“Run your internal comms like a marketer” is a rallying cry seldom heard across the land.
Yet Sara Karam Holtz, director of internal communications at Ellie Mae, is doing just that—drawing on her background as a marketer to better reach her internal audience.
Holtz previously ran a marketing department for a credit union in the San Francisco Bay Area, a job that required a two-hour commute each way.
Fed up with spending so many hours behind the wheel, she landed a job at Ellie Mae, a cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage industry.
She began applying the skills and experience of her previous role to the new job: starting with an objective, studying the big picture, setting up a strategy, establishing and executing tactics, measuring results, and adjusting based on the metrics.
“I now recognize that’s a unique way to operate from an internal communications function,” Holtz says. “Because I approached it like that, everything we did fit into that pattern. … We were able to measure what worked and what didn’t.”
Holtz came aboard at Ellie Mae in 2015, at a time of change. The company had experienced exponential growth over the previous five years, yet it didn’t have an intranet. One of her first tasks was to lead that effort.