How does a global organization with 130,000+ employees keep everyone informed on the latest news and updates? For Verizon, the answer is called Up To Speed.
Up To Speed was a TV-style news show for internal audiences only, and the company made an important strategic pivot when it opened the content to everyone – employees (called V Teamers), media, analysts, and everyone seeking Verizon updates. This reimagined, audience-first approach gave birth to Up To Speed Live, growing into a beacon of employee culture, a powerful recruiting tool showcasing the benefits of working at Verizon, and a compelling way to engage external audiences like media in an approachable and transparent way.
The goal of Up To Speed is simple: “Keeping you up to speed on everything inside and around Verizon. Bringing you stories on how technology and the people behind it are building the future.”
The show’s content and creative is always evolving but the mission remains the same: Create and deliver clear, transparent communications using a range of storytelling techniques and platforms to inform, educate and inspire.
Up To Speed delivers a steady cadence of content with a variety of topics that range from earnings to product launch news and the latest networking solutions. The popularity of the Up To Speed format has led to spin-off shows like a monthly George Talks Tech series. The success of Up To Speed shows the effectiveness of using digital tools to keep teams connected and collaborating.
The scrappy and resourceful team responsible for producing Up To Speed is equally adept at quickly transforming ideas into videos that grab attention, sometimes in a matter of hours. Last year during the pandemic, the team hauled equipment into a staff member’s garage to broadcast live from multiple homes. A small team of approximately 10 employees aid in the creation process, but no single employee devotes their full-time job to the program. In the process, Up To Speed has created a diverse roster of passionate V Teamers empowered to become regular content contributors and thought leaders.
The team operates like a real news room. Stories are selected based on what is happening in and around Verizon. Up To Speed is now baked into almost every communication within Verizon. The team likes to joke: “If it’s not on Up To Speed, is it really happening?”
Featuring the C-Suite and employees far and wide, Up To Speed is now a mainstay of Verizon’s daily news and information output, keeping audiences more connected with a diverse selection of personable videos that explain everything from new HR initiatives to a humorous pen challenge, to live streaming events featuring important context about the company’s latest quarterly earnings report. Many of the videos are hosted by Andy Choi and Diana Alvear, TV broadcasters-turned Verizon employees.
As part of the team's “inside out approach” to employee communications all the shows and content are available for the world outside of Verizon to see on the @insideverizon social channels and insideverizon.com website.
One of the biggest plans to shake things up in 2022 is to further engage employees and the press is to encourage the use of the Inside Verizon app. The team believes everyone should have easy access to the latest information all in one place. It’s part of our “meet them where they are” strategy and it highlights how transparency is a big part of our culture at Verizon. The app is available to download for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play. While most of the content is outside of the firewall it also encourages employees to authenticate in so they can be treated to exclusive employee only content including giveaways and gamification element to encourage engagement.
Up To Speed content is available on Twitter, a Verizon Live Stream website, and through a custom Inside Verizon smartphone app for employees. Since launching, Up To Speed has received more than 10.7 million total views of its live and on demand videos.
The content has seen record engagement on social media, with LinkedIn engagements hitting 25,804 in 2021. Between 2020 and 2021, average views per episode grew 37% (26.4K this year vs. 19.2K last year) and on-demand views rose 46%, while live views are up 29% (8.2K vs 6.3K).