The major obstacle of this internal communication plan is the German employees are not comfortable with major changes despite the facts that German culture values mutual respect and professional commitment. Hence, it is the right time to use PR to help them understand the changes gradually and thoroughly with the assurance that it is also beneficial to their own interests in order to build a strong relationship between An Phuoc and its employees.
This public consists of urban young adults, both male and female, age from 20 to 35 living in and around Berlin with German as their main language. Being average to higher educated with middle income, they have basic understanding of the fashion industry and experience in communicating with different clients. Most of them are looking for stable jobs with reasonable salaries (Burns 1995) to avoid any austerity programs due to the Euro crisis (Heritage 2012). Consequently, they would leave for better jobs if their needs are unfulfilled. However, once they’re in, they would show great commitment and work adaptability. With about 100 employees, they have a significant impact on the campaign yet currently have little interests and connection to An Phuoc. Thus, it is important to forge this relationship at first to have them attached to the company’s values as it would takes time. They are exposed to various forms of media, especially interpersonal ones where they can get clear messages from their employers to perform the tasks effectively (eDiplomat 2012).
This public consists of urban adults, both male and female, age from 30-45 years old living in and around Berlin that can speak both German and English fluently. They are highly educated with high income and have in-depth knowledge of team management as well as communication. Since they’re financially independent and experienced, these managers are looking for recognition and acknowledgement of their contribution. In addition, they are active in working with others yet they prefer to work without external interference (Schroll-Machl 2003). With 15 managers, they form a focal group in which are responsible for directing the employees. Therefore, they are important to the campaign as they’re the ones that convey An Phuoc’s values with strong influence. In workplace, they usually communicate face-to-face directly for meetings as well as via the Internet for brief announcements.
Rationale: Germany has an individualistic culture where people would listen if it is about them or their interests (Burns 1995). Therefore, by focusing on individuals’ needs, An phuoc would have more opportunity to get them engaged to the company’s values as well as forging the relationships in exchange.
Rationale:For any announcements in an organization, as normal employees, their primary concern is about whether it is related to them and how it would affect their job (Drake, Gulman & Roberts 2005). Therefore, it is the fastest and most effective option to get them committed to the company by targeting their need for safety (Tench & Yeomans 2006).Rationale:For managers who have higher positions and have certain social statuses, they need something more than just money which is about recognition (Drake, Gulman & Roberts 2005). However, they are persistent on their own viewpoints and dislike interference during work. Hence, it is better to have the managers attached to the company by targeting their self-esteem while still showing respect to them (Brodbeck, Frese & Javidan 2002).
To create a two-way internal communication plan that involves communication between the employees and the managers of An Phuoc, emphasizing the concept of the benefits of both publics would get if they stay committed to the company. The campaign will be implemented with both controlled and uncontrolled media via interactive and interpersonal communication channels throughout a 12-week period, starting from November.
Rationale: Orientation is the very first opportunity to imprint a company’s philosophy on employees’ minds if conducted appropriately (Drake, Gulman & Roberts 2005). Since An Phuoc regards individuals as the key to success, the orientation will focus on the employees’ benefits when working for the company. Thus, the employees adapt themselves to An Phuoc more spontaneously which helps An Phuoc tackle their main communication problem.
Rationale:As German employees can do their best if the description of their tasks are clear and transparent (Schroll-Machl 2003), newsletters would help them know what to do for better performance. Furthermore, by providing a diverse mix of information, it presents An Phuoc as an interesting company to work for which will increase readerships and anticipation for the next issues. Thus, it helps generate positive feelings towards An Phuoc and gain more engagementwitht he employees.
Rationale: Employee conferences is one of the rare occasions where everyone in the company stays in one room and can meet and connect each other in an interpersonal level (Drake, Gulman & Roberts 2005). In addition, by giving out An Phuoc’s next year goals and missions (as they prefer transparency) and give them the chance to be listened to, the employees will feel safe and more attached to An Phuoc. Hence, An Phuoc can re-assure our key messages and confirm the company’s promise.
Rationale:Interpersonal meetings is one of the most ideal options for two-way communications (Drake, Gulman & Roberts 2005). Through the meetings, together with with An Phuoc’s instant meeting approval method, the employees have more opportunities to raise their opinions and they would think An Phuocput them on top of their priorities. Moreover,, it also helps the two publics connect with each other As a result, the key messages and the second objective can be achieved more effectively.
