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Insight - an employee forum

As an aid in the integration effort Abc will publish a staff magazine twice a month. The magazine, which is called Insight, will reflect Abc’s and its subsidiaries’ operations, provide internal information and stimulate free and open debate.

Insight will be bulging with news reports and stories about people in the company, new projects, assignments and other relevant information. Abc’s president, John Johnsson, believes that a staff magazine constitutes an important part of the effort to integrate the former organizations.

– The staff magazine is extremely important! Its primary tasks will be to put across internal information and to stimulate free and open debate. This will contribute to increasing the feeling of togetherness in the company.

Important that everybody receives information
A staff paper is an employee forum where it is possible to read the latest news and find interesting information as well as communicate across national borders and competence areas.

– In a company which is geographically dispersed it is important that everybody receives information, visions and goals and that people actively contribute with anything that can be of interest to colleagues and others within the organization. There are many ways of communicating within a company, but if everybody pull their weight, Insight could become our most important, commmon internal communications channel,’ says Ulrik Ulriksson, senior vice president corporate communications.

Insight is commissioned by the information and marketing function at the parent company, which will also be contributing to the editorial content. The magazine is to be published according to existing media regulations and will be of interest to all staff categories. Consequently, the magazine endeavours to cover a wide range of subjects and the language is clear and concise. Insight is to reflect Abc’s operations as well as those of its subsidiaries, inform about improvements that will affect the organization and its employees and provide a forum for debate of general interest.

Good reasons for choosing an external editor
Abc’s Ulrik Ulriksson is legally responsible while the post as editor-in-chief is outsourced. Freelance journalist Leena Holm Bodelsson, who has been given the post, works in Sölvesborg in southern Sweden. She is responsible for the entire production of the magazine, from layout to final product. Leena previously produced XXX’s staff magazaine, Inside, and is active in all media except radio. She has worked for Swedish Television, the trade press and some of Sweden’s major weekly magazines. Insight’s editorial staff also includes other freelance journalists around the country and the translator Katarina Trodden who is based in Stockholm.

Abc had good reasons for choosing to appoint an external editor for the staff magazine.

– I have myself previously edited a couple of staff magazines, both on paper and on the intranet, and I’m convinced that you achieve a far better result with an external editor producing the magazine,’ says Ulrik Ulriksson.

– Partly because articles are better and more to the point if they are written by a professional journalist who sees the company "from the outside", and partly because we who are working in the company may dare to have a more open relationship with an external editor. This means that we are able to ventilate both positive and negative issues internally. Another reason is that people within the company simply don’t have the time to spare because of their workload, which means that the magazine ends up much lower down on the list of priorities than it should. We must be able to count on the magazine being published regularly and that a professional editor is responsible for the quality in co-operation with the people who contribute the information.

The best news items always come from within
– My goal is to create a living magazine, close to the readers and which inspires all kinds of feelings except boredom, says Leena.

At the same time she emphasizes that responsibility for the end result does not rest on her shoulders alone.

– I depend on virtually everyone in the organization. My experience is that the best news items always come from within in the form of questions, reactions, new commmissions, satisfied customers and new employees. What appears to be a trivial, everyday event could very well turn out to be a news item since we on the editorial staff often see things from a different perspective. So I would like to ask you all at Abc to contact me for an evaluation. It could be about big or small events, reflections or queries, it doesn’t matter. Better too much than too little.

– If we all actively strive to make a contribution, Insight will be a highquality magazine, says Ulrik Ulriksson’


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