Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Communications
Weber Shandwick was asked to pilot Workplace by Facebook over a year and a half ago. For those of us out there who aren’t familiar with it: what it is?
Workplace is Facebook’s enterprise collaboration platform that allows organizations to connect, collaborate and engage their people. Weber Shandwick was not only the first PR firm to pilot Workplace during its beta phase, but also the first global PR firm to adopt it globally. More recently, we were among the first three companies in the pilot program to utilize the live video feature.
Incredible! I’m sure your team appreciated the institution of Workplace as a valuable tool, although for some organizations, adding another service to the workflow can become overwhelming. What was the experience like?
We are always seeking partnership opportunities and experimenting with new platforms in order to get early learnings for our clients. It’s part of our culture. It was helpful to be an early adopter with a platform like Workplace to understand best practices early on.
For our own employee engagement and collaboration needs as a global organization, we’ve found that Workplace helps to keep our people connected across multiple markets and client teams. The platform offers us an additional resource to be able to collaborate and share ideas, and because the interface is very similar to the consumer version of Facebook, it was a relatively easy and intuitive adoption process.
You mentioned being able to better inform your clients. It sounds like Workplace offered your company a competitive advantage given the increased opportunity for communication and collaboration.
Our ability to get early, first-hand experience using the platform was definitely an advantage. We’ve been able to take the lessons we learned and share those with clients interested in using Workplace since it’s become publicly available.
Give us your personal experience. Within your role, what has the platform done for you?
In my role as head of Global Corporate Communications, I have found the platform beneficial in a number of ways. In particular, it’s been an effective tool for our senior executives to communicate and engage with employees all across the world. Our network extends to 81 countries, so being able to listen, learn and have two-way conversations with employees across our company is extremely valuable. The Live video feature allows us to share global announcements through live broadcasts while also receiving and responding to questions and comments from people in real-time – a far more engaging way to communicate beyond the standard memo. I’ve also found it useful to help keep up with the latest and greatest news across the network – to have a pulse on what’s happening in our halls.
What else should our audience know about considering instituting a platform like Workplace?
Launching something like this takes quite a bit of communication and teamwork, as you can well imagine. We collaborated very closely with our Digital and Social Media teams, our Employee Engagement experts, and our Chief Technology Officer to develop an approach for how we incorporate Workplace into our employee engagement strategy. If I were to offer advice, it would be this: First and foremost, establish your organization’s employee communications and collaboration goals and your strategy to achieve them. From there, determine whether a platform like Workplace can help you execute that strategy. Most importantly, work closely across teams and functions to make it a collaborative effort.