Frontline Communication with Altria & Bunge


Connie Vivrett


Kirsten DeLuke

Putting the Front Line First

Frontline employees play a crucial role in driving organizational success. Learn how to elevate their voices through effective communication strategies that ensure their needs, insights, and contributions are valued and integrated into decision-making processes. Real-world examples and actionable takeaways will help you transform your approach and create a culture where the front line truly comes first.

Video Transcript

Alright. Alright. Alright. Let’s go ahead and get started. Hello, everyone. My name is Rey Bouknight.

I’m Senior Director of Customer Success at Firstup. And some of you might know I’m a former customer of Firstup during my time at MGM Resorts International. And we are so excited to talk to you about a super important topic, which is putting the front line first. And so why are we talking about that and and why is that so important?

And I’m just gonna share a couple stats and then introduce you to our panels today. Well, if you did not know eighty percent of the global workforce is actually considered to be frontline, but the issue is eighty four percent of those individuals are considered not to be properly informed. So there’s a huge gap that we as a company in Firstup and working with many of you are trying to address and better informing those team members in order to help drive the business of your organization.

And so to help us discuss best practices with that We have two absolutely amazing individuals. We have with us Kirsten DeLuke from Altria. Let’s get Kirsten Rondeaux.

And we have Connie Vivrett from Bunge as well. Let’s give Connie a round of applause.

And if you’re in case you’re wondering, why do they both have sashes? Well, this is what happens when you’re among the very first to register at Attune.

Houston is the first person to have registered for Attune, and then Connie is among the top ten to have registered. So let’s give him another round of applause for that.

So this could be you at one of our events, being one of the first to to, register. Alright. So the way that we’re going to flow today is that we’re going to allow both Connie and Kirsten to share some slides that outline some of the best practices the things that they are doing in order to drive, engagement among frontline employees. And then I’m gonna ask a couple questions, but really we are here all of you.

So I hope as they are talking to your jotting on questions, and you’ll have a chance to ask them those questions. And I would encourage you if you have tips as well please go ahead and share again. We want this to be a family type environment when we are sharing secrets and best practices together. Does that sound good?

Alright. So without further ado, I’m going to allow Kirsten to share with us all the various things that Altria is doing to engage the front line. So thanks, Kirsten. Zero. Thank you.

Alright. Hi, everybody.

My name is Kirsten DeLuke. I’m from Altria.

And I’m just very excited to be here today. I’ll be at a little bit nervous, but still very excited. So about five years ago, I made the move from quality over to communications, and just absolutely fell in love with it about connecting with our frontline workforce and communicating with them. And keeping them in the know.

For those who do not know what Altria is, it is a Fortune 200 consumer package good company. We are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, which is where I am located.

And we have seven manufacturing locations, across four different states. You might recognize the operating companies as Philip Morris, John Middleton, US smokeless, Wacko and Helix, our innovation company.

Although we cover the whole country nationwide with our Salesforce, we have about sixty three hundred employees, and about eighteen hundred of them are front line manufacturing employees.

Unwired don’t have email, don’t have opportunity to check email, they do have it.

And another note throughout this, you’re gonna see two different names for our program. We started out at the Manufacturing Center, as PMU Connect, and then it morphed into We Connect as we took it enterprise wide.

So where I fit in here is I do the communications for about fourteen hundred of those eighteen hundred non wired employees.

For four different operating companies. This is the layout of our one facility. It’s got, like, almost three million square feet under roof, eleven different buildings, you’re gonna go take a walk around it, it would take almost two miles to walk around it. So needless to say communicating with them has always been a challenge.

Very far, far apart.

To add complexity, we have four different operating companies underneath those roofs. They all require different messaging at different times. It’s like translating for four different countries in a way. So it might be like, oh, you just have one location, not too bad.

It does get a little bit more complex.

So just like all of you in here, assuming you’ve had have tried all the things to communicate with your frontline employees, posters, newsletters, clings, passed down communications.

We have too. We’ve tried everything.

We had stuff everywhere. We had plaster it all around our facility. And what we realized we were doing is actually creating a lot of noise.

Nobody really knew where to look, where what to ask.

They didn’t know what was going on outside because it was only like need to know communications that were being posted for them to see.

Did some research. I was about, but very new in my role, and I was like, there’s gotta be a better way. Right?

So we launched Firstup in July of 2021, just within our manufacturing environment for one of our operating companies.

We have a really robust reward and recognition program.

And it’s one of our main forms of currency at the MC, at Manufacturing Center.

