"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

The launch issue was an instant hit across the network, even with drivers and engineers who are notoriously hard to reach.

An impressive 85% rated the newspaper positively and 70% of employees read either ‘every edition’ or ‘several editions a year’ (Pulse Survey).

The Southeastern Standard has contributed to record-breaking engagement scores – 75% 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:

> CorpComms Awards Winner Best Corporate Publication 2017
> IoIC Central & North Awards ‘Best Newspaper’ Winner 2017
> IoIC Central & North Awards ‘Best Newspaper’ Award of Excellence 2018
> IoIC Central & North Awards ‘Imagery’ Award of Excellence 2019
> IoIC National Awards ‘Best Image’ Award of Excellence 2019 


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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