Building & Communicating Organizational Culture


(By Heidi Raphael) How would you describe your station or company’s culture? The way you develop and communicate it can ultimately make or break your organization. Companies like Virgin, Facebook, and Google have done an incredible job creating and implementing a type of culture that reflects the “soul” and “personality” of who they are and what they each represent. People are proud to work for them and to be part of their organizations.

Today, as multimedia broadcasters, we often compete with other tech companies for great content producers and storytellers. How do we create a workplace environment that not only attracts top talent but also retains the top talent we already have in place?

Here are some thoughts as you begin to develop your workplace culture:

  • What is your company’s mission statement? If you don’t know, create one. Keep it short and to the point.
  • What are your company’s ethics and values? What do you stand for?
  • Look at your company’s history. Learn from your “hits” as well as your “misses.”
  • Ask the question, What is our goal? Focus on three key points that you’d like to achieve.
  • Create an engaging workplace. If you’re focused on innovation, create an incubator-style open and creative environment with the tools necessary to make the magic happen!
  • Hire great people who reflect your company’s values and who can collaborate with others in a “we” rather than “me” environment. They are your ultimate evangelists!
  • Coach, support, recognize and promote employees who embrace your culture and are doing great work. They are your future leaders.
  • Partner on big projects with similar-minded organizations and companies that mirror your mission and values.
  • Nurture your organization’s culture without choking it—let it grow and change over time.
  • Embrace the community you serve through company-driven initiatives that reflect the culture of your organization.

Workplace assessment surveys are a great way to get an initial pulse and feedback from employees on the current state of your organization. Companies such as Workplace Dynamics are a great resource for this.

How do you implement it?

  • Designate someone within your organization to oversee the initiative and work closely with your management team to “walk the talk” and implement what you would like to achieve. Create a working environment that reflects what you want to do. Make it engaging!
  • Share wins as well as challenges with your employees. Highlight your employees for their innovative work via special recognition programs, internal publications, and other means. Post stories on the company intranet as well as on other outlets to showcase initiatives that underscore your culture. Produce short videos you can post on your website, YouTube, and social media
  • Create consistent messaging with everything you do (on-air, print, video, social media, etc.). Produce short video messages when you have great news to share from your top management that you can share across multiple platforms.
  • Share your company mission and values in the lobby and hallways of your building.
  • Communicate big wins, as they happen, with your partners and stakeholders.
  • Highlight what you do by getting the word out in your local community and at national industry events. It’s great for recruitment!
  • Great ideas make great stories—identify outlets (media, partners, clients, other). Don’t limit your pitches to focus solely on the management team but rather on members of your entire team who are doing great work.

By creating a solid and inviting culture, you’ll set a great tone for your employees as well as shape how the outside world perceives you

Heidi Raphael is a veteran broadcasting corporate communications and marketing specialist. She can be reached at [email protected].


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