Company culture starts at the top. Executives set tone and direction for the business and the workforce – and messaging provides a solid foundation to support the two-way communication employees need to feel they’re part of the team.
Working with the Corporate Communications team at one of the nation’s largest quick service restaurants, KWI helped create a messaging strategy for the company’s executives—defining and creating appropriate communication channels. Determining the right message first, and then communicating it via the right channel, from the right executive, supports our belief that successful communication starts with having a great story.
Prior to this work, there was no focused executive communications, as most news on the company’s intranet site was related to menu and products. Today, many of the C-suite executives share news with the company through specific channels, with communication plans and messages developed for each. These stories are reaching a wide audience, with greater feedback and engagement – through channels such as video news stories from the COO, a blog from the CMO, a live webcast with the SVP of operations, and all-staff talks from the lobby of the corporate office.
Analytics on overall content from the company’s website continue to show engagement with executive communications is among the highest of all message types. Our work with this client continues to grow, and we continue to explore new and better ways to tell stories that have a big impact, and most importantly, meet our client’s business needs.
Internal Engagement Campaigns
Having a strong company brand and identity is important, but having strong personal ambassadors of your brand is of equal value.
An international claims management company tasked KWI with organizing and overseeing a global day of service for the main Atlanta support center, as well more than 50 service projects around the world. Though this was the ninth year our client had hosted this event, it was the first year the mission of this service day so directly impacted their employee community.
KWI led a partnership between our client and Children’s Hospital of Atlanta (CHOA). Employees packed hundreds of kits for CHOA patients and families—kits included activities for children, like crafts and coloring supplies, as well as laundry supply kits for parents staying overnight at the hospital and using the laundry facilities onsite. In addition to packing the supply kits, the company donated over $200,000 to CHOA.
Dozens of employees gave up their Saturday morning to participate in this volunteer initiative. In addition to providing tangible value for CHOA, the event proved to be one of the most successful in the client’s history: 100 percent of participants said they felt satisfied or very satisfied with the service day, with 82 percent rating the event program as very good or excellent. KWI further increased employee engagement by adding a collaborative social media platform to the communications strategy, which allowed employees from around the world to share their photos leading up to and during the event in real time.
No two companies are the same, so no two communications programs are the same. We start by looking at your business and asking, “what’s keeping you up at night”? We’ll provide an assessment of your current internal communication program and processes, as well as how they compare with competitors and industry best practices.
KWI partnered with a 70+ year-old company with offices all over the world and thousands of employees, but very little in terms of communications infrastructure. What’s more: after a huge turnover of employees, there was virtually no pre-existing knowledge to help guide future content strategy.
With a small team in place, KWI spearheaded a communications plan to reach all levels of the organization, from the C-suite down. While a news bulletin existed to reach all U.S. employees, no channel existed to reach the global employee community. KWI worked with the client’s internal UX team, creating a monthly global newsletter to celebrate wins, communicate new initiatives and share important internal updates. Earning the buy-in of leaders, the newsletter featured key messages from high-ranking executives around the world. KWI managed all aspects of this initiative, from content generation and management to setting the editorial calendar to reporting monthly analytics.
Taking a comprehensive look at short-term and long-term goals, KWI mapped out key messages for the year, partnering again with the internal team to strategize on quarter-by-quarter content and execution. By working hand-in-hand with the global executive management team, KWI crafted messages to communicate important initiatives to the company at large. One particular partnership with the Chief People Officer signaled a seismic culture shift for the entire organization – a new company values framework, which KWI engineered and crafted tiered communications for to embed into organizational culture. KWI’s help in communications and marketing strategy resulted in a year-over-year 12 percent increase in employee engagement and their understanding of corporate initiatives, according to an employee pulse survey.
KWI also drafted award-winning nominations for executives, teams and initiatives within the company, earning the client recognition and esteem within its industry. We performed an extensive audit of the client's social media presence, providing recommendations based on our findings. We drafted much-needed writing and branding guidelines to unify the company voice and align messaging. Finally, our consultants created case studies and reports that made it easy to share the company’s value proposition and historical business trends.
