An example of a great internal comms vehicle

by Lee Hopkins on April 29, 2008 · 2 comments

in internal communications,tools


I recently had the pleasure of being whisked up to sunny and beautiful Brisbane to catch up with one of the delegates to a two-day workshop on Social Media I ran in Sydney last year.

Pita Norris works for Powerlink, the Queensland power company, and she asked me to present a quick review of Social Media and how blogstorms and other such events might be averted to her colleagues.

Whilst there I met Powerlink’s CEO, Gordon Jardine (a very nice chap, too!) and Pita’s boss, Michelle Berardone, the rather unfortunately named Business Unit Manager (‘BUM’? What soggy excuse for a nitrogenous compound came up with that?) but who in reality is the Head of the Corp Comms Team.

It was a great morning with some amazing outcomes (Michelle jumped straight onto the net and joined Twitter after I had left the room, even though she was extremely sceptical of it, and the whole team read my tweets about how I was relaxing with Mrs BetterComms on the balcony of the hotel after the presentation with a glass of something cold, wet and deliciously bubbly).

But what really blew my socks off was a small email from Pita a couple of weeks later saying that she had been talking about Social Media in Powerlink’s internal newsletter ‘Moving Forward’ and that it had apparently been well received by the 1,000-strong readership. Delighted, I asked to see a copy.

So Pita, with Michelle’s blessing, sent me one (it comes as a pdf).


It is a GREAT example of how you don’t need to spend lots of money to get your message across. All you need is someone willing to put something together once a month and make it an interesting read.

It doesn’t have to be about ‘fluffy’ stuff, either. I put together a series of newsletters/updates about a building move project for a company; once the move was completed the newsletter stopped.


Don’t think that you have to hire in a whole design team and spends thousands of dollars to create something of value. Just look around your own organisation and seek out someone who can communicate, who has some sort of eye for design (but don’t worry if they don’t, there’s plenty of free templates out on the web), and who can pull something together in Word, Publisher, Powerpoint or any other tool.

My only suggestions for Powerlink’s newsletter? Ditch the clipart (here’s why) and get your website manager to correct the copyright date in the footer of the website. Oh, and speaking of your website…

Get the search engine to work on the site too — I tried searching for Gordon’s surname but no results came back on ‘gordon’ or ‘ceo’. You might want to add in the names of key senior personnel and their PA’s contact details… because the ‘contact us’ page is SO impersonal! And anyone who has ever attended any of my Social Media workshops can attest to how much I detest faceless, impersonal ‘contact us’ pages with generic email addresses and forms!

  • Marnie

    Great example of an Internal Comms newsletter from Powerlink – has given me loads of ideas for us, thanks Lee (and Pita).

  • Marnie

    Great example of an Internal Comms newsletter from Powerlink – has given me loads of ideas for us, thanks Lee (and Pita).

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