So we incentivized it with that, so they got seventy five dollars worth of, like, reward points.

For signing up.

Another thing we did is we also used some of our union leadership in a lot of our promo materials, which help build a little bit of the trust there, by seeing people they know and trust.

And the benefit for me was that it inadvertently turned them into Firstup, experts on how to sign somebody in for the first time. Using our single sign on system, because people saw them on the posters, and assumed they knew how to do everything.

So on our at our launch, it ended up at thirty percent. Not too bad for one day. It was a one day event. At our food trucks.

Was I happy? A little bit kind of, but I was like, we can do better. We did another campaign further down the road where we got up to fifty percent when we did yetis. So we actually have three forms of currency.

At our factory, and it is reward and recognition points money.

T shirts, which you have to take into account so many sizes and yetis. So we went with yetis the next time.

One size fits all. Right?

So there we were at fifty percent, where we saw our biggest jump in adoption was from our holiday party.

It is an epic party we had not had one in three years.

What is important to know is in the past to in order to get tickets, People would have to walk down to the company store. They would open at like eight o’clock on a Thursday, not all the shifts are there at that time. So it wasn’t equitable. We do not have enough tickets to go around the entire factory.

Right? So not everybody can come. And we do make them purchase tickets, which we donate to a good cause, the money from it. But it was a very manual labor intensive process, not equitable.

So for the first time, I got to do some fully exclusive content, which, like, made my little Firstup heart so happy.

We jumped fourteen percent in a matter of three weeks of having the park ticket sales exclusively on Firstup. We didn’t we used a third party ticket site. We didn’t post the URL anywhere else. It was not available because we also used Firstup as our authentication system to get into the right topic.

So we didn’t want people bypassing that with QR codes to a ticket site.

But the best part of this, yes, we jumped fourteen percent in three weeks for the party.

Is they got in. Right? They got in. They started to really see the value in it. And I know it said we were eighty four percent. We’re eighty six percent adoption now.

It was a couple weeks ago.

Yes, that’s really good. And that’s just with our hourly workforce in my locations. That’s not the entire platform.

But what’s, I think, the biggest success we’ve seen is people come in to the platform now. They come to find out the things they wanna know. Yes. They wanna know when our theme park day is. They wanna know about the Christmas party.

They wanna see stories about their coworkers.

They post their own content, like thanking us for like classes we’ve offered. That they’ve taken on their own times.

But I really believe in my heart that our biggest key to our success And it’s scary for a lot of people, is not policing the comments or the content that goes on there.

Our employees have questions. They might not always be the most eloquent when they’re phrasing them. They might be scary at first.

But they’d also deserve to have a voice and get a response. So we do respond to all of them. It gives us the opportunity to, like, provide more context around an article they might not agree with, or a business decision that was made. We can provide them more context and get to explain it a little bit more for them.

But I would say that, like, our biggest success goes beyond the numbers. Sorry. Look at the clock.

But because now, like, when people come to our town halls, our coffee house sessions where they can ask questions of leadership. They are not they’re no longer asking questions about, like, Why can’t I have a trash can in this area?

Why can’t I get paid more money? Right? They’re asking like really informed decision, like, questions about our business and where we’re going as an organization, and it’s just been amazing for me to see that.

So, thank you all, and I’m on turn it over to Connie. Yep.


And look at my time.

Okay. Hello. My name is Connie, and I work for Bunge. And, while a lot of people mispronounce their name, they think we’re bungee.

We have nothing to do with fun things like bungee jumping. But in fact, we are the world’s leader in oil seed processing. So our ingredients are in almost all of the food that’s in the middle of the grocery store, and many things that you eat or drink today have Bunge in them somewhere. And So I’m representing corp comms.

I work for global communications, and Bunge is 23,000 employees. Thirty percent of those are non wired in facilities more than three hundred facilities in over forty countries. And we are also a two hundred plus year old company. So I’m working with lots of really big worse.

But really, the most important thing is that we need all of our employees, wired and non wired. To be able to understand what we do. We have a deck that’s thirty pages, okay, to describe what we do, but really at the heart of it, we say we connect farmers to consumers to deliver essential food, feed, and fuel to the world. And every twenty three thousand of us have a place in that lofty goal.

