The Challenge

Drax Group is a world leader in sourcing and providing sustainable, renewable power. The Group’s strategy is to transform the business into a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator.

A communications audit identified a lack of cohesion between the component parts of the Group and highlighted how there were no Group-wide communication channels. Drax needed a way to share information and news about each business to help build understanding of how the Group worked.

Drax also has a complex biomass story to tell. Telling this story consistently and simply would be key for equipping colleagues with accurate information, and supporting them in their role as ambassadors for the company.

In the longer term, the internal communication team had plans to build an intranet through which online employees would be able to keep up-to-date with latest news and information. In the meantime, they still needed a way of sharing group news, and a channel for reaching offline employees.

A new Group magazine would act as the first channel for Group-wide knowledge sharing and consistently telling the Group story. Once an intranet is in place, the two channels will work in tandem, sharing information with both their online and offline audiences.

The Project

Using the communications audit findings as our benchmark, we worked closely with Helen Hasted, the Group IC manager, to establish a strategy, objectives and KPIs for the magazine which aligned with the Group’s strategy and objectives, and against which we could both measure our success.

RED’s aim from the outset was to take Drax’s brief and produce a magazine that would tell the Group’s compelling story through the people who work there, and that would be an inclusive and informative read.
We produced a 12-page printed publication bi-monthly for employees, in the UK and US, using the first magazine to exemplify the internal style guide, which we developed in parallel with the magazine. The style guide used the Group’s values as a backbone, so everything from tone of voice through to use of photography reflected their values: being honest, energised, achieving, together. To maximise inclusivity and reflect the diversity of readership, the magazine was written in plain English, and we also produced a bespoke version for Drax’s US audience, written in US English.

The Result

Working with Helen, we created a magazine that both embodied the Group’s values and set the benchmark for the Drax visual style, backed by a coherent style guide and tone of voice that has made the magazine consistent and repeatable.

Feedback and evaluation showed that it was a huge success at all levels of the organisation, and the publication won awards at national and regional Institute of Internal Communication events. The Group intranet will be launched soon, at which point we will move into phase two of the magazine/intranet strategy.

Helen said: “Our Group newsletter has achieved its objectives of helping people feel more informed about our business and its goals. Our ongoing review process ensures it continues to improve and meet business needs.”

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