Imagine developing integrated global employee messaging to 140 countries. Or creating a fun, interactive worldwide online employee scavenger hunt to find “Salt.” Or pondering what Jimmy Stewart would think of solar panels on his namesake Sony lot building.
IABC-LA members packed the Thalberg screening room in Culver City on the historic Sony lot to hear how Sony approaches its external media and integrated internalmedia campaigns. IABC-LA Board Member Myra Jolivet, event coordinator and presenter host, introduced Jim Kennedy, Executive Vice President, Global Communications, Erica Netzley, Vice President, Employee Communications, and Helen Porter, Director, Employee Communications for an inside look at how the Japanese-based company keeps a global focus through its diverse media divisions. The Sony panel covered internal, external, corporate social responsibility and employee meetings and events.
Kennedy discussed how home entertainment has evolved with changing consumer habits. (BlueRay is hot!) Meanwhile, Sony expands further into Russia, China and India where movie audiences are the fastest growing. Kennedy noted “Movies still remain one of the most cost effective means of entertainment” for individuals. External communications strategies also include building up environmental responsibility, as well as the current popularity of 3-D movies.
Kennedy and Netzley emphasized Sony’s commitment to a creative, casual culture, while Kennedy stated the company is not a factory.
While all Sony employees access the recently launched “my SPE” (Sony Pictures Entertainment) for worldwide internal news and interactivity, Netzley discussed sharing the 30,000 ft. view from above through a still-hard-copy-printed quarterly newsletter. The quarterly educates employees across Sony divisions including Imageworks, Screen Gems, Columbia Pictures and more. Global employee communications include a Q&A from division execs to take a “deep dive” into the inner workings of each division. A weekly “Sweeps” newsletter has been transitioned from print to e-newsletter. Erica and Helen noted Sony employees were currently not interested in using social media on the employee site, yet this is a topic that will be revisited.
Netzley and Porter discussed the importance of “my SPE” and “SPE Life” as “Cool…new…fun…and on the lot.” This casual, accessible strategy allows Sony employees to enjoy video clips of Sony Co-Chairs Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal discussing, for example, a current tv show with great humor. “My SPE” also includes video clips of employees’ jobs all over the Sony world.
There was a tremendous emphasis on being, acting and staying environmentally friendly as Sony transforms its culture as a worldwide globally green leader. The “My SPE” dedicated green home page communicates pilot composting programs, earth days, beach cleaning days, transforming sets for reuse, and much more. Culver City employees have influenced green behavior resulting in 99% of Sony waste being diverted from landfills. And Sony’s movie productions are now receiving awards for green behavior.
IABC members enjoyed a substantive Q&A with the panel at the end of the presentation, and then continued the conversation at the “After Dark” event at Culver City’s “BottleRock Wine Bar” for some loud(!) lively wine and beer networking at a record turnout.
Big applause and thanks to Myra Jolivet and the engaging Sony presenters for such an informative inside look!