"Colleagues rate it, read it, talk about it and they trust it"

Southeastern | Employee Engagement

A better way to cut through
and connect

Keeping Southeastern colleagues informed and inspired – and making sure engagement
scores are on track 

The Challenge

Southeastern wanted a new approach to connecting with its colleagues – a publication that would improve engagement.

Southeastern’s Internal Communications team asked us to conduct a catalyst research project to better understand their business and people, and develop a monthly newspaper into the main employee channel. Colleagues wanted a communication that was honest and authentic, and one accessible to everyone, including those who are hard-to-reach or time poor.

The Solution

The Southeastern Standard – named by colleagues, for colleagues – talks to colleagues on a level they recognise, value and can act on. Informed by our research, we’ve created a pure, tabloid-style newspaper with a straight-talking tone of voice, reportage-style imagery and a clean design – just like you’d see on any newsstand.

We get to the heart of the network – and its people – through our independent ‘roving reporter’ and photographer, not only celebrating best practice and success, but also covering often complex and difficult operational issues.

We launched the newspaper with a souvenir issue delivered to colleagues’ homes and Manager Briefing boxes, including a copy of the newspaper, plus tea, coffee and biscuits, as a conversation starter to get colleagues reading and talking.

The Result

With 100% positive feedback, the launch issue was an instant hit across the network, even with drivers and engineers who are notoriously hard to reach.

An impressive 83% rated the newspaper positively and 70% of employees read either ‘every edition’ or ‘several editions a year’ (Pulse Survey, December 2017).

The Southeastern Standard has contributed to record-breaking engagement scores – 75% this year, up from 70% in the previous year, which means the business has met its target.

And we’re really proud of the host of awards The Southeastern Standard has won:

> Corporate Communications Winners Best Corporate Publication 2017
> IoIC North & Central ‘Best Newspaper’ Winners 2017
> IoIC National Award of Excellence 2017
> IoIC North and Central Award of Excellence 2018


rated the newspaper positively


record breaking engagement score (up 5% YoY)

What colleagues said…

I read a lot of railway magazines that tell me about the industry. I read the Southeastern newspaper to find out about people like me who are working towards the same goal. I can’t get that anywhere else. Carry on doing what you’re doing.


The Southeastern Standard has played a pivotal role in transforming how we engage and communicate with all Southeastern colleagues. Our newspaper has become a cherished part of the way we run our business.

HR Director

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