International marketer and distributor company reimagines its internal magazine

Print publication now serves as a central hub for communication along with intranet.

Preserving the Legacy with the Wilcon Trader  - Logo -

The WilCon Trader has been a quarterly magazine for employees of Wilbur-Ellis since the 1940s. Although the magazine evolved over the years, a recent review determined that the publication needed an overhaul. The effort has won first place in the “Magazine” category of Ragan’s 2018 Employee Communication Awards.

The internal communications team decided to reinvent the print magazine rather than abandoning it for a digital-only approach. Employees also have ready access to a “flappable” digital version of the redesigned WilCon Trader on the Wilbur-Ellis intranet (the company’s central hub for internal communications).

The redesign was focused on striking a balance between business news and more personal content, producing a new design that would attract readers and invite reading, creating online and offline components to keep a story alive over time while also creating opportunities for interaction and maintaining the strategy of employees originating content.

Working with a team from Peppercomm, communicators began with an editorial calendar used to create calls to action in each issue for employees to submit their stories and photos for content on specific topics slated for future editions. Teasers in the magazine drive readers to the intranet for more information and additional content. Full-length features highlight the company’s strategic activities and market trends. High-resolution photography has made the publication more appealing.

Content includes external news supplemented with insights from internal subject matter experts. Multiple types of media support and reinforce the print version, including a podcast. The content is so popular that when a link to the podcast broke, 200 employees created trouble tickets with the company’s IT department within minutes of the magazine’s distribution.

Congratulations Katherine Fordon from Wilbur-Ellis, and Peppercom’s Mari Abe, David Jolly and Mitch Bombardier.

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