Best Use of Social Media for Internal Communications

ConAgra dishes up new crowdsourcing philosophy internally

With the help of a new portal and a roving band of Yammerheads, ConAgra replaces siloed communications with a lively enterprise social network.

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How do you cook up a new way of doing things when a survey reveals your employees are passionate about your company and products, but you also learn there is an opportunity to build trust in the workplace?

Or when your firm was built through acquisitions, locking collective intelligence in silos?

At ConAgra Foods, the solution was a “Recipe for Growth” powered by crowdsourcing through a new employee portal and Yammer-based enterprise social network. ConAgra’s success wins it the prize for Best Use of Social Media for Internal Communications in PR Daily’s 2013 Social Media Awards.

ConAgra is one of North America’s largest packaged food companies, boasting more than $18 billion in retail sales each year. Open your pantry, and you’re bound to find ConAgra products in there, with a presence in 99 percent of America’s households.

When research revealed frustrations with internal communications, ConAgra sought to open up transparency and dialogue and create an environment where healthy curiosity about the company was applauded, the company reports.

ConAgra appointed Yammer ambassadors, called Yammerheads, who attended frequent training so they could help lead the Yammer implementation. It got senior leaders to start using Yammer as their primary daily method of communicating broadly to their large organizations.

Key Yammer groups helped boost productivity, model success behaviors, and encourage Yammer adoption. And for the technically challenged, ConAgra offered Yammer 101 training sessions.

A new portal curates news from Yammer in real time, and its home page also has live Facebook and Twitter feeds, which encourage employees to engage with the company’s brands externally.

All this led to a situation where more than 780 Yammer groups are driving business results, ConAgra says. Engaged users increased elevenfold, to 11,000, in just 12 months.

“Our best groups connect employees working on specific brands from end to end (plant to corporate), creating better strategic decisions and solutions,” ConAgra reports.

ConAgra Foods’ communications and external relations team was behind the effort.

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