Intranet Content Series: Your CEO Content Calendar Playbook

Intranet content - orange background with a weeklong calendar

A big part of internal communications planning involves managing an editorial calendar and keeping engaging content coming. For intranets, content is king! Thus, our Intranet Content Blog Series focuses on several practical content tips organizations can use to keep employees coming back to the intranet.

In our intranet governance blog series, we discussed in detail why executive involvement (namely from the CEO) is critical and why you must get true sponsorship from the top. Since most executives aren’t communications professionals, in this post we’ll discuss how you how you are going to make it as easy as possible.

The CEO’s Intranet Goal: Beat the drum

As noted in previous posts, a big problem most companies encounter is the low frequency of strategic communications. According to Simpplr Research, two-thirds of leaders aren’t communicating about vision and strategy more frequently than once a quarter. But we can do better.

To combat that trend, we want to set up an intranet content calendar where the voice of your management is consistently iterated over the course of the quarter. For example, strive to have at least two CEO content posts per week. You’ll want to proactively plan this calendar out weeks in advance, align the strategy with your management, and consistently have a “loaded gun”. The good news there should be no shortage of things to talk about. Below are ideas to start filling it out.

Types of content for your CEO intranet content calendar:

Talk about the strategic roadmap and your vision for the company

Goals, metrics, and KPIs are great but an inspiring vision needs more context and storytelling. Periodically, have your CEO or leadership team write about the great new world your organization is building and what it should look like down the road.

Take time to reflect on the company’s history

Throwback Thursdays never get old. And it works in the workplace as well! Have leadership share their perspective on a critical point in the company history. Use old photos. Remind employees that you’ve persevered through challenges before or use the company origin as a means to remind everyone why the organization is special.

Refocus on the company mission

Make your company mission, vision, and values more than a break room poster by revisiting, reiterating, and reinforcing what the words actually mean.

Double-click on various company values

For each of the company values, have management explain what they are and more importantly what the values truly mean to them. Keep these ones pithy and story-based.

Simply share what they’ve been working on recently

Just writing quick periodic posts about your senior executive’s day-to-day priorities will be enough to drive employee engagement. So share a few of the pressing priorities from raising capital to helping out with strategic accounts.

Recap board meeting or earnings call highlights

To the average employee, these activities can be seen as a black box. Management can build rapport and dispel rumors by proactively sharing their perspectives.

Squash fake news and company rumors

No, we aren’t closing that office or selling out to a competitor. Executives are often motivated to fight fake news. These posts make for engaging intranet content and are critically important to set the record straight.

Reiterate strategy and what we are trying to do

Again, once a quarter is not enough for leadership to focus on strategic goals. Get in a cadence of reiterating priorities and communicating.

Simply post progress toward company goals & metrics

This is what we call beating the drum. Short reviews of goals and metrics help remind us of what we’re working toward.

Share perspective on interesting industry/competitive news

Many employees are curious to know where the industry is going and why your company is well-positioned. Plus, a great way to keep employees on message is to have management reiterate your messaging within an industry context.

Post highlight letters from customers

Customer letters are the perfect executive engagement tool: they remind everyone of why you’re in business, can easily share implicit teachable moments, and usually provide kudos to well-deserved employees.

Recap onsite customer visits

Have management share feedback they received directly from customers and anything else they learned – it builds the sense of transparency and gives your leaders street-cred outside of the ivory tower.

Call-out how the {X} department is contributing to the overall plan

Contribution posts acknowledge employees while reminding the rest of the organization how everyone is working toward common goals.

Recap departmental highlights

Whether it’s the CEO or departmental heads, each major department should proactively communicate what they’re accomplishing and working toward. This public approach keeps transparency and forces leaders to think more strategically beyond their KPIs.

Give shoutouts, congratulations, and kudos to users or departments

These don’t need to be long but they should be frequent. So that management is dialed-in and appreciates a job well done. Be sure to emphasize why they matter and connect them to the bigger picture.

Share company (or personal) philanthropic efforts

Show that your leaders are the good one-percenters. Share the softer side of what they care about and how they’re the types to put their money where their mouths are – after all, they are humans too.

Build out your leader’s personality

Interview the CEO on things they’re passionate about or stuff employees don’t know. For example, have them share their passion for kiteboarding or get them to talk about how hard it was to drop their daughter off at college.

Videotape your leaders learning new things

GoDaddy’s CEO would take challenges from employees wanting to teach him a new skill. So he would go out and try his best to learn roller-derby from a frontline employee or would try to solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute. If your leadership is open, these photos and videos are intranet gold.

Share highlights from books they’re reading

Leaders read. And it’s a subtle way to show employees how they’re trying to improve. Many executives encourage book clubs at work and use it as a means to challenge their current way of business.

Talk about what the CEO is like outside of work

Take some time to have your CEO talk about their family, upbringing, or important time in my life. Employees are curious and they want to connect.

Share something(s) leaders learned the hard way

Share a story about something they openly messed up and then what they’ve learned from it. It can provide a teachable moment and it shows everyone your leaders are human too.

Admittedly, this is a lot, but we hope our CEO intranet content calendar playbook will help you with content planning. Your intranet’s CEO Corner should never be short of content. If you don’t have one already, you should also set up a realistic ghostwriting capacity. In a perfect world, you get management started with a Mad Libs approach that can be largely ghostwritten and they lean in more once they feel the engagement.

How to post CEO intranet content

Also important: executives often struggle with intranet communications. This content can be boring and long-winded. Employees want the information to be regular, timely, short, useful, relevant to their job, interesting, unique, clear, and inspiring. So all of these posts should be reviewed with that filter.

Still struggling to get CEOs to participate?

Maybe this research will help you make your case. Simpplr Research analyzed Glassdoor™ data and surveyed employees from thousands of companies to better understand how employee communications impacts employee engagement, company culture, and ultimately affects employee turnover. The findings show that internally marketing the company’s higher purpose, establishing a strong sense of community, and aligning on strategic priorities are all key drivers of employee engagement and retention. To learn more, you can download the research’s infographic here.

Keep your organization engaged! Check out our intranet content blog series:

Create a “person on the street” videos for engagement
Creating a roadmap for your humans of New York-style videos
Using the intranet for digital coffee breaks
Essential content every intranet needs
Getting employees to complete their profiles
Intranet topics to engage employees for every month
Using the intranet for digital coffee breaks

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