A picture tells the story

Digital story telling plays an important roll in explaining Rentokil Initial

Abseiling down a flour silo in the south of England may not immediately spring to mind as something that an employee of Rentokil Initial might count as his duties, but Mark Hardie regularly descends into the depths to clean the insides for a commercial baker. He is just one of the Rentokil Initial employees selected for a new digital story telling campaign to better educate his colleagues and other stakeholders on the range of services provided by the group.

'We have some fantastic people who go the extra mile for customers and we thought they deserved recognition,' explains director of communications Malcolm Padley.

The company booked Matt Lloyd, winner of the 2009 Times Young Photographer of the Year, to take 'amazing editorial photography of everything from pest controllers, to school cooks to specialist hygiene teams to the people who clean out houses that nobody has cleared for more than 20 years,' adds Padley. 'It is a way to meet the people who deliver the service.'

Rentokil Initial is creating an integrated communications campaign around colleagues who make a difference. Some of those featuring in the campaign have already won recognition through its internal awards programme, while others may have a long service record - such as a cleaner who has worked at Barnsley Hospital for more than 40 years - or a good story to tell. 'We also emailed local management and asked them to put forward deserving colleagues. We got inundated,' says Padley. 'We needed to find a balance between businesses and brands. We are focusing on who we are and what we do.'

This ranges from cleaning the London Underground to picking up needles from tattoo parlours to clearing drains to producing half a million school dinners every week. The pest controllers, which were initially the heart of the business, have not been forgotten. Imagery of their new infrared technology, which identifies rat runs or wasp nests buried in walls, is also being used. These stories will be told on the company intranet and corporate website while the annual report, tender documents and other external literature will feature the new imagery.

The campaign also fits with Rentokil Initial's recent rebranding exercise, with the message 'experts in the essentials' at its core. 'To companies that depend on us, we are essential,' says Padley. 'We allow them to do what they are good at by getting on with what we are good at.'