So again, I’m working for, corpcoms I’m a communicator at heart, but I have the very cool job to own the digital platforms and manage those platforms that our communications team, which were about twenty people. So pretty small for twenty three thousand in, several regions, So that would be the Firstup platform Yay, which we just brought in about a year ago, maybe a little more. Although we’re a brand new program, I’ll explain that in a minute also our intranet platform and, the platform for So it’s really cool that I’m owning both the Firstup platform and the intranet platform and right now trying to balance both of those.

But again, I’m a communicator at heart, and I chose this picture because here we are pushing everybody into corporate headquarters, you know, like forcing them, stopping them to come and, you know, join the app. Probably a lot of you in the room have been in this, type of picture yourself. So, you know, lots of swag and stuff like that. So, I’m gonna keep going here.

Again, just like, Kirsten showed, and just like all of you know, reaching those non wired employees at those thirty four hundred three hundred plus facilities in thirty plus countries is is really difficult in the slide there, the picture at the bottom, you see one of our communications people in a mar margarine factory in Brazil. And There are, like, bulletin boards and things like that where people wash their hands. But, you know, none of that’s real time. Right?

We have manager cascade, which we just hear doesn’t. They don’t cascade. Right? We have these toolbox talks or stand up meetings, which can take two weeks to get through at one facility with all of the different, shifts and ups and downs and all of that. And so really the main problem, as you all know, is, you know, not just timely communication over multiple shifts and busy people, but our company moved from a very, very regional operating, system to more of a global one Bunge approach. And it became essential that all of our employees even those in the facilities, especially those in the facilities truly feel like they are part of one global Bunge, and to be able to see how the work they do at their plant maybe it’s an oil crushing plant, or maybe they are, a bottling plant where they’re bottling giant, you know, things of oil and all that truly making them understand how their work, ladders up to the big global strategy.

And so, hence, we brought in Firstup which we call Go Connect. So Kirsten’s challenge is what feels like multiple countries in one facility, our challenge was to get all of those plants online as quickly as possible. So very, very conservative company at the crossroads of agriculture and, manufacturing.

Bringing in a mobile app was a really big deal.

We had to start with pilots. We had to convince that this was something that was going to work. We had to get the budget for it. So it feels to me like we’ve been on this platform now for almost two years, but our global launch was in April. So we did some really interesting things in our pilot happy to talk with you about that at a later date or later tonight.

But then my boss, the global communications lead said, I want every single one of those plant employees when they open up that app to see not only global news for the first time ever but relevant hyper local content for each individual and get it done fast, right? So that was really exciting. And so believe it or not, over the course of between pretty much April and now, we have a hundred and ten different topics and that encompasses almost every single plant employee at Bunge. So we’re thrilled about that. Now what are we learning?

Little bit different. I cannot come anywhere near a seventy seventy four percent success rate. And Rey says that’s okay with me telling this story. Right?

We are still in adoption mode. Alright? So every time we do something, so pretty much each one of those monthly dots there, we see a three to five percent increase over the whole platform. So I’m crying, like, this is terrible But then suddenly we started looking at some of these, plants that have seventy five, ninety percent adoption rate What are they doing?

Mostly, we find it’s cultural. Right? Or they’ve got a great plant leader who already knew how to do a lot of this stuff. So for those plants, we’re now asking our corp Comms leads, hey, get out there and help them go from adoption to engagement.

The rest of us are still really working on engagement. And you know what? That’s okay. We went big.

We went broad. And so it’s gonna take a while to get everybody. It’s a brand new platform. Right?

So we’re getting more and more comfortable with this.

And so I just wanted to share through the rest of the deck just some of the launch materials, The typical posters probably that you’ve all done. I don’t know if anyone’s kind of new or thinking about the platform, but we really have done everything Firstup told us to do. We have followed their playbook to a tee, but what I’ve really learned is I can’t copy any other company. Right? We had to figure out what worked for us. So lots of experimentation.

So we settled on something that looks like this. And there up there in the upper left hand corner, that’s our global lead. My boss And, what was fascinating to us was she had the great idea. She still thinks it’s a great idea that she could do an iPhone video at her desk and put it in the platform We were like, woohoo.

Okay. She did that. That silly video was like the number one post in our platform for weeks because we really saw again, what Firstup will say, get those leaders in there, get them authentic, get them real, get them at their desk, just being themselves. So we try to do more and more of that.

Every time a plant launches, the plant manager does a welcome video. Those are some of our funniest weirdest and most interesting videos in the platform, especially the ones who tell our communicators, I’ll never do this. You’ll never see me on that thing. And the next thing, you know, they’re doing a cute video where they’ve got a Bunge hard hat on and all that stuff.

