We launched the Culture, Comms, & Cocktails podcast this year to serve internal communications straight up. With nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, corporate communications, and internal communications, I’m your host Chuck Gose, senior strategic advisor at SocialChorus.
My passion and enthusiasm for the communications profession began early in my career at General Motors and Rolls-Royce. Since then, I have focused on weaving internal communications and technology in creative ways. I’m also the co-creator of The Periodic Table of Internal Communications and The Very Hungry Communicator.
Twice a month and over cocktails, I’ve introduced you to the latest ideas in corporate culture and real-world examples of how to engage employees with the best workplace communications programs.
Looking back at our inaugural year, I’m pleased to share the top five Culture, Comms, & Cocktails podcast episodes for 2019. They point to:
- What issues are most important to communicators,
- How to reach and engage the entire workforce, including frontline staff,
- Where IT sits in the employee experience and workforce communications, and
- Why internal communications is critical during periods of major change.
The Top 5 Internal Communications Podcast Episodes from 2019
Our very first podcast featured Rey Bouknight, former executive director of internal brand and engagement strategy at MGM Resorts International. He joined us in Las Vegas to talk about the importance of aligning your external brand message with the internal brand message you deliver to employees.
“As we rolled out this external campaign called ‘Welcome to the Show,’ we launched an internal campaign called ‘We are the Show,’ which helped our employees to understand their role, their importance, in delivering on that brand promise of wowing our guests and for them to recognize that they truly are the stars of the show.”
Susan Gerock, CIO at Washington REIT, explained why technology enables so much of our communication today, why we need to engage employees, and how IT has a significant role in doing all of that.
“As we think about how technology enables people to do their jobs, to me, it’s meeting people where they are. That’s so much of what makes for good communication. It lets people work where they want to work; it lets people consume information in the way they want to consume it, in the time they want to consume it. It gives them flexibility to blend that life experience with the work experience. And that’s what we try to do with technology at WashREIT, is to deliver on that employee experience at the same time while giving them the freedom to communicate in anyway and from anywhere.”
Kelley Tucky, corporate VP of events and communication at MGM, explained how they recognize and keep their entire workforce informed and aligned, and where to get a great cocktail in Vegas.
“It’s really fascinating what happens to a culture when both the frontline employee and the manager get information at the same time. It provides an opportunity for dialogue… And it gives the employee an opportunity to be more engaged because we’re putting the information in their hands as well.”
One Valentine’s Day, I chatted with Kyla Turner, communications manager at Love’s Travel Stops, a family-owned fuel retailer with more than 450 truck stop and convenience stores in 41 states. We not only talked about how they engaged and nurtured culture with their hardest to reach employees, but we also discussed Love’s “Share the Love” day, a community-service event that everyone in their company looks forward to all year.
“Our employees were always number one, but I just don’t know if we formalized it at a top level before. Now we are. So, yes. I do credit [our Love’s NOW app]… and our culture drives us and our employees drive us. Happy employees make for very happy customers.”
Communications is essential during any company change management. You need it to inform workers and make sure they understand what’s going. One. And we dove straight into mergers and acquisitions with Lindsay Williams, director of digital communications at AccentCare.
In the past six years, AccentCare has doubled in size organically, and, through many acquisitions, grown from approximately 12,000 to 25,000 employees. Listen to why Lindsay’s first duty is to understand the new audience, and how she finds a good communications blend to drive business results and motivate employees.
“As communicators, it’s our role to work with all the different stakeholders to take the information that new employees need, simplify it, and give them snackable pieces of information that are not only going to help them be successful [with AccentCare], but that are also going to help them understand the culture.”