For Scottish Water the objective was clear: to host a series of events across Scotland that would enable all 3,200 employees to connect with each other and with a new vision for Scottish Water’s future.
But key to turning the “Shaping Our Future” event series into a multi-award-winning experience for staff from all over the country and all over the company, was finding exciting and effective ways to engage with them.
That’s where Scriberia comes in, as Ruth Findlay, Scottish Water’s Internal Communications Manager, explains: ‘We invest a lot of time and resource into getting our all-employee events right.
‘In our organisation, the workforce is incredibly diverse. We have some people in busy, city offices and others in the remotest parts of the country. We have engineers, accountants, managers… a lot of different people who think and work in different ways. It’s really important to find ways of communicating with them all, so that no one walks away from the event feeling like they didn’t understand it, or that it wasn’t relevant to them.’
At past events, organisers used images to kick-off group discussions and were keen to develop this strategy.
‘We’ve found that an image is something everyone can engage with easily,’ says Ruth. ‘But having Scriberia at the “Shaping Our Future” events – creating images in real time, capturing not just the story we were trying to convey to our employees, but also their immediate thoughts and feedback – really ticked the box for interactivity. It was incredibly empowering for people to see their ideas taken on board and incorporated into the images we were creating as a group.'
She says: ‘Although the images were very clear and simple, they illustrated some really complex concepts. The artists were able to distil the essence of what was being said and represent it visually, without the need for any additional explanation. Often finding humour in what might be regarded pretty dry topics, which everyone appreciated.’
In addition, the illustrations created by Scriberia in collaboration with the attendees, still have real value to Scottish Water long after the event. Ruth says: ‘We use them on our intranet, in our internal newspaper and on posters, as powerful and long-lasting reminders of the ideas we discussed there.
‘They’ve also been very useful to us when pitching business overseas. If English isn’t the first language, a simple picture, setting out what the organisation is all about, can tell a thousand words. It’s not your typical PowerPoint slide of boring bullet-points.’
The “Shaping Our Future” events went on to win a number of communications awards. Ruth believes the Scriberia images, which were used illustrate their award entries, may have given them the edge over the competition.
‘Without these images it would have been really difficult to demonstrate just how positive the experience was, or to convey the energy in the room. They really gave a sense of how it felt to be there,’ she says.
Working with Scriberia has ‘contributed to a seed change’ in the way Scottish Water presents information; a shift away from presentations featuring graphs and statistics, towards story telling and images to lend those stories resonance.
Ruth says: ‘We were absolutely delighted with Scriberia’s work, and the impact it had at the time and since.’