Shel Holtz recently spoke with leading employee communications professionals on communications data, content strategies, best practices and more. This blog series, Shel Holtz & Friends, highlights some key takeaways from the interviews that you can apply at your organization.
One of the biggest challenges communicators face is relevance: providing employees with the information they need most. Shel Holtz spoke with Jenn Holzinger, who leads Global Employee & HR Communications at The Dow Chemical Company, on a recent episode of For Immediate Release. Jenn explained how the ability to set up separate content channels in their program, Dow Connect, powered by SocialChorus, gave employees the ability to personalize their communications by following channels that are relevant to them.
Jenn Holzinger: We have 14 channels, and it’s growing. I would say just over half of those channels are English-based, global enterprise channels. We have information about our Olympic partnership on one channel; we have information about Dow science, innovation and sustainability efforts on one channel; we have product news on a channel. From there we’ve opened these channels up to the entire communications function. So we have regional level channels. Specifically, in Latin America, we’re starting to see the teams pulling in local language content in Spanish and Portuguese. Beyond that, we have specific channels just for discrete locations. What we’re seeing there is a lot of local content: local events, Habitat for Humanity volunteering, building opportunities and things like that. So we really have a wide range, and what we’re seeing with the regional and local channels is once we get some success and traction with those we have everyone else calling for time and information to start their own local channels as well.
Shel Holz: One of the other things that these channels do, where people at the functional level can become channel managers and populate that channel with content, is it moves the responsibility for a lot of the tactical development of relevant content out to where the employees reside and allows employee communication managers to be more strategic in their approach and deal with other things. You’re not always out there chasing stories — it’s being produced locally. I guarantee you, the people at the plant level are happy to get content from the plant manager, and the plant manager’s team rather than wait for the internal communications team to get around to crafting formal content.
Stay tuned for the next chapter of Shel Holtz & Friends!