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July 10, 2011 / The_Mike_Johnson

Pfizer, Tiffany & Co. and American Express Makes Corporate Intranet Engaging for Employees

Left to right: Bob Libbey of Pfizer, Audrey Gray from American Express, Bill Carr from Tiffany & Co.

How does a global corporation use their intranet to harness the specialized knowledge and information their employees hold to provide value and knowledge with engaging content? American Express, Pfizer, and Tiffany & Co. are three companies that are creating engaging information through their intranet as the New York Chapter of International Association of Business Communicators presented a panel that included: 

Audrey Gray began her presentation stating that American Express is comprised of sixty-three thousand employees with business savvy offering a diverse range of knowledge and experience. Known as The Square, the corporate intranet at American Express, her first big test was live blogging an executive management meeting between various global American Express offices. Audrey wanted to provide those employees unable to attend the meeting with as much information as possible, but not all of the minutes from the meeting were able to go out. How would Audrey know what content would be allowed? Her boss sat next to her providing guidance on the content those employees viewing the live blogging would be able to view. Audrey advised that clear, crisp copy as well as video will make your intranet content interactive and authentic.

Bill Carr stated that with two hundred twenty  Tiffany & Co.  stores in twenty countries employing nine thousand people, their intranet known as Blue Tube provides guidance for new employees by giving them an understanding of the brand, culture, history, and products offered by Tiffany & Co. Bill presented a Tiffany & Co. holiday video that featured employees as well as the CEO Michael J. Kowalski that was created to inspire employees, and provide a platform for Mr. Kowalski  to speak about accomplishments over the past year and goals for the new year. In the video Mr. Kowalski also spoke about store openings, and other Tiffany & Co. employees offered advice on successful strategies for serving customers better.

Bob Libbey explained that the goal for internal communications at Pfizer was to help colleagues deal with the large volume of news and information Pfizer employees receive every day. How do you control the volume of this fire hose of information? Before the re-design of the Pfizer intranet there were four hundred intranet sites but did not share a common link or access point which ended up costing Pfizer $10 million and no method to track what had been working. After the re-design, the Pfizer intranet (known as Pfizer World) now has:

– 16257 unique users

– 5.2 million articles

– Publishes three stories a day

– 60 million page views

With the new design there has been a savings of $7.5 million in development and maintenance costs per year.  Editorial standards have been reset with articles no longer than four hundred words in length. What challenges remain? They have created Blackberry and  iPhone apps, but the challenge is in promoting and creating awareness of these new apps to Pfizer employees.

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