Internal communication: involving in order to communicate

  • A new model of internal communication that definitively supplants the old top-down scheme
  • Involvement and a sense of belonging are themes that supported events

To involve employees in the company’s strategic choices was one of the primary goals of Pirelli internal communication in 2010, consistently with the programme of actions undertaken in 2009 and in response to employees’ growing demand for information. The initiatives carried out to this end in 2010 are broken down by capacity of involvement.

This meant not only information but also interaction, i.e. the possibility of expressing one’s own opinion, according to a new model of internal communication that definitively supplants the old top-down scheme and gives employees an active role in dialogue with the company.

Participation is actually one of the principal goals pursued by Pirelli in 2010. Involvement and a sense of belonging are themes that supported events (e.g. company Open Days) and the choices made to give voice to stories, opinions and also proposals, and to write a narrative that truly represents the group. This is an opportunity that each member of the corporate community may seize to contribute to the collective awareness of who we are and where we are going.

New communication formats were introduced in favour of participation – occasionally in support of specific campaigns (“Performance Management,” Opinion Survey”, etc.) or on occasion of important institutional events (2011-2013 Business Plan, Quality Week), capable of engaging the interlocutor through multimedia languages that are up to date with current communication tools and having an emotional perspective that is increasingly focused on the employee.

Other measures taken to stimulate participation, involvement and a sense of belonging included events for the internal community that were organised over the course of the year, such as the open days in various countries and, in Italy, at the Bicocca and in Figline Valdarno. The latter event coincided with the 50th anniversary of the first Pirelli steel cord plant.
“Pirelli is us” could be the slogan for internal communication in 2010, whose central figures were individuals. It highlighted their experiences, talents and relations, which constitute one of the company’s intangible assets.

What follows are several examples of the principal internal communication initiatives that the objectives described above aimed to achieve in 2010. The increasingly warm, empathetic style and greater production of video material characterise the entire programme of activity, which will be further developed in 2011 through projects for increasing involvement and development of employees.

Interaction on corporate choices and strategic va lues

Pirelli Business Plan channel open on the Intranet

The top management of Pirelli presented its Business Plan for the next three years with a vision on 2015 on November 4 in Milan. This event was of primary strategic importance for the future of the company, for which a direct channel between top management and employees was opened on the Group Intranet.

Business Plan, send your questions: with this exhortative title, several days before the event a global announcement was made that the messages would be transmitted on the Intranet itself (delayed by several minutes) and especially the possibility of sending questions directly to top management by a set deadline.
Numerous messages were sent from various countries to the e-mail box created specifically for this purpose. A personal response was sent to each person that had sent an e-mail. This initiative was well-received by employees and top management.
It is expected that the format will be repeated in 2011, on the occasion of important events.

The return of Pirelli to Formula 1

A multimedia leitmotiv

FY 2010 was characterised by a crescendo of news about the return of Pirelli to Formula 1. This is a model case of synergy between different and mutually complementary internal communication tools (intranet, house organ and projects) in presenting updates to different publics (blue collar and white collar staff), reach different targets and different times.

With the start of official tests and private tests, announcements and news were issued at a dizzying pace: videointerviews of the young engineers on the Pirelli Formula 1 team, shots of the “factory of champions” (the Turkish plant where racing tyres are made), film clips from various racetracks around the world, interviews with the Group heads of motorsport and R&D and with drivers. Employees also produced their own content, posting an extremely high number of comments on the intranet.

Formula 1 represents a strategic advantage for the company over the next three years. For this reason, it has dominated (and will dominate) communication channels with employees – intranet and house organs worldwide – with diversified content and formats, whose variety make it possible to achieve all objectives of internal communication.

‘Internal communication is us'

What’s my name Let’s give a name to the Intranet

The global communication campaign to give a name to the intranet aimed to give it a more familiar and welcoming feel. This initiative was conceived as a sort of competition where all employees were asked to send in a suggested name and vote on the one they preferred, including in graphic terms. It attracted an extremely high level of participation: over 300 proposals were received, some of which complete with a graphic rendering of a logo, testifying to the intense level of creative involvement.
With a name and logo selected by near-unanimous vote (P.net), the intranet is embarking on a new period of information, communication and collaboration.

Corporate testimonials a heritage to be shared

The desktop on PCs recounts events and news from around the world

The desktop on PCs of all Pirelli employees around the world became the stage for words and images narrating big events: the 100th anniversary of Pirelli Argentina, launch of the new calendar and the Group’s return to Formula 1. A new form of communication was introduced for the events that mark company life – succinct, immediate and universal – reaching everyone simultaneously, thereby reinforcing the perception of belonging to a single international community, based on shared experiences and languages.

A week for Quality

Quality represents the Group’s strategic commitment, where the involvement and contribution of everyone represents a fundamental requirement. This is why Pirelli dedicated itself to quality from November 8 to 12. A week of events, meetings at plants, visits to customers and suppliers, classroom days to illustrate quality and improvement projects, and showroom to present new product lines at production plants.
This programme has engaged thousands of persons, from South America to China, from Italy to Egypt, from northern Europe to the United States.

The project was strongly desired to encourage all Pirelli employees to help offer customers products and services satisfying their needs, and thus offer greater efficiency and attention in terms of transparency, safety and respect for the environment.

The week dedicated to quality ended with a web-based conference kicked off with a video message by Francesco Gori, CEO of Pirelli Tyre, which was broadcast live to 12 countries. Every country prepared a calendar of initiatives targeting employees.

Visits to various plants were organised in Italy (Bollate, Settimo, Figline and Milano Bicocca;). A chance to experience the excitement of the Vizzola Ticino test track with expert Pirelli test drivers was also offered, while every plant scheduled visits to customers and suppliers.