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Orchestrating GSK’s Global Campaigns with Comms Director, Cheryl Field

Series 2 - Episode 4

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S02E04 – GSK

Work Happy Podcast: S2 – Episode 4

For a business the size of GSK operating around the globe, the comms challenges around language are more than just tone of voice – translating their messaging throughout the multinational pharmaceutical giant is a vital step for Communications Director Cheryl Field.

With around 20k employees in the Pharma Supply Chain section of the business alone, finding the right channels and tools is key to spreading the essential messages to every corner of the company.

Cheryl joins Alex this week on Work Happy to discuss the 3-pronged approach to measuring engagement, the growing prominence of video content, and how to reach the thousands of employees who aren’t desk-based.

This episode covers

  • Managing comms in a 20k-strong organisation
  • Delivering messages to staff without company devices
  • The prominence of video as a messaging tool
  • Overcoming language barriers in a multi-lingual, multinational business
  • Balancing a single point of contact vs appearing where your audience is


What is Work Happy

“Work happy for me hasn’t changed massively from pre-pandemic to post-pandemic (or mid-pandemic, depending on how you look at it). It is about balance, and it’s about being given the freedom and the opportunity to stretch in a very flexible and agile way.”

Channel Strategy

“I don’t think it’s necessarily pandemic related, but we certainly have a unique challenge about channels, and we recently relaunched our channel strategy based on research about what this remote workforce likes and prefers to engage with. Interestingly, Teams is a chosen tool. When they’re at their computers, they will use Teams, and also good old-fashioned email has cut through – always has and always will, and they’re less inclined to be using the bigger digital platforms like Workplace.”

Measuring Campaigns

“We measure output, which is how many people physically saw the campaign, and then out-takes which is the engagement and knowledge transfer that it created, and then outcomes is the overall effect.”

Video Content

“What we’re trying to get to is video content where, if I’m standing in a queue in a canteen and I’m there for about 30 seconds, I need something really short and sweet. I also need it with captions, because I’m in a noisy environment. It’s not something that I’m going to stand and consume or sit with earphones on and listen to. It’s much harder to grab the attention of people in these situations.”

Importance of Translation

“Just to show how critical translation is, we had feedback that you could lose up to 80% of the audience if you don’t translate it. It could be that content published in English is perceived as being ‘not for me’, it might be something corporate or something that’s not relevant to me, because it’s just not in my language. So it’s a really big thing for us.”

Technology and People

“We’ve got all the right channels, but we’ve also got the right people. I think that’s critical to all of this; technology can take us so far, but we need the leadership examples to really bring that over the line, and it’s definitely been that experience for me for sure.”

Offline Audiences

“Trying to target the offline audience in a creative way is a challenge. We have to remember that every digital campaign we create needs to have its offline counterpart, and it needs to work in a different way, and engage people in a different way.”

Links & References

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