Community Building – Blog

B.C. transforms ‘dry’ intranet blog into a lively forum

British Columbia Public Service revamps its blog by using a fun, casual tone that attracts strong employee feedback.

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The British Columbia Public Service knows how to create a fun, informative and active internal blog. With a witty name, “Health-Bent,” and strong voice in writer Rachelle LeBlanc Quiney, it won Ragan’s Employee Communications Awards in the Best Community Building on a Blog category.

B.C. Public Service revamped its previously lackluster intranet presence. Previous topics typically included “dry program information and updates” as “it’s difficult to make a flu clinic schedule sexy,” says Kathleen Walsh who submitted the blog entry on behalf of B.C. Public Services. But it did.

B.C. Public Services proposed a health-focused blog to inform employees about its new health programs and make employees aware of their personal health. It was understood that to make this endeavor successful, regular content combined with two-way communications was necessary to foster engagement and return visits to the blog. A strategy was developed before the blog’s launch that included the title, a weekly schedule and blogging best practices as well as the necessity of maintaining a distinct voice. The communications plan included:

  • Providing an evidence-based resource for public service employees to discuss health issues;
  • Creating an interactive space where people can share stories;
  • Creating a blog that has a distinct voice to create familiarity;
  • Inspire public service employees to maintain or improve their health.

LeBlanc Quiney ensured that she created a fun, casual tone that fit the overall tone of the internal website on which the blog is housed. This encouraged employees to share feedback and address difficult issues, like mental health, that may be hard to address in other forums.

To further emphasize a person behind the voice, the blog features a picture of LeBlanc Quiney. Having a distinct voice, and someone who clearly understands the organization, its employees and the issues and questions they face paid off.

Employees react positively to posts, ask questions and engage regularly. Posts on topics that employees experience every day—like one written on the perils of sitting all day in a humorous, but informative manner—are often employed. Posts also prompt feedback through questions and individual response to comments.

Blogs are also informed as a member of the communications team works to ensure that a variety of health concerns that affect public service employees are addressed. LeBlanc Quiney also posts personal anecdotes when appropriate to connect with her audience. She made sure to post a disclaimer so employees understand that the blog isn’t intended to provide medical diagnosis or treatment.

Blogging best practices such as keeping posts between 100-400 words, addressing one topic per post, using short, catchy titles for posts and including an accompanying photo are kept front of mind when posting. “Health-Bent” also features guest bloggers.

To view the winning work please click here.

View More Employee Communications Awards 2011 Winners.

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