Technology never stands still. In fact, it continues to evolve at break-neck speed, transforming everything in its path.
The arrival of Yammer at Gatwick Airport in 2011 has revolutionised the organisation’s approach to communications.
Yammer is now firmly embedded across its communications strategy, with a mix of push channels continually promoting the social network to encourage interaction among the readership.
Caroline Coomber, Airport Communications Manager, said: “We’ll often say ‘Head to Yammer for more…’ in our magazine and on the intranet.
“We’re always signposting Yammer in our other push channels. We also publish our magazine electronically on Yammer too; we give extra content on there.
“For instance, we might put a couple of pictures on an intranet story, and say there is more on Yammer.”
There is no denying that Yammer – in relatively short space of time – has become an essential part of the airport’s communications strategy.
But what are the plans for the future?
Well, Caroline certainly can’t be accused of thinking small.
Inspired by her Yammer experience, she envisages an all-singing, all-dancing social platform, which will allow every one of the 25,000 workers at Gatwick to work closer together.
If the pipe dream does become a reality, it would be TEN times as big as the current Yammer site.
She added: “The bigger vision is for an external network – around 25,000 work at Gatwick in total.
“What brings us together is that we all work for Gatwick and we care about the people and the success of the airport.
“But we don’t want to try and run before we can walk.
“There’s definitely a gap there to fill but nobody is quite sure on how to fill it – I don’t know if Yammer is the answer.”
Caroline’s tips on social success
• Do research – and understand its value
• Understand potential challenges you may get from the business and be ready to answer those
• Create a clear strategy on how it’s going to be launched. Get your senior leaders on board – it’s all about people
• Know your business and what people are interested in. Be prepared to spend a lot of time explaining to people how they can use it effectively
• Have a plan but stay flexible. Of all the channels I’ve used, this is the one that I’ve had to be the most flexible.
Keeping your Yammer feed focused
• Refer people to your business’s IT policy
• Ensure you have a strong social media strategy from the outset
• Select moderators, who regularly meet, agree ways of working and make sure they’re followed.