How we helped a large enterprise communicate better with their mobile team

We were approached by the Telefónica Ireland marketing team to see how our approach to publishing for multiple devices could help them communicate more effectively with the Telefónica group.

Telefonica's Slice newsletter on iphone and laptop

Telefónica wanted to improve their weekly staff newsletter, Slice, which was delivered every Friday. We knew that Woopie could help.

Introduction

Telefónica Ireland, under the O2 brand, is one of the the biggest mobile phone operators in the Irish market. They constantly introduce new products and services to their business and consumer customers. Because of this, their messaging goes to employees using a wide variety of mobile phones and tablets.

Telefonica logo

Telefónica Ireland is a broadband and telecommunications provider in Ireland. The company is marketed and trades as O2.

Telefónica wanted to improve their weekly staff newsletter, Slice, which is delivered every Friday. This was being sent as an HTML email, but they wanted to serve their staff, particularly those in retail stores and on new devices, with a more responsive and appropriate solution.

Slice goes out to over 1,000 Telefónica Ireland employees each week. It is primarily read on desktop and laptop computers, via the corporate Microsoft Outlook email system, but was also increasingly being read on employees away from their desks using smartphones and tablets.

Slice header and logo

The new Slice newsletter needed to make a big impact. It had to be exciting to read, look great on mobiles and tablets as well as in emails and also reflect Telefónica’s brand values and forward-thinking approach to communication.

Solution

Research

Woopie sat down with Internal Communications Executive Clare MacCann and discussed with her and her team the process involved in putting together the weekly Slice newsletter. The entire workflow includes everything from soliciting and collecting stories for inclusion, through approval and editing, all the way to producing and sending the email.

The process already in place was very time-consuming, with a lot of manual copy-and-paste, leaving plenty of opportunities for errors to creep in.

postit images of design process

The steps involved in producing the original newsletter

CREATING A NEWSLETTER ORIGINALLY INVOLVED THE FOLLOWING STEPS:

  1. Collect Stories
  2. Paste stories into a Dreamweaver template (this often involved resizing images by hand and editing HTML)
  3. Preview newsletter in Internet Explorer and extract the source code.
  4. Paste source code into an Outlook email and forward to recipients.

We knew Woopie could make life simpler and less stressful for Clare, allowing her to focus on what was most important: great stories that would inform and inspire her audience.

Goals and Boundaries

Our first steps were to define our goals and boundaries. We asked ourselves: 

  • “What does a successful Slice newsletter look like?”
  • “How can Woopie make this process less painful?”
  • “What will make this better for both the reader and the writer?”

We then defined our limitations; without constraints it is difficult to scope and define exactly what is needed. One such constraint was structure. Telefónica was happy with their current story structure of short snippets and longer stories and the number of news items they had.

notebook showing sketches of example layouts for newsletter

Working up concepts and layouts

Before moving to Woopie, we prepared the newsletter in HTML using Dreamweaver, manually uploading images to our intranet, and then inserting links to these images. It was a tedious and time-consuming process, prone to errors, and the final result was not particularly visually attractive.

We also scoped out areas for improvement. Easier production was determined to be a big win, along with a better reading experience including larger images that looked fantastic on smaller screens.

Another discovery was that Yammer was a popular internal communication tool, so having a single link to share the newsletter stories was another great reason to take a responsive, web-based approach.

Breaking it Down

The newsletter was broken down into its most basic elements: stories worth sharing. These subdivided into short blurbs (mainly informative updates such as pension news) and longer articles such as marketing updates, major events and inspirational results.

Templates

We then broke these stories into components: headlines, images, videos and text. Woopie comes with an extensive set of default templates, but we are also able to create custom templates. By designing a custom Woopie template for Telefónica, we made creating a newsletter as simple as filling in a form, with the freedom to add custom code if desired.

screenshot of creating slice in Woopie

Making a newsletter is as simple as filling in a form

We also made it simple to add embedded third-party videos and made some clever custom fallbacks to ensure a smoother experience for Outlook users.

screenshot of slice newsletter for Outlook users

Example newsletter

The end result was a HTML email template and a separate responsive web template. Clare and Damian can easily populate Slice with great content, without having to worry about formatting, text sizing, tweaking image sizes or broken layouts.

This allowed the team to spend their time collecting and writing great content, confident that it would look great and provide an interesting newsletter for both employees on email and those viewing through the web version.

Setbacks

One major setback in the process was the limitations imposed by Outlook, which is the default email client within Telefónica. We had originally gone with a two-column template for the email newsletter, but found with larger images that this would increase the height of the emails to the point where a forced page break kicks in, causing extra unwanted white space and breaking up the paragraphs.

This resulted in us creating a completely separate template for desktop email (rather than a forked version of the web template).

Fortunately, this is one of the key features of Woopie: the ability to output the same content to multiple formats and devices, while keeping a consistent design that is honest to the platform.

Insights

A key insight was that it is vital to work with real content (no Lorem Ipsum) – this is the best way to find all the ‘unknown unknowns’, edge cases and undocumented requirements. We began with developing our custom template using archived material, but quickly moved to working with that week’s stories.

“Switching to Woopie made our newsletter immediately more visually appealing and at the same time more accessible on a range of mobile devices. It also allowed us to easily insert YouTube videos into stories. It cut in half the time it took to prepare the content, and was extremely well received by its readers, including senior management.”

Result

The end result for Clare, Damian and the Telefónica Internal Communications team is a simple and fast way for them to publish informative, interesting and inspiring stories for the Telefónica staff.

“Thanks a million for this, I took Diarmuid and a couple of members of our team through it all on Friday and they were really impressed – It looks great in all formats!”
– Clare McCann,Internal Communications Executive

No longer does Clare need three or four different applications to put together a newsletter. She simply writes the content directly inside Woopie, adds stories as required and lets Woopie worry about making them look great.

Newsletters can be previewed at different sizes at different sizes to see how they look on mobiles, tablets and desktop. Sending test emails for sign-off and previewing is a one-click task, as is sending the final newsletter to the entire mailing list. There are two formats sent, each designed for a particular platform’s needs: an email view that looks great in Outlook and a responsive view for sharing via Yammer and viewing on mobiles, tablets and desktops via a web browser.

Telefonica PR and Internal Communications team

The PR and internal communications team with Finance and Technology Director Paul Whelan.

The Telefónica PR and internal communications team are pictured above winning a company award. The judges praised the team for using a range of new digital tools and services, including Woop.ie, to further the business and improve how the company communicates.

We’d love to see how we can help you reach a wider audience on more devices, in less time, and at a lower cost. All while making sure you are true to your brand and making something your readers will love.

Get in touch and let’s talk!

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