PRSSA invited Nicki Collett from Discovery Inc. to come speak at our first meeting this semester, September 10. We hope the below synopsis of Collett’s presentation will benefit our members in retaining her valuable messages.
Collett began by discussing her professional history. Her first job was in advertising sales working for a newspaper. Shortly after she started, she realized that advertising sales was not the right job for her. Her passion for writing kept her in advertising sales where she offered to do additional writing for free. Through this extra effort, she earned the opportunity to fly to the Olympics as a production manager to write for Snow Magazine. Today, she works in internal communication for Discovery Inc. in Knoxville, TN. Discovery is a media conglomerate that owns many big-name brands including Food Network, Animal Planet and HGTV. Collett loves the collaborative atmosphere at Discovery, both locally and globally.
Collett spoke with PRSSA about external and internal communication. According to Collett, external communication is the exchange of information outside of the organization while internal communication is the exchange of communication within the organization.
External communication covers all content that originates inside a company that is intended for those outside the company. Internal communication plays a role in helping employees understand the values and priorities of the organization as well as helping employees be in the know about how to do their jobs better and stay connected within the organization.
Collett also discussed the goals of communication, which she summed up as to inform, engage and excite audiences, both internally and externally. She discussed specific examples that Discovery executed in three major events for the company.
Externally, Discovery had community events, news coverage, programming, cross network promotions and beach cleanups. Internally, Discovery had signage, screenings, fin-fest events, branded merchandise and contests among those in the Discovery offices.
A VERY BRADY RENOVATION
HGTV bought the house used to shoot external shots of The Brady Brunchhouse. “A Very Brady Renovation” took the house and renovated the inside to match the set The Brady Bunch filmed on. The show is now airing on HGTV. Externally, there was press coverage, cross network promotions and even a red shag carpet on the opening premier of “A Very Brady Renovation.” Internally, there was signage, a custom menu in the office cafeteria, contests and photo opportunities.
Externally, there is countdown coverage, social media, live coverage, and crisis communication preparation. Internally, there is an employee ambassador program, screenings, signage and internal social media in preparation of the upcoming Olympics. Euro sport works closely with Discovery because they are the source of Olympic coverage everywhere outside of the United States!
Collett revealed much valuable information. She informed us that it is not just internal and just external communication. Communications and her job is all external and all internal all the time, it is corporate communications, working to make sure employees are excited because it’s a chain reaction of excitement when it starts from within. It is all about informing and knowing your audience and getting them excited about what you are doing.
“Communication is one tiny piece of the huge puzzle, but when it all comes together it is simply amazing, and communication is at the heart of it all!” – Nicki Collett