In less than two years, KWI helped elevate the company’s marketing and communications department from an afterthought to a key player in the overall business strategy of the company, giving the communications department a seat at the executive table.
Public Relations/Media Relations
We understand the vast changes that have transformed the media, because we’ve lived through them. We’ve not only survived but thrived in the media crucible that faces executives. Our media team calls – and is called by – key journalists covering important issues affecting businesses today. In short, we have the credibility and respect earned only by dealing professionally with the media during good times and bad.
A Fortune 500 global insurance brand had a serious reputational gap regarding recognition for corporate social responsibility (CSR), which company research showed as a differentiator among consumers and investors. Despite their steadfast commitment to being good corporate citizens, their successful business and brand were not translating to well-earned recognition for their CSR.
Knowing the success of any company depends on getting people to support it, and a company’s reputation has a direct and profound effect on the bottom line, KWI developed a robust multi-channel campaign with a goal of using earned media to highlight the company as a leader in CSR. As part of the ongoing campaign, we developed key messaging for the brand and for its leaders and strategically sought media opportunities where they could be seen as a thought leader on CSR and exemplify what it means to be an ethical company.
Results included a feature placement in The Wall Street Journal, a four-minute interview on CNBC (the first time CSR was a primary topic for an interview on the worldwide network), and a multimedia feature story in The Associated Press that was picked up by over 260 additional outlets, including The New York Times. A comprehensive reputation report revealed a significant increase in the public’s perception of the company, and at the height of our media campaign they experienced an all-time company record for fourth quarter sales.
Organizations with a collaborative intranet see approximately 17% year-over-year improvement in employee engagement; a collaborative intranet reduces the amount of time employees waste searching for information by up to 35%. Where do we begin? We start by uncovering the story, then map to the communication strategy, develop executive channels, become a strategic business partner for the company and provide measurement.
KWI was hired to help a fast-growing company keep up with the challenges of communicating business news to all of its operations around the country. A news portal existed, but there wasn’t a content strategy or a strategic plan for the portal’s functionality. Readership was poor.
Working with the client team, KWI developed processes around every aspect of this communications channel – from working across the company to gather business news, to developing editorial calendars, review processes and new ways to tell stories visually. We also added analytics and performance reporting around all of the work, which in turn helped drive smarter coverage that increased readership.
Today, this news portal serves as the hub for real-time company news in a user-friendly interface.
As the portal continues to grow and improve, KWI continues to work with the client, serving as a strategic and creative partner to align all of its corporate communications around the needs of the business.
In today’s climate, a powerful social presence isn’t a nice-to-have – it’s crucial to showcasing and sharing your brand. KWI identifies audiences, platforms, channels and tactics to best suit your individual needs and goals. Then, we ensure the campaign messages feed audience minds in a compelling, eye-catching way — a way that makes them click for the larger story, and then become a part of it. We manage all aspects of social programs, including strategy, campaign management, content creation, analytics and feedback.
A Fortune 500 global insurance brand had a serious reputational deficit regarding recognition for corporate social responsibility (CSR), which company research showed as a differentiator among consumers and investors. Despite their steadfast commitment to being good corporate citizens, the company’s successful business and brand were not translating to well-earned recognition for their CSR.
Knowing the success of any company depends on getting people to support it, and a company’s reputation has a direct and profound effect on the bottom line, we successfully developed a Facebook strategy aligning the company’s content to corresponding and measurable reputation dimensions. This allowed for in-depth analysis and aligned with the framework of the company's strategic focus. We created and shared high-quality, engaging content with calls to action driving Facebook users to the company’s website and CSR microsite.
The company’s Facebook page met and exceeded original goals including reaching a milestone of one million monthly impressions. The company also met and exceeded its annual philanthropic giving goal for online interactions for the first time in its history. A comprehensive reputation report revealed a significant increase in the public’s perception of the company, and at the height of our campaign the company experienced an all-time company record for fourth quarter sales.
