“Commtract is a great platform to use, I’m very enthusiastic about using it and it can really make a difference to an organisation and someone in my position… you can tap into a pool of vetted communications professionals and find someone who has the specific skillset that you need and is available at that point in time for short term projects,” – Nicholas Tzaferis, General Manager Corporate Communications, Tabcorp
Nicholas has been at Tabcorp for 15 years and in his current role for just over 10. During that time Tabcorp has merged with Tatts Group and his Corporate Communications team has doubled in size to around a dozen.
Nicholas’ team includes traditional media relations, a team that produces content for corporate social media and internal communications channels, a videographer and a graphic designer. It also uses a business partner model in employee communications with five team members dedicated to one or more of Tabcorp’s business divisions to assist them with their internal communications.
“It is a model that works well for us because it ensures alignment,” says Nicholas. “But we also need specific external skill sets at specific points in time that are not easy to find in the market.”
That was very much the case when Tabcorp decide to invest in a new intranet.
Nicholas needed a communications and change specialist with strong credentials in implementing and embedding such projects. He faced a six-month deadline to deliver a world-class intranet for Tabcorp’s 5,000 full-time employees.
“People that have got a track record in launching employee platforms, understanding user experience and developing comms and change plans are not out there in the millions,” says Nicholas.
That is when he turned to Commtract.
“Using Commtract means you can tap into a pool of vetted communications professionals in which you are likely to come across someone who has the skillset that you need and is available at that point in time and happy to pick up engagements that are short term in nature,” he says.
“You can get someone who has the skills and is motivated on day one to be effective – and when you are delivering short term projects you don’t have a lot of time to get people up to speed.”
Nicholas consulted his colleagues in HR and Procurement and demonstrated that using Commtract was the optimal solution for the launch of the intranet. The launch of the new platform was significant for the culture of the newly merged organisation and required a full-time, short-term expert who could work with the in-house communications team to get a great result.
Nicholas’ advice to other communications and corporate affairs professionals facing the challenge of securing internal approvals to use Commtract is to demonstrate its niche proposition and highlight how efficient it can be.
Once he had secured internal approvals, Nicholas posted the job on the Commtract platform. He received several good applications and quickly settled on the freelance consultant, Alistair Reid, who is a former TV producer and TV news editor, and former Head of Digital and Creative at National Australia Bank.
Alistair worked five-days-a-week in the Tabcorp office for many months as part of the team. He developed and implemented the change and communications plan in conjunction with Nicholas’ team and a third-party provider that was engaged to help build and launch the new intranet.
According to Nicholas, the project was a great success.
“The new intranet focused on usability and functionality, but it was also a tool to bring our people together as one organisation. The experience and focus Al brought to the project helped free up our in-house team to focus on the design, architecture and content creation.” Nick said.
“Two years later and the intranet remains a popular resource for information, documents, news, tools and systems.
“And one of things we have done quite well – and the numbers demonstrate this because we have had good growth over the last couple of years – is our news feed on the home page that highlights activities that the business or individuals are up to. There’s a mix of engaging content, both personal and business-related.”
- Using Commtract, says Nicholas, “allows you to get someone who has the skills and is motivated on day one to be effective, and when you are delivering projects like a new intranet, which is a short-term project, you don’t have a lot of time getting people up to speed.”
- “The other benefit of partnering with someone who’s done it before is they know what has worked and what hasn’t and have a much better sense of that. So that was really valuable.
- “Another thing that was very important in this role that we recruited through Commtract was it helped us to gain adoption and acceptance for the new intranet across the organisation. There is not much point or value in rolling out the best platform on the planet if people are reluctant to not just adopt it but use it and use it to its full potential.”
“To put it simply, with Alistair we were able to tap into someone who had the scars and awards from having helped launch an intranet elsewhere and in Alistair’s case it was a big organisation,” adds Nicholas.
How Commtract can help you:
If you need a communications specialist for an upcoming job that requires international experience, be confident that many of our of 5,000+ communications experts possess this global mindset and knowledge. To learn more about how we can put you in touch with the right expert today, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or register today at Commtract.com.