We’ve done a lot of internal communications over the years, so we know that getting employees motivated can be pretty tricky. When it comes to good staff engagement, you need to have great standout, as well as communicating your message in a way that relates to your entire body of staff – and that usually means talking to a lot of different people.


Here’s an example of ours. Manchester Arndale has over 200 retailers to communicate to. Every year, the marketing team holds an event where they invite the retailers and tell them about their marketing plan for the year ahead, including centre’s planned events, etc. As you can imagine, time-poor retailers don’t want to spend precious hours away from store, and addressing so many different enterprises while keeping content relevant is no mean feat. In the past, only a few retailers attended, meaning they missed out on vital information for their businesses.


To make sure communication and engagement were maximised, we needed to make the event unmissable; something the retailers would want to attend.


Which is why, with the help of our events agency, we created the Talking Shop.


Including a new celebrity presenter each year, Talking Shop is held at the Odeon cinema next to the centre to ensure retailers don’t have far to travel. Retailers are provided with refreshments, before listening to the main presentation and Q&A. We then give out bright and engaging take away packs including a range of printed collateral.


As a result, attendance and engagement has dramatically increased, along with the buy in and involvement of retailers in the marketing events. Most importantly, communication has never been better, which means we helped Manchester Arndale get the word out to their staff in a really effective, engaging way.


Suzanne Armfield, PR & Social Media Manager at Manchester Arndale, said: “Our retailers are vital to the success of marketing campaigns and events, and it’s important to get them on board well in advance to allow good planning. Whether it’s our big student night out or a digital fashion show to launch Autumn/Winter collections in the centre – we need retailers to provide amazing discounts, unique experiences and exclusive offers to increase shopper participation.


“Talking Shop allows us to bring retailers together in one room at the start of the year, get them excited about upcoming events, and encourage them to start thinking about their own involvement. Refinery delivered fantastic support this year, including creating an eye-catching presentation to be shown on the big Odeon cinema screen, developing a pack outlining marketing support available at Manchester Arndale, and designing our 2017 Marketing and Events calendar for retailers to pin up in their staff room.”


And who knows what we’ll do next? Internal comms are evolving in really interesting ways. Will we be developing Enterprise Social Networks for our clients? Or grabbing the VR goggles for a virtual communications experience? We don’t know exactly what the future holds for the internal comms. However, what we do know is, the communication essentials of clarity, engagement and relevance are timeless.