Although their locations and histories differ, the Rumaila and Khazzan fields share similarities. They both offer energy lifelines to their home countries (Iraq and Oman) and both have a large, diverse workforce. We were asked to create and manage employee newspapers to communicate field activity and to help bring a sense of shared purpose to the workplace.
The role of an employee newspaper in bridging gaps in communication cannot be underestimated.
Working in the field, in a facility miles away from anyone else, it’s easy to feel disconnected. A newspaper is somewhere that employees can be recognised, tell their stories and connect with the rest of the organisation. Reading stories about co-workers can be inspiring and motivating. Similarly, it helps employees connect to the hopes, concerns and strategies of the business, in a way that is tangible.
But to achieve all this in a newspaper is tricky, especially when it is influenced by corporate messaging and sensitivities around what the organisation feels it can say.
In designing and drafting the employee newspapers, our most important objective is to ensure that the views and opinions expressed by the paper are trusted. This can only be achieved if the paper is respected and deals with the subjects that employees want to hear about, in a way that matches their own experiences. Both newspapers are bilingually produced (English and Arabic), which encourages a multicultural workforce to read from the same publication.
In sourcing content for these newspaper, we have also unearthed stories that can be further leveraged in other internal communications channels (e.g. posters, videos) and external channels (e.g. media, website, social media).