Nitya is shocked at the question she just heard. Mark Till, the leader of Omega Confectionary, a multinational organization with over 3000 employees met with her to discuss the rollout of a referral campaign. He refused her request for hiring a creative agency to support the campaign. Nitya runs the Internal Communications team and is short staffed with only one other person in her team to oversee all the communication that takes place within. Here is a summary of their conversation which also involves the HR Head, Meena who owns recruitment for the firm.
Mark: “Nitya, our referral program needs an overhaul. It is the most powerful channel we have and there is a need to invest communication muscle behind rebranding the program. Meena, what do you think?”
Meena: “Yes, I agree we need to do a lot more. Currently, there are poor perceptions about the channel even though it ends up getting us the right talent for all our different business units. Employees don’t trust it much and we have seen a drop in quality of referrals coming in.”
Nitya: “Sounds good Mark and Meena. I also agree that this is an important channel and we need to do more to build awareness. However, from what I understand it will mean communicating across our 5 offices in the 3 cities we operate. I foresee a lot of effort going into designing and conducting the campaign including activating on the ground at each of the offices.”
Mark: “Nitya, this sound be straight forward. We have our administration team contacts at each office and they can help us on the ground, right?”
Nitya: (sounding defensive): “I meant that we don’t have the resources or the time to do this campaign on our own. It will mean engaging an agency to pitch in for design and conceptualising the campaign. Do you have budgets for this exercise, Meena?”
Meena: “I am trying to save costs in my hiring process and we have limited funds. Mark, what about your budget? Can we use it?”
Mark: “Nitya, this is unacceptable. You are the leader of our communication function and you should be able to do this campaign on your own. Why do you need an agency? If you need an agency, what is your role? Why do we need you?”
Nitya: “I meant…we aren’t staffed to manage something as large as this. This is the first time, we need to do it right and it needs a creative angle to this….I don’t have a designer on my team….(her voice trails)
Mark and Meena close the meeting and ask Nitya to revisit her approach to this campaign. Nitya walks back dejected and mulls her options.
What can Nitya do and why is she hearing what she is hearing? How can you guide Nitya to think differently and come back to Mark and Meena with a plan?
Interested to hear your views. Do share them here.