Whoops, I went the wrong way.

Again, following the Firstup playbook, we did the landing page. I love that thing. It everybody goes there if you need to know anything about the app we sent everybody there.

We did a video which is super fun and peppy and all that and really different for Bunge. And then I even got away with them. This was super hard even in the HQ. We could do mirror clings that kind of played off that washer hands theme.

We tried so hard to get floor clings and all that safety, somebody will slip and fall, whatever. It’s all tradition. Say whatever. But so we found other ways to bring in which, you know, you may not be understanding this, but that mirror cling was, like, the most exciting thing I’ve ever done as a communicator because it wasn’t a poster.

And then seriously, you get you get the fatigue there. Right? And so, what we’re seeing now though is we don’t need posters. You know, we can put the poster up the first time But now our employees in pretty far flung regions of the world is from my perspective where I am in Saint Louis, Missouri.

They are using the app to celebrate and to spread the word about their own launches. So in this middle picture here, you see, our west Africa team. They’re one of our new teams on board, and they’re holding up their swag, and they’re saying, no com comments and like calls to action CTA, these people work in a plant. I love that.

Right? So those little c communicators.

And then I just wanted to share with you something else that has fascinated us as a communication team And that is we are discovering that a whole new type of content is emerging through this app, and we call it a third space. So it’s kinda like not the office, not the, not the, not your home. It’s it’s Starbucks. It’s that third space, right?

So this is quite email content, and it’s definitely not like stodgy internet content, and I can see that because I run the thing. But we are finding like that item number two corp comes reached out and asked to use that photo in some of our materials. That’s a picture of a customer walking a canola field in Canada but it’s from the perspective of the account manager’s truck with his dog. So through the dog years, you know, it’s like so real.

Right? And then the very last item, number five, interns posing for a a selfie, while they still work at Bunge instead of three weeks later when we do some video on the internet, and these kids are long gone. Right? They’re still there.

They’re making it happen. Item four. You scroll. You see an inside behind the scenes story of a CEO video, we would have never done that before.

But as you scroll, look at that right underneath when I took this screenshot, I realized And there’s a bunch of proud guys in Argentina, you know, wearing their uniform showing off something special that they did with balloons. It just makes us I don’t know. It’s like poet Ali said earlier, you know, the energy.

I get goosebumps looking at these. And I mentioned to you earlier about some of our facilities that have high adoption, but, you know, engagement need to be worked on. China was one of those. Very social.

Social social, social selfie selfie wasn’t doing it. So our team talked to the team in China about adding more business type of content, and now we’re seeing a lot more things like great honors for reaching certain levels of improvements, people taking a training. Big deal. It’s somebody sitting at a table looks just like this in China.

Oh, it looks just like this in China. They’re just like us they have to take tests. We love that. Right? And so as they’ve done more business content, they have improved their engagement. And so, lastly, very quickly, being at corporate comms, we push out a lot of campaigns in the past. Again, those campaigns would hit the intranet three weeks later.

If we had people, hey, show us, yourself doing something for quality and food safety, and you can be an everyday hero. People at the plants would send those pictures through one person, you know, here she’s sending them. And again, a month, two months later, we do a video, which none of the people at the plant would ever see because they don’t have access to the internet or outlook or any of that. Now in the app, we can say, hey, people at plants This is directed at you.

Take your pictures in real time, post them to the app, and this topic was open for anyone to follow. So everyone at Bunge could see that that third picture there, that is a plant manager standing there in a superhero costume, getting with the program. Right? And so on Go Connect truly everyone can be an everyday hero.

And for our non wired employees, this is a total game changer that they can have the information they want on the device they want at the time and place that’s right for them in the language that they wanna read it. And then for the rest of us, it truly is a whole new way to connect with the vast world of fungi. That’s our story. That’s awesome.

Never mind, sir.

So we’ve had a chance to to talk quite few times before today’s session. And one of the things that we recognize is in this discussion, you have the benefit of hearing from a central communicator in Connie, and then a regional communicator in Kirsten. So we get both different perspectives. And of course, we’re here to celebrate the successes and what you have all have achieved.

But we also want to talk about the challenges and gleaning how to address those challenges as well. And as you are talking, Kirsten, one challenge that we also discussed before is sometimes the trust issues related to frontline workers. And I was so impressed that you were able to get the unions team members also support your efforts too. So we’d love for you to discuss how you’ve overcome that challenge of addressing the trust issues that often are there among the frontline workers?

