Peter DePasquale, VP, Frontier Communications
Influencing perception is a daunting challenge. Today, with a vast ocean of digital content just waiting to drown your message, it’s not becoming any easier. Compounding the difficulty is the fact that organizations are highly segmented and all too often broadcast different and inconsistent messages -- leading to collision and confusion. There’s little hope to successfully navigate the digital ocean when your oarsmen are rowing in opposite directions.
While work remains, the development of a robust employee advocacy platform (EAP) has been a foundational component of the strategy. It takes a real commitment to improve the consistency and quality of your organization’s messaging across all channels and platforms and the development of a robust employee advocacy platform (EAP) should be a foundational component of the strategy. But, it’s not easy and since I’ve watched colleagues at other organizations struggle launching their EAP, I offer the following advice:
Your Employees Want to Tell your Organization’s Story
An EAP provides your organization with the ability to invite your team to use their collective digital voices to promote your products and services, corporate responsibility, public policy positions, and your commitments to growth and investment. I am more convinced than ever that an organization can’t influence perception without harnessing the influencing power of their employees. That assumption has been confirmed, with nearly 1,000 employees signing up within the first year – surpassing our goal by 32 percent.
Identify the Right Influencers
If you are about to start an EAP and is considering sending an organization-wide email with a generic invitation, do not do it! Most of the employees have too much work as it is and a blast email will not be received well.
Instead, identify your internal influencers. Start with your employees who, because of their position, interact heavily with external stakeholders. These are your colleagues in sales, marketing, public relations, government affairs, recruiting, and community engagement. Take the time to identify them and reach out to them directly. Explain that the EAP is a tool designed for them to help meet their deliverables to the organization. Next, work to identify your employees who have a particularly strong social media presence—those individuals who have invested a significant amount of time building their reach. More often than not, these employees will be eager to share and recommend content.
Improve Quality before Reach
Resist the pressure to grow the reach of your organization’s EAP too quickly. Rather, focus on improving the quality of the content into the platform to deliver the most impact. Encourage employees to recommend, and in some cases, create content that aligns with the organization’s strategic communications objectives. Review the performance of each post, course correct quickly, and communicate transparently with your colleagues about what is working and what is not. Start scaling up once you have sufficient confidence in the quality of the content.
Your employees want their organization to be successful and no matter their role, they want to be a part of telling its story.
Frontier Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:FTR) is a telecommunications company in the United States, providing communications services to urban, suburban, and rural customers. Founded in the year 1935, the company is at present headquartered in Connecticut, U.S.