The communication needs of a top-ranking modern university are multi-layered and complex. As one of the world’s leading educational institutions, the University of Strathclyde was aware it faced challenges in delivering best-in-class internal communications.
The agile and innovative internal communications team had many great success stories and important information with which to engage the university’s 4,500+ employees, but lacked the enabling communication infrastructure to make it happen.
Specifically, the team had no communication software platform to communicate effectively and efficiently across the university community.
The technical limitations of their existing system meant email creation and distribution were cumbersome and time-consuming. Most significantly, the team had no analytics to deliver insight into what was working and what was not, who was engaging with the content, and who was not.
As a result, they had no way of knowing if important information such as urgent news, ground breaking research, or funding updates was landing or going unheard among its key audience.
This situation had to change. So, like many of the world’s most successful organizations, the University of Strathclyde looked to Poppulo.
The communications team’s Linda Woodcraft had previously used Poppulo at a leading bank – so she knew it would be a game-changer for Strathclyde’s internal communications and employee engagement.
I knew that Poppulo would transform our internal communications, and I don’t use the word transform very often. But in this case, Poppulo proved itself to be extraordinarily transformative.
The team forged ahead and built an effective business case, and got the software implemented. Their first communication initiative was to create a new weekly newsletter as well as a new template for senior leader briefings.
After we sent out our first email newsletter using Poppulo, people called me and told me how amazing it was. The emails are easy to read, easy to navigate, and are ultimately easy to get information from.
Implementing Poppulo has had far-reaching results for Linda and her team, especially in light of the COVID-19 crisis where internal communications are more important than ever. Here are a few of the impressive results achieved using Poppulo:
- Insights into engagement. Prior to the introduction of Poppulo, the team had no way of knowing who was engaging with their communications. Now they can share key metrics with the senior leadership, which has enabled them to adapt and improve their leadership communication plan based on solid performance data.
- Ability to respond in a crisis. The university fortuitously deployed Poppulo for the first time on January 30, 2020, shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic forced much of the staff to work from home. Throughout the pandemic, the university leveraged Poppulo to give updates and provide resources to the staff.
- Time savings. The volume of communication has increased exponentially as a result of the COVID crisis, so the ability to quickly and easily create engaging emails with the Poppulo drag-and-drop builder has been of enormous benefit. The team has been freed up to work on other strategic comms priorities in this busy period.
- Helping to foster a sense of community. The university, like many others, is a decentralized organization and ensuring colleagues feel connected with the institution and one other has never been more crucial than this year. User feedback has demonstrated the invaluable role of communications sent via Poppulo – the interactive features such as likes, comments, polls and the ability to host multimedia have brought content to life and engaged the audience to share and recognize experiences and insights.
- Metrics matter. Decision making prior to Poppulo was made based on very little factual evidence of what was working or not working, due to the lack of analytics software. Now, the communications team can support their senior executive with data on what type of information works best for the different audiences, when it works best, and in which format.
- A crisis will test your internal communications tool. No one expected the COVID-19 pandemic to change the way we work and communicate. But it certainly has. Now, more than ever, workplaces need internal communications tools that keep their staff informed. When a global crisis impacted the University of Strathclyde, it became quickly and clearly evident that Poppulo enabled the communication team to deliver when it was most needed.
COVID-19 has been a very challenging backdrop, but it’s given us an opportunity to clearly illustrate the crucial importance and value of our communications. Right now, internal communications is an absolute necessity for the university and our standards are high.