What type of tactics have you utilized?

So I really think it comes down to having a good relationship with our union, first of all.

So I did work with them on it and let them know.

But using them in the photos just gained like an automatic type of trust within the workforce. And then even better was having other people see them using it and commenting on it and liking things. In the platform. And then they would they were, like, they became, like, trusted people for people to go to for help to get it. Because they wanted to know what they had. And once they realized there were no, like, repercussions, and nobody was tracking them down, like, if they were in a hallway instead of on their module, right?

Then it just grew from there. And I’m sure that, you know, if there are questions, Dale, or if the Al true was trying to keep track of where they were going, which I’ve I was talking to someone earlier about that type of stuff. Those type of rumors getting out, you’re able to leverage those union workers to help address those. And because they had that relationship, I imagine that went much further in person, perhaps, you say.

You tell it. It was in our FAQs too that we’re not gonna use to track them, but I don’t know how many people actually read those. So And then for you, Connie, to your point as far as your adoption rate that you’re continuing to roll this out and and really bringing that adoption up and why it’s totally fine to say this because you’re doing a global launch. You said how many I think it was was it seventy four forty seventy?

We have about twenty three thousand employees and about thirty percent are non Yeah. And we focus on wired and non wired now because we knew the wired were where the leaders were and the folks that would help it seem okay for the folks at the plant to be seen using it. And one thing that we know is very important to a global launch like that are standing up. We spoke to this already a bit.

A little see communicators.

But the question is how do you do that in a way that’s effective and empowers them to support the communication’s goals of a corporate on it from a corporate perspective, but also with the local perspectives. How what steps have you taken to to help enable those individuals? Yeah. So we have about a four week plan now that we use to onboard a new plant, with a topic.

And so the regional communications team from that region follows this plan. We’re working on a playbook where, we’ll give them either even more information about how to be successful because again, we realize we’re focused so much on adoption. We need to get to engagement. But really, we have a written, like, super easy plan on a page And I say it’s super easy because I’m not the one doing the training anymore, but our, our, our communications leads are able to just First, we get clearance from the HR and, plant management.

So we start at the top, get clearance, do a demo, very friendly, use some of the communication networks we have, which are just real people who are used to sending stories up to corporate. So people at the plants already have a level of trust with them.

We picked two. We let the facility pick two topic managers per plant. So we try to keep it to two. They get an intensive training, which is like maybe an hour max Most of our topic managers don’t even use the studio.

They go right through the front end. Right? So there’s very little training, and we just make it super easy. And, I think the convenience factor for them is amazing.

A lot of the content is about parking lots closed, or this plant’s gonna be down at place, or we’re gonna be doing a cleaning here that really practical content that they need is mixed with the global corporate content, and it’s really made life easier at the plants because they don’t have to be posting as many posters and paper newsletters and all that kind of stuff. They can just throw it in the app.

I have one more question, then we’ll open up to the audience, and I’ll come down and run the mic around. We have one one other mic runner too. And this is something that the two of you touched on is user generated content and seeing how that impacted the culture of your your organization.

What is your, because I think each customer some customers have different philosophies and approaches. Do you just open up for the floodgates for people to publish? Do you have governance governance in place? Curious to hear, you’re the approach that you all have, and curious if you’re okay. Can we start with you? What is your approach and why do you have it and what have you seen user generated content do, for your frontline workforce?

So I would say I don’t open it up on every topic. Every topic is not open for everyone to publish their own content. We have certain spaces with, and certain topics that people are allowed to post content.

Our biggest one is probably our PM US, people of PM USA, where they can post whatever they want. We get a lot of questions there.

And that is the biggest type of content we get. It’s just user generated, like, these the note.

Right? Just ask a question. And then they get an answer.

And then we’ll also do a lot of contest too. Like, if it’s a slow news week, bigger. We don’t have a lot to post. I’ll start up some contest. Like, hey, take a take a selfie of you and your family enjoying this special day that the company did, to be entered to win. Snap points, reward points.

That’s great. And we get that. And actually, we just did that last week, and now that’s like, if you look at our trending tab, that’s all it is is people’s families Yeah. Enjoying the day.

Yeah. No. That’s great. And what about you, Connie? What is your approach when it comes to user generated content?


Each of those topics in the different plants are open to anyone to follow. And that kind of went at least at the time against what First SIP was telling us, and I almost got voted off the island one night, one day at a global comms meeting when all of team said, we thought all of these were open to everyone so that somebody in Canada could see what somebody in India was doing in a plant. And, Wow. That really floored me like, okay. Let’s open them all up. So every single one almost every single one of those one hundred and ten topics are open for anyone to follow. So, ours is a lot of sharing best practices, huge safety culture.

