya ShaboonAnd it’s not just the sun terrace and luxury screening room that lures me to work each day.

UKTV is now the fastest growing broadcaster in the UK, with Dave and Drama topping the charts for most popular non-PSB (public service broadcasting) channels.

As we have grown, ensuring everyone is aligned behind the company strategy has become even more important; making sure colleagues know where we are going, how they are each contributing to the company’s success and, crucially, what it’s all for – our purpose.

(In his TedTalk, How great leaders inspire action, thought leader Simon Sinek talks about the importance of asking yourself why you do the things you do, and how doing so can positively impact your company’s performance.)

Our CEO believes in purpose-driven organisations and felt like now was the right time to redefine UKTV’s purpose.

A group from across the business including strategy, comms, marketing and editorial took part in a series of facilitated workshops to understand the heart of the business and decide what the scope of our purpose should be.

We also carried out independent qualitative interviews with colleagues from various teams.

We explored:

  • what impressed them about working here
  • the achievements they felt most proud of
  • plus looked at our history and why we were created.

We started in 1992 as one channel – UK Gold – quite a journey from the 11-brand network we are today.

The aim was to identify a purpose statement that captured why UKTV exists as well as something that would emotionally connect with and inspire colleagues.

The words and themes that emerged would eventually form the final purpose statement:

Entertaining the nation from a place where anything is possible.


The ultimate reason for our existence, we agreed, was to entertain people; to make and curate brilliant programming for our viewers.

But it’s the second part of the purpose that I really love – “It feels like anything is possible here” was a direct quote from a colleague, a reference to our collaborative culture that can make the unlikeliest things a reality.

Our first live sport event in January – the David Haye fight on Dave – was a company-wide collaboration, turned around in a matter of weeks, that went on to pull in our highest ever viewing figure.

Once we had the purpose, the next step was to launch it.

As a company that prides itself on creativity, our internal comms has to be as bold as our press and marketing campaigns.

Thankfully we have a brilliant in-house creative team who, along with Cookie Studio, produced a beautiful animation to capture UKTV, the place where anything is possible.

UKTV Purpose Animation from UKTV Creative on Vimeo.

The film explores areas of the office that are familiar to everyone who works here: the spiral staircase, the swinging chairs, the giant parrot, plus all of our familiar brand logos and lots more.

UKTV Office - 10 Hammersmith Grove

We wanted them to relate to the animation and feel proud to be a part of it.

It only felt right that the script be recorded by colleagues too.

The film was played at our summer launch event, where colleagues were challenged to create and star in their own piece of entertainment in the form of a promo for one of our shows, working in teams across the company.

The two-minute clips were played at the end of the day with a live audience vote to decide the winners.

We have continued to embed the purpose since its launch, including it as a key part of the design for UKTV Live 2016, our new season launch event to showcase new programming to the industry, journalists and colleagues.

This has been a particular highlight for me as it demonstrates how closely related internal and external company messages can, and should, be.

It feels like a good time to be at UKTV. In 2016, we announced record profits, made a successful move into live sport, saw over 35m views across UKTV Play (our on-demand service) and TV platforms, and became the first broadcaster to be recognised in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

If there was ever a time to acknowledge that UKTV is a place where anything is possible, this is it.

Post author: Soraya Shaboon.

Thank you for agreeing to share the story of your hard work with All Things IC blog readers Soraya. I love the approach and the fact employees have been – and continue to be – at the heart.

How do you communicate your company’s purpose? I’m always on the lookout for guest articles. Feedback from readers shows you also love hearing from in-house comms pros.

If that’s you and you have a guest post idea you’d like me to consider, do check out my guidelines and get in touch.


First published on the All Things IC blog 3 October 2016.

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