Campbell Soup Company’s Public Affairs and Information Systems teams took the corporate lead in developing a world-class, competitive, global intranet site for employee communications. The Campbell Today website has helped to contemporize and revitalize the company’s global communications efforts. These important tools are also helping to drive culture change and improve productivity across Campbell’s global community.
Campbell Soup Company previously published a weekly newsletter that reached 1,200 corporate employees at our World Headquarters (WHQ) in Camden, NJ. The in-house print publication had a high readership at WHQ, but it was not timely and was not readily accessible to employees worldwide.
Our Public Affairs team surveyed our Global Communications Council representatives from worldwide subsidiaries including Pepperidge Farm, Godiva, North American soup manufacturing plants, and international locations in England, France, Germany, Australia, and Hong Kong, as well as WHQ. Our research, a combination of print questionnaires and in-person brainstorming sessions, showed that employees were ready for a daily electronic Campbell newsletter. We researched the number of employees who had computer access and found that we could reach approximately 8,000 employees at a variety of levels through this new medium.
Once we knew what our employees wanted, our objective was to create and launch a world-class, competitive, cost-effective global intranet site for employee communications. Updated daily, the site would provide immediate access to news and feature stories, messages from the CEO, announcements about new employees and advancements, recognition, and other areas of employee interest.
Working with an outside design firm, we developed prototypes for an intranet site, then tested them with our Council members, human resources representatives, and other employees to ensure that the new site would meet the needs of the overall population. We worked closely with our Information Services team to make the new Campbell Today intranet site an integral part of Campbell’s overall intranet. When we presented the complete site to our CEO and senior leadership team, they embraced it and encouraged us to launch as quickly as possible.
While we were developing the Campbell Today intranet site, our Information Systems team was creating a Campbell homepage to give employees easier ways to navigate websites on the internet and intranet. The new homepage, which automatically launches when turning on most Campbell computers, offers direct links to stock information, the telephone directory, benefits information, and Campbell Today. It is customizable to suit individual needs.
The Public Affairs team worked with Information Systems to launch the main intranet homepage and the Campbell Today site simultaneously on June 29, 2000. We knew that publicity would be critical, and the timeline included a worldwide communications plan to introduce these new communications vehicles to employees. Tactics included posters, brochures, informational open houses, e-mail notices, and in-person visits to subsidiaries as appropriate. The brochures are now included in the ongoing orientation program for new employees.
The intranet site is only accessible through a Campbell Soup Company computer due to safety precautions. The attached printouts are intended to give a flavor for the comprehensive and useful information available on Campbell Today. With numerous convenient interactive links and animated graphics complementing the balanced, informative content on the site, Campbell Today is a first-class source of worldwide Campbell information.
The Campbell Today intranet website is a dynamic, user-friendly, timely, and cost-effective news vehicle. Campbell Today has increased distribution of Campbell news more than five-fold, immediately reaches everyone who has access to our network worldwide, and encourages two-way communication. It better aligns the organization against our corporate goals and values by expanding the level of information available to employees about Campbell people, brands, goals, strategies, and results. Further, publishing the newsletter on-line has eliminated more than $50,000 a year in printing and photo developing costs.
Initial reaction has been positive throughout the company. From the Legal Department and Human Resources to the Sales Company, Pepperidge Farm in Connecticut, Godiva in New York, and Campbell Europe, comments have included the following:
“Campbell Today looks great; your stories are always wonderful…. I always thought it was a great idea to have the [homepage] right there when we opened up our computers.”
“The website looks terrific – congratulations to you and to the talented team that brought it to life!”
“I just toured the new Campbell Today site and it is awesome!!!! It is great to be able to track the stocks, our competition, and read [the CEO’s] message as well. Applause, Applause!”
“What a great transformation. The new site is excellent. Thanks to all involved.”
“You’re doing an excellent job on the Campbell Today! I love the graphics and the layout.”
“Thanks to the great Campbell Today site, I have managed to get all of the information and pictures I needed for a presentation at 9 am tomorrow. The archive search capability is phenomenal! I needed some photos of products [not available elsewhere]… and guess where I found them - Campbell Today! A great breakthrough in productivity.”
One of the benefits of the site is that we can make some changes immediately, such as adjusting link buttons for ease of navigation. On a larger scale, we are now preparing for Phase 2, based on employee feedback and benchmarking with companies such as IBM and Pillsbury. An employee survey to be distributed in December is intended to generate a broader base of opinions from employee users. We are redesigning the homepage based on feedback from employees who said, “We want more room for Campbell Today!” Finally, our Information Systems team has now committed resources to create a tracking system to monitor hits and give us a better tool to measure employee use of Campbell Today, and we expect to have access to that feature available later this year.