Corporate Social Responsibility
We are fortunate to work with healthy companies that have a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) under its many different names. We have been able to help them scale and to cut through the many communications challenges that blur their commitment.
In one case we worked with a Fortune 500 company that was reluctant to promote its strong commitment to corporate giving. The solution: talk about the importance of responsible corporate behavior for ALL companies. We helped amplify that effort with strong messaging and media/social media outreach.
Another Fortune 500 company with a large environmental footprint asked KWI to take a fresh look at its positioning from the outside. The result was a fresh, thorough update of its storytelling and communications channels for internal and external audiences.
Another fast-growing company with a nationwide retail network asked KWI to assess its vulnerability to volatile environmental and cultural issues. We helped that company integrate CSR messages into its internal training and marketing communications.
Change Management Communications
We’ve successfully developed and guided clients through changes of varying size and scope, and our consultative, inside-out approach lets us best help with your change management efforts. We do that through strategic planning, messaging, employee engagement, feedback mechanisms, measurement and refinement.
A large field organization inside a geographically diverse technology company came to KWI to help them launch a new software platform to help route technicians to job sites and prioritize critical issues. Introducing the software across all regions to nearly 1,000 techs required robust communications that familiarized and educated the techs about the new way to do their work.
Because the project was complex and risky in terms of productivity and revenue, we launched a change network to implement the change. This network leveraged selected managers and supervisors in every region (think change ambassadors) who took responsibility for helping spread messaging, provided insight about market nuances and concerns and gathered feedback prior to change implementation in their regions. With a staged roll-out of the program, the program team got better insight into issues and bugs, as well as any inadequacies in communications, allowing the team to adjust and improve for subsequent market rollouts. In less than five months, the tool was successfully introduced on schedule to every technician, with minimal disruption to the business.
No one wants to think about “worst case” or “what if.” But preparation is essential to safeguarding your reputation, and our experienced team walks with you through even your worst days. Supporting you in a crisis is far more than patching you up and sending you on your way; it is often an opportunity to reinvigorate your brand and strengthen your community’s trust and loyalty.
A global non-profit organization contacted us for strategic communications support around the rollout of an investigative report into historical accounts of child abuse and misconduct from one of their international employees.
We coordinated with the legal counsel and organizational leadership to form a plan; discuss scenarios and victim-centric care and response; conduct media training; draft all key messaging, scripts, web content; consult to new policies and procedures; break the story in a controlled format; monitor all coverage.
Without diminishing the tragic circumstances and content of the situation that surfaced, through collaborating closely with the organization to understand their culture, voice and authentic intentions, we were able to help them tell their story with humility and empathy, break the story and control fallout very quickly, care for victims and their families, and maintain steady course forward with stronger policies and procedures in place for the future.
Overwhelming research shows that people buy from people they trust. Original content fueled by research that’s communicated in your own voice, both through your employees and distributed through a mix of owned, earned and paid media, is a powerful thing. We’ll help you build a trusted voice over time by focusing on the things that matter most to you and your customers.
KWI was hired to help the nation’s premier energy company tell its corporate social responsibility (CSR) story. Past storytelling efforts were ad hoc, and a singular CSR report didn’t exist. With an increased interest by company stakeholders, customers and communities, developing and executing on a CSR strategy was more important than ever.
In partnership with the client team, KWI developed a strategy for telling the CSR story – from working with groups across the company to identify its sustainability story, to researching competitor and industry benchmarks, creating a brand-new CSR newsroom and developing an editorial calendar focused on the company’s top CSR priorities. In addition, KWI worked with the client team to overhaul the way the company reported on its annual CSR efforts, developing a new reporting style and mapping to the Global Reporting Initiatives standards, a global benchmark for sustainability reporting.
As KWI continues to partner with the client team to execute on its new CSR strategy and tell its inspiring sustainability story, the company is further positioning itself as a trusted and caring neighbor across its footprint and beyond.