Festive fun at CMA15
At this week's Annual Kier Marcomms conference I was asked to give an update on what we've been up to in the digital team. I believe that if you really want people to remember your presentation then you need to tell some stories. So, given the time of year, what better story to frame my presentation around than Dicken's Christmas Carol? With this is mind, I thought I'd do the very same with this blog post!

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Our big external campaign this year was #KierHeroes which comprised 22 individual minute long videos interviewing key personnel throughout the business. As I have mentioned before, this is something which Kier has not previously tried and we were delighted to be shortlisted at our first ever Construction Marketing awards event which took place on 9th December at the Radisson Blu in Portman Square.

The Kier Marketing Team (L to R),
Claire Savage, Me, Paul Humphrey,
Kristy Myrie
The team all headed down to London, after what had been a particularly busy week, to soak up the Christmas atmosphere, enjoy some good food and drink and network with like-minded individuals (I was particularly surprised to bump into my old boss!) Although we didn't win, we got a really good idea of how marketing in construction works as we were the only nominees who weren't with an agency. It was also a real privilege to get this far in an industry in which I am still relatively new. Roll on next year when we'll come back bigger and better!

The Ghost of Christmas Present

Our use of Trello continues apace and I have now trained the entire team which means we are up and running with it as a project management system. Even I am surprised with how well it is received and it's taken our productivity to a new level. Some of the advanced tools such as filtering (allowing us to see which of our own tasks are most urgent and real-time project progress) are really coming into their own and some team members have even started using it to plan their Christmas shopping!
Mock up of our new interactive map

We have also begun the complete rebuild of our new offices map. This is in unison with our offline brand audit and will contain dynamically updated and filterable content. The benefits of which cannot be underestimated seeing as our 105 office locations are the most searched for thing internally and externally. Watch this space for more details in the future...

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

As a central team one of our main responsibilities is to provide the business with tools to assist them to win work and to communicate the brand. Therefore, our first task for 2016 will be to build a central online 'hub' where all of our services can easily be accessed in one place. We have just begun the mapping stage and this will comprise of services which we manage such as graphic design, promotional goods and film and photography.

The two main interactive elements will be a briefing form whereby colleagues can request one of the above services for it to be piped through to the relevant supplier. The benefits of this being that we can automate the tracking of requests and ensure that when briefs are submitted they contain all of the required detail.

I have also been looking into digital solutions to assist with communicating our brand and have found an excellent service called Frontify. With this we can upload all of brand guidelines and allow them to be searchable, shareable and downloadable in all required formats.

As 2015 draws to a close I can truly say that it has been, professionally, one of the most exciting years yet. I still feel like I am always learning and I've really welcomed the many social events of this festive season to help reassure me that we have a fun and creative bunch of people working in our team. However, a combination of late nights out, a young family, and a busy job, definitely means I'm more than ready for the Christmas break to recharge my batteries for what is yet to come...

Our stand at Highways UK
'Tis the season to be busy! These last few weeks have seen a number of diverse activities being undertaken by the Kier Central Marketing team. In order for us to support a business of over 24,000 employees there is a constant need to not only oversee group-wide initiatives but also to ensure that the business is joined up, becomes manageable and is not operating in silos.

Nowhere can this be more evidenced than in our recent involvement in supporting events. These have included attendance at Highways UK, Scotland Build 2015 and our annual drinks reception at Lincolns Inn. With pre-event event communications, AV requirements, promotional goods and  marketing collateral all overseen by us we have been putting in a lot of overtime!

Tote bags from the North!
My main responsibility was overseeing the stand for the first ever Scotland Build 2015 conference at the SECC in Glasgow and to kill two birds with one stone I also used the opportunity to deliver some social media training to our Scottish colleagues. The ease of jumping on a plane from Luton airport meant I was door to door in less than two hours and satiated my desire for an airport visit (duty free is a great place for Christmas shopping!)

The Expo itself was extremely well attended with over 250 visitors to our stand on day one. This served to further highlight how well regarded Kier are in the industry with the large majority desperate to get onto our supply chain. I'm glad I'd managed to tuck away a full Scottish breakfast to sustain my energy levels throughout the day!

The Great Hall at Lincolns Inn
Another big event we've been involved in was the annual reception at Lincolns Inn in Holborn. This is a truly breathtaking building where Kier kick off the Christmas season by inviting clients past and present for drinks and an address from our Chief Executive. My team were tasked with ensuring our latest videos were on show and it was all hands on deck to hand out name badges, greet guests and network with our high profile guests. I lost count of how many times I was asked to take photos of people on the red carpet!

By managing all of these events centrally it really helps to add continuity to the experience of those who engage with Kier. All of our messaging can be made consistent and we especially gain comparable analytics from our pre/post event communications. By building in a robust model and program in our email sends at the beginning the data we collect is then key to following up any leads and providing a professional and customer focussed experience for all attendees.

As well as the importance of getting out and about, meeting colleagues, and getting an understanding of the different challenges of the regional businesses, I've been developing workflows to help us manage our channels more effectively. These focus on shared goals across the business and I feel that this is where digital can really add value to coordinate and monitor the great work being done nationwide. The whole ethos of digital is to test and learn and by creating an environment where employees are not blamed for failure we can improve with each activity.

Hello Trello!
There are some great tools available to marketers to draw content out from the business (such as Gather Content) and I have spoken before  about the benefits of Trello to manage projects and content flow. It is with this in mind that I have setup a group content strategy calendar that all of the regional businesses can add to. By having assigned people in each area this flags up who has accountability for adding content and where the gaps exist. I've also used Trello's labelling to colour code each region so that at a glance I can see in the calendar that all areas are represented with a full spectrum of assigned colours.

All of this work is essential to curb the silo mentality before it begins. By planning far in advance the danger of no lead time, time for collaboration, and mistrust is avoided. Trust is the most important part of any relationship and by having everything out in the open a healthy form of competition emerges with a greater transparency about the goals and motivations that drive each team.
Next PostNewer Posts Previous PostOlder Posts Home