Culture, Comms, & Cocktails: Live from FutureComms 2019
Today’s Culture, Comms, & Cocktails podcast was recorded live from FutureComms 2019 at New York’s Gotham Hall. I was with Joey Nord, who spoke that afternoon. She is Director of Corporate Communications & PR for Ciox Health.
She presented the challenges of having 85% of your workforce remote and distributed, and how before they launched their SocialChorus workforce communications platform, they just “sprayed and prayed” their emails were reaching employees.
“We had a lot of employees who came together through acquisition, and a lot of employees were [embedded] amidst the customer hospitals, not at a Ciox location. Some of them didn’t even have Ciox email addresses at the time and weren’t really receiving all the communications. And the ones who were receiving them, were just being bombarded with a slew of emails.” – Joey Nord
After Ciox transformed their internal communications, they now measure and track content engagement, personalize and target messages, and are excited to have the tools to be more creative in their campaigns.
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Culture, Comms, & Cocktails Episode #9 Transcript
Chuck Gose: Joey welcome to Culture, Comms, and Cocktails.
Joey Nord: Thank you very much. Glad to be here.
Chuck Gose: Now I know this is your first experience at FutureComms, what’s the general feel you’re getting from this event.
Joey Nord: I think this is fantastic. I’ve loved getting the opportunity to talk to my peers about best practices, learnings and not just about the app but about communication strategy in general.
Chuck Gose: Yup.
Joey Nord: I think it’s been really gratifying to be able to share across industries as well. There are folks here from a wide variety of industries.
Chuck Gose: Yup.
Joey Nord: And it’s great to learn from others and to learn about the creative techniques that they’ve tried.
Chuck Gose: Yup.
Joey Nord: For communicating with, particularly a dispersed employee population which is something that we’ve dealt with quite a bit.
Chuck Gose: And then yesterday previous was customer forum.
Joey Nord: Yes.
Chuck Gose: It was also a new experience for you. What would you say to a customer to encourage them to attend Customer Forum?
Joey Nord: I would say that it’s, much like this event, it’s a great opportunity to network and really learn from and share best practices with your peers. But it’s also an opportunity to really delve a little bit deeper on the employee experience and what that means and the different techniques that you could bring to really take your employee comms to the next level.
Chuck Gose: Now interesting about Ciox Health, you’re based out of Atlanta, Georgia. I guess that’s not the most interesting part. But the challenge you have is your employees are remote and embedded in hospitals. So what are the types of jobs employees do?
Joey Nord: A lot of our employees manage medical records. They manage medical records for three out of five hospitals across the US. So they’re actually processing massive amounts of data. We actually as a company process more than three billion clinical data transactions every year. It’s an incredible amount of highly sensitive, very impactful data being processed by these employees.
Chuck Gose: Very personal data.
Joey Nord: Very personal data. Exactly.
Chuck Gose: This isn’t just credit reports.
Joey Nord: Correct. This data is used for a variety of things from trying to pinpoint the best kind of medications to treat diseases and make more targeted medications to identifying the right candidates to participate in clinical trials. So this is really impactful data.
Chuck Gose: Awesome.
Chuck Gose: Now you launched your platform about a year ago. What is it called?
Joey Nord: It’s called XSource Mobile.
Chuck Gose: What was it like communicating with these remote, embedded employees prior to that launch?
Joey Nord: It was basically email only. And we had a lot employees who because we came together through acquisition as a company, and a lot of companies were sitting amidst the customers, not at a Ciox location, some of them didn’t even have Ciox email addresses at the time and weren’t really receiving all the communications. And the ones who were, were just being bombarded with a slew of emails.
Chuck Gose: Right.
Joey Nord: And we really didn’t have any sense of whether or not they were getting the emails. Was the content really resonating? Now we know we can reach all of those employees, regardless of their location and meet them where they are which is very important.
Chuck Gose: I assume those emails were very much sort of a spray and pray-approach?
Joey Nord: Correct. I love that phrase. Spray and pray. That very much is what we were doing, and I think this gives us an opportunity… we’re getting incredible analytics and metrics now back from this. So I can look and see on a content by content basis and channel by channel basis, I can look and see what kind of content is resonating with our employee base and that helps me plan for the future. And determine what types of content our employees want and need to receive.
Chuck Gose: Has there been any unique data? Like anything that caught you and the team off guard that maybe your instincts said one thing but the data has said something else?
Joey Nord: I think that what surprised me the most was the amount of time that folks were staying on the app.
Chuck Gose: Okay.
Joey Nord: Which tells me that they’re actually engaging with the content and not just taking a quick glance or quick look. We had a lot of discussion over the last two days about attention spans and how we’re working with the challenge of being in an incredibly busy world where everyone has a lot of information firing at them and we have to kind of cut through. Find a way to cut through.
Chuck Gose: Yup.
Joey Nord: And I think that has been something that has been a positive for us. Pleasantly surprised us.
Chuck Gose: That’s great. Now you mention about some of the metrics and data behind the system. Part of it is also being able to target employees. So it’s no longer, spray and pray.
Joey Nord: Correct.
Chuck Gose: So how important is that and how do you begin targeting and looking at your different segment groups.
Joey Nord: Well it’s interesting that you mentioned that because we’re actually just starting down that path.
Chuck Gose: Oh, very good.
Joey Nord: We’re actually at year two. We’re just about to start year two on May 9th so we had our one year anniversary of the launch of XSource Mobile and the next stage for us is we’re right now pulling together targeted channels.
To reach out to employees in our individual regions for example. Geographic regions. Also employees in particular functions. For example, training is an area where we really like to use the app to target managers for training.
I think we’re just starting down that path but we’re very excited about it and it’s something that’s very necessary and I will say that our leaders in those areas have come to us and said if we didn’t have this app, they would have to go out and purchase another tool to make that happen.
Chuck Gose: Right. Absolutely.
Joey Nord: So the fact that we can leverage the app that’s already in use as a funnel for that is fantastic.
Chuck Gose: As you go forward in year two, is there something that you’re super excited about as it relates to now being able to whether target these employees or create new content. What is it that you’re excited about heading into year two?
Joey Nord: I think the ability to really push the envelope in terms of the content that we create. Being a bit more creative. Having a little more fun with it and injecting a little more originality. Just to kind of really catch them off guard and not have it be your typical standard corporate content.
Chuck Gose: Very good.
Joey Nord: So I’m excited about the opportunity to really push the envelope there.
Chuck Gose: Okay. Well, thank you Joey. Great session today.
Joey Nord: Thank you very much.
Read more about Joey’s presentation and other highlights from FutureComms on our new blog post, Connecting Communications To Business Outcomes: Key Takeaways From FutureComms 2019.
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