But there’s a lot of congratulatory upbeat messages in some area, like, there and again, we see different things in different cultures. Like, we’re like, sorry, but the people in India have so many parties, you know. And it’s not that they’d love to post the pictures and the togetherness, and they’re a very social culture. Same as in Brazil.

Very social. So, we’re really pushing those topic managers now to try to get more Bunge related content with the mix of social so that there’s a there’s a better mix. And, the last thing I’ll say is I see everything. Right?

So like when I go on the app, it’s just a hot mess of a hundred and ten topics. Most people are following only their own topic or two or three that they’re interested in. So I think it’s that very or we think that it’s that very relevant content mixed with the the the global content that they know is coming from corporate, and we allow that user generated content. People are shocked they don’t think they can do it.

And then they do it. Once they do it, they just it spreads. It’s like, I it’s what you they see that it’s okay.

And they just continue to post great content that we incorporate would never find. And, yeah, it’s just it almost keeps creating that feedback loop that that poet Ali was talking about. That’s great. Well, let’s open up to the audience for questions.

If you have a quest oh, wow. Look with this. Yeah. We should have started a little while ago.

I’ll ask this. If you could say your name in which company your organization represent, that’ll be great because we also wanna make folks are able to connect among each other. I’m gonna come down to help, run bikes as well. So, please, if you could get us started.

Sure. I’m Megan Hartman. I’m with Philip 66. Our late Trolls, Louisiana Refinery. So I was just gonna ask you, I saw scavenger hunt on the slide that you had with all the contest and raffles and Those good things to get engagement.

How did you do a scavenger hunt? I think that would be fun. That was on my side. Yeah.

I’ve done them.

Sometimes, I don’t know what other folks are doing out there out out in the world, so I find out later. Oh, you had a scavenger hunt. Okay. Now we’ll go look at the metrics.

So, we, again, I mentioned we have sort of we’re we’re developing a playbook. A lot of the regional comms teams have also, talk to the in the training in one of those sessions in four weeks, we talk about have a contest, bring some cupcakes, do whatever is relevant in your world area, have some giveaways. And so the way we do, we wanna make sure that any scavenger hunts are measurable So basically, we’ll try to have people look for, one or two things in one or two topics And then we’re we we know that we can measure, how many likes or comments or whatever the the call to action is. So happy

to talk with you out in the hallway about that more specifically, but it’s just keeping it small, keeping it simple, and, making sure that you can count it at the end. And then we give out prizes the hard way. I I took a note in my last session. We need to get, like, a game of it.

We need to get, like, a rewards platform. Form. You know, so if if we have to send out a prize around the world, I have to make sure that people in different world areas can send out that prize. So That’s a little complicated.

Don’t don’t forget that if you’re global when you’re when you’re, promising, gifts that can be hard to ship.

Thank you. Hi. I’m Tracy from Woodward, an aerospace company.

My question is around the state of your mobile policy when you, implemented with your frontline. Was it a mature policy? Did you have hurdles with your legal department? Talk a little bit about that.

So they were putting it on their personal phones.

So, I guess we could have went by, like, our social media policy.

I’m not really quite sure how to answer this one.

But we were they weren’t putting it on their company phones. Like, our mobile, our frontline workers don’t have that.

But In some states, the workers have to be compensated for being on their Oh, not in not in Virginia.


We were very clear, like, you will not be compensated for your time. Oh, yeah. Huge, huge piece at Bunge being global.

And yes, our FAQs also say you will not be compensated for anything you’re doing on this app, not the wifi, not the use of your own personal plan.

To be super honest, we are still kind of developing our BYOD policy.

We just hired a privacy lawyer. Thank god, because if you can imagine all the platforms we own, we have to have that. So, I’m gonna say one thing that’s difficult. Getting our frontline workers on is a very difficult process at Bunge, Think of it as if you’ve gotten a new bank account or a new credit card.

Sometimes all the steps you have to go through to join the app, we have to do that globally. And one of the things they have to do is, say what country they’re in and what language they speak, and then they will get a policy with that, particular thing, and then they have to opt in. Well, now legal kinda did that. And they’re coming back to me going, well, what about wired?

You know, I’m like, oh, come on. So it’s there’s always more legal questions, but we have instituted. You have to opt in to the policy if you’re non wired on your own private device.

