Internal Comms in a Charity

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Customer Profile:

The charitable trust is set up by the health council to provide support for people wanting to quit smoking, it is a non-government organization (NGO) with no governemnt funding. 

The quit group’s services include:

• Call centre
• Mass media campaigns
• Online Community
• Text service for youth
• Support for community and DHB cessation providers. 


Business Situation:

The group has been growing rapidly since it was started as a small regional pilot in 1999 with only five Advisers. It now has 80 staff and capacity to handle up to 46,000 registered clients each year.

A number of up and coming legislative changes will ensure the continued increase in demand for The quit group’s services. As demand increases The Quit Group will need to continue to scale their services in a cost effective efficient manner.

Internal Communications Situation:

Due to its rapid growth, The Charity’s internal communication systems were lagging behind the pace of change. However, like many NGOs, the quit group faced the additional problem of tight budgets and staffing when implementing a solution.

Communications staff were aware that they put significant effort into engaging with external audiences through mass media advertising and external public relations. It was important to put a similar level of effort into communicating with their internal audiences as well. The challenge was to do this in a simple and inexpensive way…

The Charity's Internal Communications Objectives:

Due to rapid growth, their internal communication systems were lagging behind the pace of change. In 2006 a staff satisfaction survey was conducted which revealed a number of problems with internal communications:

- Email overload. Very few Contact Centre staff were reading emails. A number of tests were conducted where emails (that people would feel compelled to respond to) were sent out…but the response was very low.

Limited communications channels upwards. There were concerns amongst Contact Centre staff about a lack of communication channels upwards….they felt they didn’t have a voice.

Inconsistent cascade of information via managers to their teams. Face to face communications were often failing as team meetings were frequently being cancelled due to high volumes of incoming calls.

Excessive ad-hoc communications. Staff in the Contact Centre and team leaders were feeling overwhelmed by ad-hoc communications coming at them from all angles.

Timing of communications. A considerable amount of internal communication was being carried out by the Training Team who wanted to ensure all Contact Centre staff were implementing important information in their daily interactions with callers. However, due to training schedules, some teams were receiving information weeks ahead of others.

As well as addressing the above issues, the quit group had the following additional internal communications objectives:

Culturally appropriate communications. The quit group is a multicultural organisation with a high percentage of Maori and Pacific Island staff. Culturally sensitive and appropriate communications are therefore important.

Communicating effectively with part time staff. The quit group have a high proportion of part-time staff. It was important to communicate effectively with both part time and full time staff.

Measuring communications effectiveness. Little measurement was being undertaken by the quit group. They wanted to address this to determine the effectiveness of their communications initiatives.


Screensaver promoting staff meeting


How the quit group met it’s internal communications objectives:

The Quit Group worked closely with Snap Communications to develop a solution that met all of its communications objectives.


Their toolset now consists of:

Interactive Screensavers - images and animation to convey messages
Staff Quiz - Interactive quizzes pushed to the desktop
Staff Survey - Interactive surveys pushed to the desktop
Desktop News Ticker - Customisable scrolling news feeds pushed to the desktop
Internal Newsletter - Interactive magazines allowing user generated content


All of the SnapComms tools are administered by the quit group via the ‘Content Manager’. This is a web based management interface that facilitates the creation, targeting and publishing of messages to desired employee groups.  8 months after implementing the SnapComms solution, the quit group conducted another staff survey, significant improvements were shown by the results, despite the survey being implemented during a period of organisational change.

“The SnapComms tools have helped to build staff engagement”
Penny St John, Communications Manager

Screensaver promoting The Quit Group’s values

Applications examples

Interactive Screensavers– Screensaver images and animation to convey messages
Screensavers are used to ‘advertise’ internally to staff and to overcome email avoidance. At any stage in The Quit Group office, there are screensavers sequencing on a number of computer screens acting as dynamic billboards around the business.
The Quit Group use screensavers very effectively for everything from promoting organisational values through to general business notices and reminders.
The Quit Group have also found that screensavers are a good way of achieving business unit buy-in to the communications process. Business units are now publicising issues, events and developments that they may have or may not have been sent out previously in an email.

“I was surprised how quickly and easily a screensaver could be set up and sent out”
Penny St John, Communications Manager

Staff Survey – Interactive surveys pushed to the desktop
The Quit Group use surveys to measure communications effectiveness, benchmark attitudes and gather important feedback. People are now able to ‘communicate upwards’ on a regular basis, and The Quit Group is now easily able to measure communications effectiveness.


Example of Staff Survey

Staff Quiz – Interactive quizzes pushed to the desktop
Different business functions within The Quit Group have embraced the use of Snap Quiz:
• The Contact Centre use quizzes as part of a continuous quality improvement program.
• Human Resources use quizzes for fun and to boost morale and engagement.
• Maori services used the quiz for a Maori language quiz. (About 25 percent of The Quit Group’s clients are Maori and it’s critical that anybody speaking to Maori callers has some knowledge of the language).


Screensaver promoting staff newsletter


Staff generated electronic magazine – Staff generated electronic magazine
The Quit Group wanted to reduce the number of emails staff received while continuing to share information and build staff involvement. Since it is so easy for people to input articles into Snap Mag, it has allowed The Quit Group to meet these objectives, as well as reduce silo mentality seen in some areas of the organisation. Snap Mag has also provided the way for the Contact Centre to share more information with the rest of the business.

Snap Ticker – Scrolling news feeds
The Quit Group were initially concerned that news feeds could disrupt work flow in the Contact Centre. However, the Contact Centre quickly identified Snap Ticker as a useful way to rapidly alert staff when they needed to change from outbound calls to inbound queues, and of any unexpected outages. The Quit Group also plan to use Snap Ticker as a way of delivering breaking news within the anti-smoking sector.

Desktop News Ticker – Scrolling news feeds
The Quit Group were initially concerned that news feeds could disrupt work flow in the Contact Centre. However, the Contact Centre quickly identified Snap Ticker as a useful way to rapidly alert staff when they needed to change from outbound calls to inbound queues, and of any unexpected outages. The Quit Group also plan to use Snap Ticker as a way of delivering breaking news within the anti-smoking sector.

The results speak for themselves:

SnapComm's tools have helped the quit group meet all of their internal communications objectives. A follow up staff survey was implemented in October (using the SnapComms Survey tool). Despite the survey being carried out during a time of organizational restructure, communications improvements were seen in many areas.

• 92% of staff strongly agreed or agreed they could access the information they needed to do their jobs
• 88% of staff perceived that they received information at the right time

With regards to specific SnapComms tools:
• 100% of staff noticed the new quit group screensavers
• 70% of the operations staff read the staff newsletter daily

“Business units realised very quickly they could use Snap Mag to talk about what they were doing and to publicise events”.
Penny St John, Communications Manager


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