Rationale:As intranet is now one of the most popular and cost-effective internal communication tools (Prescient Digital 2012), An Phuoc will also launch one of their own to generate their interests of the company. Besides normal interactivities, the jingles and the cookies helps form a connection in their consciousness between them and the company. Gradually, it will grow stronger in their minds (Drake, Gulman & Roberts 2005). Moreover, An Phuoc can archive all the information for employee reviews and evaluation for future campaigns.
Rationale:Ice hockey is one of the most favorable sports in Germany (AsiaRooms 2012) and requires a lot of team collaboration. The sport event helps to blur the gap between the employees and managers. Therefore, they would increase work performance as a team between the two publics. As a result, they will buy in An Phuoc’s values which helps to deliver the key messages and further help to achieve the objectives.
Rationale: Christmas parties can provide big returns for companies with little expense as they can boost employee engagement after the holiday. In addition, it also helps to show the company’s generosity and goodwill towards their employees (Corfield 2010) and more practical than giving bonuses while they have just worked for less than a year. As a result, An Phuoc can deliver the key messages more efficiently.
Rationale:Although rewarding productive employees is adopted widely among companies, it has certain drawbacks: only one is rewarded each month while others might be equally productive, the evaluation are mostly based on perceptions, the rest of the employees might be demotivated (Sidney 2012). Therefore, An Phuoc will use a different approach to reward the employees where everyone has a chance to shine. Through this tactic, it would encourage the employees and managers to voluntarily engage in the company’s missions and values. Hence, it would An Phuocachieve the third objective as well as the key messages of each public.
Rationale:Since Germans are individualistic, they want to express themselves through their appearances. Allowing them to personalize their uniforms would have them feel more welcome in An Phuoc. In addition, it presents An Phuoc as a company that is willing to share their ownership. Hence, it would help An Phuoc connect them with the company as first step bonding.
Rationale:Since German employees are looking for stable jobs, making them feel secure and providing good working environment are the fastest ways to get them connected to to An Phuoc. Through dedication letters, it would show how much a company values their employees while still show respect to their privacy (Drake, Gulman & Roberts 2005).
Rationale:Unlike the first public, corporate managers are the ones that stand between An Phuoc and its employees. Thus, they might deliver wrong messages to the rest of An Phuoc’s employees. By holding team meetings weekly, An Phuoc and their managers will make sure they’re on the right track. Moreover, it gives An Phuoc’s the opportunities to give the managers the credit they deserve and help them stay motivated. Thus, the company could achieve the second and third objective more efficiently.
Strategic PR - Internal Communication: An Phuoc
Group members: Tran Nguyen Ly (s3309992) Trieu Vi Xung (s3312602)Pham Thi Huong Tra (s331598)
About An Phuoc An Phuoc is a well-known clothing line in Vietnam. The company is expanding its operation (retail stores and customer services) in Germany. Client Goal: to encourage the employees of An Phuoc’s new branch in Germany to buy in the company’s missions and values build a mutually beneficial relationship.
Problem/Opportunity Statement The major obstacle:German employees are not comfortable with major changes. internal communication is the right tool help them understand the changes and make sure it is also beneficial to their own interests stronger relationship between An Phuoc and its employees.
Target Publics Primary Target Public (100 employees – sales and customer services) Urban young adults Have basic knowledge of fashion and experience in communicating. Looking for stable jobs. leave for better jobs if their needs are unfulfilled Communicated through interpersonal media and via the Internet
Target Publics Secondary Target Public (15 coporate managers) Urban adults In-depth knowledge of team management and communication Looking for recognition, prefer to work without external interference Communicated through interpersonal media and via the Internet
ObjectivesGerman employees To raise awareness of An Phuoc’s full support for its employees by providing secure jobs among 100% of the target public by the first three weeks of the campaign. To gain positive attitudes towards An Phuoc with a sense of being safe in the company among 70% of the target public by the next seven weeks of the campaign. To encourage participation and consultation with An Phuoc regarding its values among 50% of the target public by the last two weeks of the campaign.
