The UK- based Financial Ombudsman Service is the free service that sorts out problems between banks, insurers or other financial businesses and their customers. To inform people about crucial financial complaints and how to negotiate or prevent them, they use ombudsman news, a regular newsletter supported by a Newsweaver platform. “From the beginning, the system was very simple to use. It soon enabled us to keep in touch with a number of external stakeholders,” says Head of publications, online and design Sally Young.
But, how about employee communications? With over 4,000 staff working at the ombudsman, internal channels were getting pretty busy. Because of its simplicity, they decided to adopt Newsweaver internally too. The tool, designed for transforming email communications in effective social channels, became instrumental in refreshing the in-house magazine, on the go.
“Initially, the aim was to cut our carbon footprint by digitising our existing staff newsletter,” says Young.
on the go… keep it short and sweet like a tweet
The internal communications team oversees the production of on the go fortnightly. “We have a publication schedule that we collaborate on, filling in with snippets of news and anything we would like to include in the issue. This includes images too. So, when it comes to putting everything together, we have a mini-library of content all lined up from the past fortnight.”
An appealing feature of on the go, is the bite-sized format. “Staff are telling us that they didn’t have the time to read all the headlines. So, we decided to adopt a Twitter style of communication keeping our on the go headline news to around 140 characters.” That means, there aren’t any ‘back pages’ to the news: “we try to keep everything short and sweet.”
Feedback on the go
Through the Newsweaver platform Young can track and measure exactly how the audience interacts with the publication. The original approach of on the go seems to work and to champion two-way communications.
“Feedback has been very good, with real-time stats indicating that a large number of employees are opening and reading it. We are also seeing fewer people requesting for longer articles to be published on other channels and this has reduced the need for intranet updates and lengthy emails around the organisation.”
Teams from all over the organisation tend to get in contact with Young asking for a slot in the magazine when they have a message to get across. “Requests come in frequently asking for specific content to be included in the publication. With its short and snappy style it’s an effective way of sharing the key bits of news.”
Videos on the go
The new magazine has championed the use of video communication: from video diaries with the CEO, to instructional clips about using facilities in the building. “The great thing is that we can embed them straight into Newsweaver so that they appear on the main page of on the go.”
Because the videos are hosted on Vimeo, Young can track all the views. “Some clips garner over 1,000 hits in a couple of days.” However, feedback on videos has been mixed. “Some employees love them, while some people think they are a bit of waste of time. What’s important, though, is that staff talk about them all the time. Loved or hated, our communications are still being viewed.”
on the go for social good
on the go has also helped to generate interest around corporate social responsibilities (CSR) initiatives. “For example, we have been featuring a “fundraiser of the fortnight” in all our issues, which was often linked to an individual or group’s JustGiving page. We saw a large sum of money raised by colleagues who have clicked through.”
Giving all company newsletter a house
Another effective use of the publication is for managing all the company’s newsletters. “Many of them weren’t really in our house style. We wanted a way to gently monitor them.” They decided to bring in all the newsletters from across the service, and give them a home in on the go.
on the go, literally
With a responsive template design, on the go is accessible on any device. This is particularly important for the ombudsman because a fair proportion of its workforce are generation Y and often on the move. “Through the optimised mobile experience, young and remote employees are more likely to be connected and engaged with the company’s news.”
Since using Newsweaver with on the go, the corporate word has been spread exponentially and generated greater interest from staff. The tool has also enabled Young to gain different insights about the internal audience’s needs and preferences – from format to subject material. “Plus, it has helped a small team of internal communicators to save on costs.”
This article originally appeared on simply-communicate