Keeping it simple helps internal groundswell at Intel

Jeremy Schultz, an internal communications specialist at Intel candidly told me that the 80,000-employee global corporation has a “loosely controlled” internal social media policy. What began as a blog in 2002 is now playing a critical role in giving Intel employees a destination to meet each other.

Intel’s social media tools are a one-stop shop offering intranet communications, blogs, forums, intranet articles. The goal is to stay relevant, understand the real-time pulse of employees, connect with one another, harness employees groundswell and make it as easy to use as possible.

“Keeping it super simple is very important,” Schultz said. A popular classifieds section serves as an internal Craigs List for employees and the most important usage of internal social media tools are to enroll employees in annual health plans. See Jeremy’s presentation here.

Based on Charlene Li’s Groundswell, Schultz says any social media strategy internally should ask the following:

  • People- why do you want to reach them? Where?
  • Objective- what do you want to accomplish?
  • Strategy- how to attract relationships between employees
  • Technology- what applications and tools are needed

Start small and focus on long-term growth, he advised. Roadblocks will occur as you wrangle with IT, HR, legal, the curmudgeons and leadership. Being proactive is the best policy. The company does not use podcasts due to an internal policy preventing it from being used on company-owned PCs. Typical benchmarks for success include achievements towards overall communications goals, comparison to similar efforts and the 90-10-10 rule. 90% look while 10% contribute and 10% comment. His major tips inclue making participation easy, social tools augment but do not replace other communications vehicles, there is no viral on Intranet, get experts in, offer training to employees, lear and share, be persistent.

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