AB Thinks  →  23rd August 2018

Exchange proves its worth

AB Thinks

Relaunching an established newsletter is no mean feat, but Exchange magazine has inspired as well as engaged – and earned an IoIC Award of Excellence from the Institute of Internal Communication.

Arriva Rail London (ARL) is responsible for running London Overground’s suburban rail network. It employs 1,500 people who are responsible for the journeys of more than 500,000 passengers each day. ARL had a printed newsletter – Exchange – but felt that it needed to work harder to engage and inform its readers.

That’s where we came in. AB has a proven track record in successfully engaging mobile and disparate workforces and we took up the challenge in early 2018.

Hard to reach

Clear and engaging internal communications were needed to inform, unite and inspire ARL’s workforce, including hard to reach colleagues working with trains or based at stations. Exchange needed to help colleagues feel informed, understand how their work contributes to the success of ARL and to learn more about other teams and roles.

Editor Liam Power said: “We felt Exchange needed to be a credible read, be a true reflection of working for ARL and generate a sense of pride in the organisation. To do this we worked with ARL to overhaul the design, tone and structure of the publication.”

Behind the headlines

The editorial strategy for the new-look Exchange was to tell the story behind the headline. The content would bring personal stories and employee personalities to life and show how ARL is supporting colleagues to achieve their goals. This was teamed with a complete redesign to create a vibrant, image-led magazine with plenty of colour. The result was a publication with great content that’s easy to navigate and enjoyable to read.

Positive response

The first issue of the relaunch was March 2018, featuring strong imagery of frontline colleagues and stories about their working lives. The vibrant issue was packed full of stories about colleagues across a mix of roles. The response was positive, including from the managing director Will Rogers. An online survey of colleagues’ opinions after two issues of the new look magazine showed it was already proving its worth with 64 per cent of respondents strongly agreeing with the statement that Exchange helped them feel informed about what’s happening across the business.

We are now looking to take Exchange forward and cover more hard-hitting topics over the next 12 months.

To find out how we can help with your communications challenges contact tom.thake@abcomm.co.uk