'Mappy' anniversary

A year in and I'm grateful to have
worked with such a brilliant team
Please excuse the cheesy blog title but last Thursday I celebrated my 'Year at Kier'! For me this is a particularly significant milestone in any new job. This is because it means you have seen through all of the key milestones (i.e. preliminary results, roadshows and conferences) and as a result are less likely to be surprised by any out of the blue tasks. It also means that I can now be confident in planning the use of my time even more effectively.

Whilst at Kier I've been particularly thankful for the opportunity to launch some very sizeable projects and see them through to completion (Kier Album, our first external marketing campaign in #KierHeroes, an entire social strategy and training programme, the Marketing Hub etc.) and last week saw the launch of another large piece of work in our new online office map.

This all started following some initial website analysis where I identified office locations as one of the top three things searched for on our site. The other two are the investor relations/share price sections, (for which I have already updated a clear workflow and content schedule) and the careers section which was updated in December following the integration of a new back-end management tool.

Whilst serviceable, our old map was not built in a way which was scalable when bearing in mind the growth rate of the business. It was a pain to update and now we have so many offices (including those of Mouchel Consulting) the resulting map became a sea of red dots with nothing to distinguish them which could only be viewed at one scale. With this in mind, I Created the following brief for our new map:
  • Search functionality and list view
  • Filterable by country, region, business unit, what we do
  • Photos of all offices
  • Responsive when added to a new template
  • Different map pin icons for Kier, Mouchel and Head Office
  • Easy to update by the central team should locations change/be added
As always the hardest part was ensuring that all of the information was correct and owned by the respective offices. Fortunately I was able to tag this data collection on the back of the offline brand audits. All office locations were visited just before Christmas to update the external signage etc. and at the same time I created a briefing document to be completed at each location on a mobile device and immediately saved online so we could feedback if we required more information. They even took photos of all of the offices and where there were gaps I filled them in with my regular 'Kier Offices' photo series on Twitter! Being completely digital has made this a smooth process with the only drawback being I wasn't required to travel to Australia to complete an audit myself!

From the analytics it's also clear that this is a tool which is regularly used internally so once the team had done a great job of inputting every location I ensured a decent testing period to get feedback from colleagues. Interestingly, all of the comments which came back related to the data and not the functionality which meant any changes were very easy.
Stay tuned!

Carrying on the geographical theme I've also been called in to action this week to run our latest online campaign '#KierInTheNorth'. This began with an event in Manchester and I have put together a long list of social/website activities to really capitalise on the government's Northern Powerhouse agenda. I'll also be taking a trip to Manchester myself later this year as I have been asked to present on 'Digital Integration' at the Digital Engagement conference in September. Although, being from Southampton originally, everywhere north of the Thames is 'North' to me!

So there you have it, we now have an online map which easily allows us to continue to represent the increasing scale of our business. Let's hope that at this year's staff summer party there's a quiz round on 'Kier office locations. If so, my team are going to completely ace it  - especially the 'longitude and latitude' round.
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