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New Media successfully introduces Facebook Workplace to its staff

New Media is using Facebook Workplace for internal communications. The company recently launched Workplace among its own staff. Workplace is an online collaboration tool for teams and colleagues within organisations that use Facebook’s features. Here, the team at New Media share their experience with the tool.

New Media introduced Facebook Workplace to its teams in October 2017 and, in less than four months, 98% of all ‘New Medians’, as they call themselves, have joined. Engagement levels have also been significant, with about 200 active users every week, which is around 80% of the entire staff complement.

According to New Media, having a campaign to introduce a new communications platform to employees, together with relevant content, has worked well. The platform has also made the managing director (MD) and leadership team more accessible, which proved valuable in addressing specific challenges or current issues.

New Media launched Facebook Workplace to:

  • promote transparency
  • keep staff members engaged with the company
  • further their ideals of flexibility and collaboration, and
  • keep up to date with trends within the realm of internal communications.

The launch

New Media launched its Facebook Workplace on Thursday, 19 October 2017. MD Aileen Lamb hosted a company get-together to update everyone on the strategy and performance of each cluster in the business.

Brendan Cooper, head of the internal communication team at New Media, made the case for social media and mobile in internal communications.

When employees returned to their desks, each had a Lindt Hello emoji chocolate waiting for them, along with a postcard introducing Workplace. When they opened their email inboxes, they received an invite to join.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a better start,” says Brent Smith, editor at New Media and responsible for Workplace. “Some New Medians started claiming their accounts on their phones while still at the function and the revelry got coverage on Workplace in real time.”

The content

New Media aimed to ensure there was content on Workplace when people logged in for the first time as, according to new Media, it was important to showcase what the platform could do.

There was an introductory video, a photo album with all employees (who were photographed especially so they would have profile pictures), links to external content, and articles in document form.

“We wanted the similarity with Facebook to be immediately obvious so that no one was overwhelmed, and so that it encouraged user-generated content,” says Smith.

Using New Media’s purple corporate colour, a variety of content is posted within four pillars, namely: Purple News (general company news), Purple People (‘New Medians’ and their passions), Focus (news about New Media’s work, industry, and clients) and Thrive (health and wellness).

New Media has also produced videos on a variety of topics, including introducing new people to exercises they can do at their desk. “Our most engaged with post to date, however, has been the call to ‘New Medians’ to share weird and wonderful previous jobs,” adds Smith.

“People love to learn about their colleagues,” Smith says. “We introduced the call to share their experiences with a campaign to win an Apple Watch, and then used Workplace’s analytics to determine the winner, which was the most engaged user during the first month.”

According to New Media, adoption is a problem many companies have when launching internal communications platforms.

“I have been uploading my articles in our Medical Chronicle Workplace group,” says Claire Rush, Medical Chronicle and PedMed editor at New Media. “My team is based in Johannesburg, and I work from the Cape Town office. One of the useful aspects of hosting my articles on Workplace is that I can see which of the team members have viewed the articles, and we can communicate in the comments section for each article uploaded. In this way, Workplace is a collaborative tool for us.”

New Media MD Aileen Lamb concludes, “Workplace has allowed New Media to connect on so many levels, both work-related and personal. The engagement we are seeing on it is way beyond expectation. Communication has never been more important in business, and Workplace has given us a new opportunity to be agile, immediate, and open as a business.”

For more information, visit You can also follow New Media on Twitter.


Client: New Media Publishing

Coverage received in: Media Update

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