It’s hard. And I’ll add to that as well because we get this question often too actually just the other day, which our customers, there’s usually either terms of use policy available that indicates that addresses that, the use of the the the platform and often it’ll be included in FAQs whether or not employees are compensated, which is usually is they’re not compensated for us. So lot more Leo questions and discussions associated with that, which we can help our customers with on that too. So I think I know Kelsey has one.

Hi. I’m Lori Stewart with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. So this is for Connie with a hundred and ten topics. What kind of guidelines or structure do you have around featured content?

So I would imagine if every topic is featuring a piece of content, Everybody would see a hundred and ten featured posts in a day. So how do you guys manage that? Yeah. So they only see it as featured if they’re following that topic or if it comes up in the trending.

But that is a consideration for, whether or not we will use the Firstup desktop platform as our intranet or as a a new homepage for the intranet, because right now corp Coms has one hundred and ten percent lockdown on the carousel on our internet. But when you go to Firstup, yeah, if I’m following a topic in Brazil, and they feature a lot of stuff, even though we tell them not to feature content. That’s one thing they are doing, especially Brazil.

Again, culture, So I end up with a lot of Brazil stuff in my, you know, in my in my feed, but that’s because I’m following it. Although tell me if that’s wrong. Sometimes I forget exactly how every single piece of of the content works in the app, but That that’s something we’re trying to to work on now because, we already gave up a little bit of control our internet. Our internet has some social piece to it very little, and the communications teams quickly figured out that other people can communicate for us. Now we have to be careful that we don’t think it goes too far in the app with those hundred and ten topics. Yeah. So short answer, we’re trying to figure that out.

And we’re com I’m trying to say, get more okay with that communicators.

Right? Because you don’t own the messaging. You know, you think you do, but really, we don’t advocacy and all that stuff. We can try to package it, but it can only go so far.

And I mean that in a good way.

I’m Jessica, from TE Connectivity.

And my question is around the adoption.

You know, there’s a lot of barriers that, you know, we’ve referenced, in the discussion cultural, different different cultures around the world, technology, based on den generation adoption, and then also socio socioeconomic, whether you know, people have their own smartphones and things like that. So with all of these barriers, what would you say is the the one that you’ve dealt with the most and how have you overcome that and seen this success of adoption, but then the second part is not just adoption in one time, like, once and done, but sustaining the use of the app.

Yeah. So for us sustaining to once getting them in was actually not as hard as I expected it to be. But sustaining the use is what was the biggest struggle. Like, we’ve done different contests to get them in, the yeti one. That was actually you had to to be entered into it, you had to sign up for the app, tag the friend in the comments who helped you with the app. Or if you already had Firstup at that time and you still wanted the chance to win a getty, you had to, like, post a picture of a selfie and what you would like to see more of.

In the app. And that worked really well.

But the as far as, like, regular day to day engagement, I would say, like, we I post at least one piece of content a day, so it keeps them coming back because they don’t wanna miss out on anything. FOMO is real.

Or among the front line, and just keep them coming back and give them, like, keeping things in, like, little bite sized pieces of information.

For other speakers, they talk about those long corporate comms articles. They don’t read those. All them, put everything in bite size. Or they don’t have to spend a lot of time, but they can get the information they need. And then the user generated content really drives people in. They love seeing each other’s faces and questions?

Yeah. I actually kinda had a follow-up on what you were asking over there in terms of, you know, people not being paid for their time on the app. I’m sorry. I was supposed to start with name and company.

I’m Tim. I’m, with rider, the Transportation Logistics company, half of our workforce, does not have email, a lot of people in maintenance shops, a lot of people in warehouses and distribution centers.

And one of the challenges that we’ve run into is you’re in a warehouse, our, you know, our, our customers themselves let alone the products that they’re selling are proprietary, so employees can’t have phones in the warehouse It’s also a safety issue. You don’t want somebody distracted and run over by a forklift.

We’re not compensating them for their time on the app So they don’t really want to, they don’t wanna use that after work. And they’re like, no, I’m I’m done working.

So we run into this problem where, well, they can’t have it at work, and they don’t want it after work. How do you bridge that gap to to get them on in that, that very unique situation.

Okay. So I could say that our employees are not allowed to have their cell phones on the floor, on the production floor at all.

That’s against all of our policies.

It’s really just the fear of, like, missing out and wanting to know what other people know. It’s the type of content you put in there. It is knowing what they want to know about and knowing your audiences.