ObjectivesCorporate managers To raise awareness of An Phuoc’s respect and appreciation of its managers among 100% of the target public by the first three weeks of the campaign. To gain positive attitudes towards An Phuoc with a sense of being recognized in the company among 60% of the target public by the next seven weeks of the campaign. To encourage participation and consultation with An Phuoc regarding its values among 50% of the target public by the last two weeks of the campaign.
Key messages Umbrella message“An Phuoc is an organization that places its employees’interests as the primary concern. The company listensto your opinions and would develop together to build mutually beneficial relationships.”
Key messages For 1st Public“An Phuoc values every single employee no matter what their backgrounds are. You will always have full support from the company.” For 2nd Public“An Phuoc is the place where the managers give their bestperformance and have the recognition they deserve. You can always count on us as a team.”
TacticsOrientation What: 5 sessions in total: organizational orientation goal orientation, role orientation, executive orientation and functional orientation. Why: to imprint the company’s philosophy in the employees’ consciousness
Newsletters What: includes external and internal news, key information about the industry, fun stories. Why: to improve performance and to generate positive feelings
Employee Conference What: CEO announcement, admission forms. Why: to re-emphasize the employees’ importance and to re-assure the company’s support
Interpersonal Meetings What: employees can request to meet the managers directly in private for work discussion or consultations. Why: to put them on top of their priorities and to help the two publics connect.
Intranet What: company announcements, jingle, pop-up quizzes, idea sharing, surveys and feedback with real-time updates Why: to generate their interests and participation
Ice Hockey Day What: mini ice hockey tournament. CEO of An Phuoc will give a short speech Why: to blur the gap between the employees and managers increase work performance as a team
Christmas Party What: a free for all party to celebrate the holiday spirit, traditional food & drinks, good luck charms Why: to boost employee engagement and to show the company’s generosity and goodwill
The employees are the best What: upgraded version of employee of the month Why: everyone has a chance to shine
Uniform Personalization What: employees can customize their own uniforms, the leaders give them compliments Why: to make them feel more welcome in An Phuoc, share the company’s ownership.
Letters To Staff What: 100 letters to 100 employees, each will have different angles Why: to make them feel secure with the working environment show how much AP values their employees
Team Meetings What: weekly meetings with the managers. Why: to make sure they’re on the right track and to give the managers the credit they deserve.
Conclusion The problem: employees’ fear of major changes The solution: focus on employees’ needs Who: employees and managers How: 11 tactics throughout a 12-week period.
ReferencesAsiaRooms 2012, ‘Ice Hockey in Germany’, AsiaRooms, viewed 18 August 2012, <http://www.asiarooms.com/en/travel-guide/germany/entertainment-in-germany/sports-in-germany/ice-hockey-in-germany.html>.Brodbeck, F, Frese, M & Javidan, M 2002, ‘Leadership Made In Germany: Low On Compassion, High On Performance’,Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 16, No.1, pp. 16-30.Burns, R 1995, German Cultural Studies : An Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.Corfield, N 2010, ‘Party Animals’, Director Magazine, November, viewed 20 August 2012,<http://www.director.co.uk/MAGAZINE/2010/10_November/office-christmas-parties_64_03.html>.Drake, S, Gulman, M & Roberts, S 2005, Light Their Fire: Using Internal Marketing To Ignite Employee Performance AndWow Your Customers, Dearborn Trade Publishing, USA.eDiplomat 2012, ‘Cultural Etiquette - Germany’, eDiplomat, viewed 15 August 2012,<http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_de.htm>.Heritage Foundation 2012, ‘Germany’, Heritage, viewed 15 August 2012,<http://www.heritage.org/index/country/germany>.Prescient Digital 2012, ‘Social Communications: Delivering Winning Internal Communications Programs With The SocialIntranet’, Prescient Digital, 12 July, viewed 18 August 2012, <http://www.prescientdigital.com/articles/intranet-articles/social-communications-delivering-winning-internal-communications-programs-with-the-social-intranet/>.Schroll-Machl, S 2003, Doing Business with Germans: Their Perception, Our Perception, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht ,Göttingen, Germany.Sidney, K 2012, ‘Employee Of The Month Award’, Articles Base, 19 Jun, viewed 20 August 2012,<http://www.articlesbase.com/human-resources-articles/employee-of-the-month-award-5991409.html>.Tench, R & Yeomans, L 2006, Exploring Public Relations, Pearson Education, U.K.