Winners 2018

Best internal corporate publication

Outside In
Royal Bank of Scotland
Agency: beetroot

Since its launch in 2013, Outside In, Royal Bank of Scotland’s award-winning employee magazine, has built up a brand identity and helped the bank deliver its messaging, embed its values and rebuild its reputation with staff.

However, readership habits are changing and, following employee feedback, this year the magazine has undergone a revamp. It has increased in size and pagination, and moved to a biannual schedule.

It has also changed its content strategy. While always features-led, the old version also carried news items. The new version focuses on high-impact storytelling, illustration and imagery. It is accessible and engaging.

The cover story for the debut issue, for example, tells the story of how NatWest supported Indian-born Asma Khan, founder of acclaimed Darjeeling Express, a restaurant in Soho with an all-female kitchen, who could not even cook when she moved to England in 1990. She donates a percentage of her takings to Second Daughters, a charity that sends celebration packages to families in India, marking the birth of second daughters in a society where sons are still preferred.

There are also interviews with employees, such as senior personal banker Tom Williams, who is also a special constable in Greater Manchester, and Faisal Member, a senior change analyst, who is also head coach at a football academy for children, vulnerable adults, asylum seekers and refugees. Or Drummonds’ wealth manager David Farrell, who talks about the support he received from his line manager and department head, when he underwent a seven hour operation to repair a wide neck cerebral aneurism – a procedure that only three people had ever survived.

These stories are designed to bring the bank’s values to life, and to build pride in the organisation by making emotional connections with readers. Stories about outside interests, for example, reinforce the bank’s message that colleague should bring ‘their whole selves to work’. Outside In is also not scared to tackle challenging subjects, such as coping with the menopause or moving on after lung cancer. Many of the articles are also repurposed, and serve as premium content on the bank’s intranet, adding to the regular feed of features and video content under the Outside In banner.

The most recent readership survey indicated that three in four employees read half or more than half of Outside In while 86 per cent say it carries thought provoking content. Two in three said it helps them understand the bank’s strategic direction.

The judges said: ‘This was brilliant content – our people, customers, top-down communications, in a high-end magazine. Very unexpected. It was also strongly aligned with the organisation’s values.’