THE WEEK according to Pressgang

Monday, 21st March 2016

Time to listen

It’s easy to think you know by instinct what your audience wants from an employee publication, but there’s nothing like asking readers for their opinion on a regular basis.

So its heartening that this week we’ve been helping clients including Rolls-Royce, Interserve and Saint-Gobain set up reader surveys that will tell us how effective their publications are.

The format ranges from postcards mailed direct to employees to online questionnaires.

One part of Saint-Gobain, the building manufacturing and distribution company, has taken up our suggestion of seeking readers’ views on specific aspects of its digital publication in EACH issue. This will provide a useful pulse check that will help to shape content.

Story of the week

A wildlife rescue that happened 8,000 miles from our London office is the team’s favourite story this week.

Two  employees of client Interserve were out for a Sunday stroll on Bertha’s Beach when they came across a stranded dolphin gasping for breath.

If the location doesn’t sound familiar then that’s hardly surprising – it’s in the Falkland Islands.

With other members of the pod swimming close by awaiting the return of the Commerson’s dolphin, the plucky pair at first pushed then dragged the exhausted mammal back into the water and saw it eventually recover and swim away.

Headline of the week

HOME ON THE RANGE

Sub editor Graham Clark came up with this for a story describing how client Interserve was helping to provide a safe haven for wildlife – including 6,000 grey seals – on a stretch of Lincolnshire coast used by RAF and NATO allies for bombing practice.

Stat of the week

In the English speaking population the average person knows 50,000 words, but actively uses about two thirds of that total. Stephen Fry, of course, may be the exception. And talking of Mr Fry . . .

And finally . . .

Pressgang editor Natalie Li reports: Stephen Fry’s exit from Twitter (Frexit? Stexit?) was a sad day for his millions of adoring fans, including me.

What started as “gentle, fun and provocative” for Stephen turned sour. He received heavy criticism online for comparing costume designer Jenny Beavan to a ‘bag lady’ when she picked up her Bafta for Mad Max.

The trolls got to him, and he deactivated his account.

So I was pleased to hear he was attending Ecobuild – the biggest building industry event of the year – because I was going to be there too, catching up on new products and ideas from my client Saint-Gobain.

It’s easy to understand his universal appeal. Artificial Intelligence? He’s got it covered. He waxed lyrical about London’s higgledy-piggledy skyline and the acoustic proportions of Rome’s Pantheon.

You’ll be pleased to know he’s not giving up blogging and I, plus I suspect millions of others, will be keeping tabs on his Twitter page in the hope that one day he’ll be back.

Steve Turner

Steve Turner

What do you love about your job? Summing up a 1500 word feature in a six-word headline.