looking at our communications strategy and
how we integrate diversity in that and we don’t
respond quickly,” says Rosie Saez, senior vice
president and director of Wachovia’s Leadership
Practices Group. “It’s become a model not just
around diversity but how we communicate.”
Thompson, who chairs Wachovia’s 23-
member Corporate Diversity Council, issues a
biannual, corporate-wide “State of the Union”
to outline his priorities and expectations
around diversity, and then reiterates this message to his operating-committee members,
who absorb it within business-line-specific
diversity councils and cascade it to senior
leaders, who are trained to effectively integrate
these strategies within their departments and
deliver the expected results.
In addition, Wachovia conveys messages via
its corporate intranet, which has a diversity section accessible from the homepage, and broadcasts daily five-minute corporate news briefs on
its video network. “Ensuring diversity isn’t
merely a component of every message but that
it receives appropriate focus as a topic is key,”
says Wood. “There also has to be honesty
behind the messages. If everything that’s positioned and shared with employees is purely success stories, it’s going to raise some questions.”
That’s why an integrated diversity communications strategy is so important. If people
Strong Employee-Resource Groups
USE FOR RECRUITING
USE FOR MARKE TING
don’t get it internally, chances are external
stakeholders won’t get it either.
Employee-resource groups play a critical
role in facilitating bidirectional communications—increasing the flow of new ideas by
bridging the gap between the marketplace and
the work force.
These groups aren’t social networks,
they’re business-development tools.
Leveraged appropriately, they deliver significant bottom-line results in terms of marketing and recruiting, which is why the Top 50
use them to augment both.
Procter & Gamble (P&G), the world’s largest
marketer by total ad spending in 2005 and No.
14 in the Top 50, is committed to leveraging
insights derived from the diversity within its
work force. P&G has more than 30 company-sponsored, management-supported affinity
groups to which it looks for insight on how
best to reach emerging markets.
“If we have the insights of these diverse
shoppers and consumers, we can outthink and
outperform [our competitors] because we’ll be
able to meet and exceed their stated and
unstated needs,” says Helayne Angelus, P&G’s
vice president of global customer business-development diversity.
For example, P&G leveraged cultural
insight about Latinos’ scent preferences from
its Latino affinity groups to roll out high-scent laundry detergents available in various
scents of Pride and Downey. P&G also leveraged this group to develop Avanzando con tu
Familia—a web-based initiative that teaches
Latino families how to get ahead. P&G’s
affinity group for black employees is instrumental in branding the Pantene Total You
tour, a multi-year grassroots beauty campaign
launched in eight national markets and targeted to black women.
P&G also knows that when you’re in the
business of selling consumers—and rapidly
changing ones at that—the products they use
daily to take care of themselves and their
homes, demonstrating community investment
is critical. Partnerships build brands.