The seven-person internal communications team at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., came away last year from a Ragan webinar series on employee communications determined to remake its internal publication, Front Page, from top to bottom in 2012.
They wanted catchy headlines. They wanted provocative teasers. They wanted stories that would deliver on the promise of their new, more alluring headlines and blurbs.
They did it, and as a result, Ball Aerospace won top honors in the Best Headlines and Blurbs (Intranet) category of Ragan’s 2012 Employee Communications Awards.
The determination to remake everything went beyond better headlines and teasers. The team wrote stories and features with more emphasis on the people behind the stories. They put more drama and human interest into all the stories and profiles in Front Page.
Other reforms were critical to attracting more of Ball Aerospace’s 2,800 employees to become loyal readers of Front Page:
- Ball Aerospace writers critique each other’s stories, headlines, and blurbs.
- Ball editors match more interesting stories with more striking visuals.
- Front Page encourages employee-generated content and photos as well as stories.
- A story-comment feature on every story page draws employee comments.
- Front Page’s format embodies clarity, simplicity, and attractive graphics and photos.
Good results came very quickly:
- The Internal Communications team asked to expand, and management agreed.
- There was a growing demand by employees for more business content in Front Page.
- Requests for employee-generated content have skyrocketed in the past year.
- Surveyed employees told the communications team they feel better-informed and more connected to the business because of Front Page.
- Stories in Front Page hold “drama and excitement unparalleled in past years.”
A sampling of employee opinion from a recent internal survey: “Front Page is a great improvement in the right direction.” “The Front Page has been great and getting better.”
Under the leadership of Kathleen Pitre, internal communications manager, the Ball Aerospace team includes Dave Beachly, Tina Crist, Ken Hutchison, Teresa Rehme, David Rice, and Kendall Storaci.
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