Right? And we also have a very So we have, like, our main topics, which I manage, but each area also has their own topic.

Like, this one area in the building has their own topic with their own topic manager, and they put like hyper local local information.

That they might need to do their job. None of it confidential. We don’t post anything confidential on that because it could get out.

And it’s just really the it’s the quality of the information and what they want to see that keeps them coming in. And they’ll do it on their lunch and their breaks.

Some of them go home and they get on it. I can tell by when they’re posting things. I’m like, you got off at three. What are you doing posting at eleven o’clock at night?

But they do.

Yeah. And we struggle with that. I mean, if I’m honest, we need to keep bringing new content And again, I I think it’s what Kirsten said. The mix at our place, of the hyper local as I mentioned, didn’t really seem to exist or if it did, it was very old fashioned, mixing that with, you know, great global content that helps them understand what the company is doing.

But, we also lean very heavily on our HR team who are not all based at plants. We found that out the hard way too. A lot of these plants don’t have anybody from HR, the regional HR, But it’s a lot of hand holding in certain regions. And, you know, again, I I I sound like I’m making a lot of a cultural jokes, but the cultural differences just come flying out of the woodwork on something like this, especially in Brazil.

They heard again and again some of the older workers, the older men would say I can’t do this. My daughter does this for me. You know, they use their phone, like I wish my kids did, to call people, you know. And so they don’t use apps.

But then again, the, you know, there are pockets of cultures that are so phone savvy. They just run with this thing and and comms doesn’t have to do anything once we get them on there. So it’s a it’s really vastly different from plant to plant and, region to region. We we literally get emails from the wives and employees.

Right. Yes. Yeah.

I thought it was just an exaggeration until I heard it again and again and again. Yeah. It’s not just us. Yeah. Exactly.


Alright. One over there. Yep. Hi. I’m Jill Heelings from Blue Origin.

We, we struggle at the same I think, actually. And we also have ITAR, trade compliance, like, proprietary stuff. So it’s, yeah, adoption on the factory floors challenging.

We also struggle with, getting interest from folks, to become topic managers we have three, well, four internal communicators for twelve thousand people. So we can’t manage every single topic, but everybody else is tapped and they don’t necessarily want to be a topic manager. So, like, what how what was your experience? Like, recruiting topic managers, like getting them interested and, like, helping the comms team you know, if they aren’t already in the function.

Like Yeah. I mean, I’ll just add it quickly. They are. Some a lot of times, it’s the receptionist are are the administrative assistant who already is doing newsletters and stuff, and he, mostly she will see that, oh, wow.

It’s way easier to say that you know, parking lot B is gonna be asphalted next Tuesday than it is to get that out any other way.

And again, if you didn’t know, you should have downloaded the app. You know? So, but we have to be careful. We can’t put any business critical content in there that, you know, it has to be on another platform.

Also, we ask the plant managers to assign them, the topic managers. So, you know, comms doesn’t hand select them and tap them their boss, our boss’s boss does. And so they tend to say yes. But I will say to you one last thing.

When we did our first pushes, or we called them sprints out to the plants, we did choose the nice plants. Right? The ones that we know have, plant managers that aren’t super tipped. We have tons of construction going on.

Let’s not choose them right now. Choose the ones that are just kinda working, doing their normal stuff. They also tend to be good communicators, and they will con we know historically they will communicate. So, you know, somebody’s video recording this, but, our plants that are a little more difficult, those were the last ones that we brought on, and some of them honestly still aren’t on ones with GDPR concerns are not on yet, and, ones that, we have, union negative activity quite a bit.

Honestly, they’re not on yet. And, you know, we have to grow trust in the platform before we can get to those.

Hello, Alice Riley from Ford Motor Company. Question for you both as you have multiple digital platforms? How are you thinking about how you use the different platforms intranet site versus the app for kind of your content strategy and how you reach audiences?

You wanna go for that? Yeah. So go ahead. For the for ours, we use Firstup as a way to push out to all of our forms. So it pushes out to the internet, through micro apps. It pushes out to our digital signage. It pushes out to their phones.

We use it for our email. So we’re using it for everything to reach everybody where they are. That is awesome, and that’s what we wanna get to. And we’re not there yet. So integration integration integration is what everyone’s, asking me about right now, and we’re we’re just simply not there yet. So I love I’m gonna talk to you later.


Hi, Liz Kosta with Coca Cola consolidated.

Question for you is with regard to how you trained the content managers to onto this platform, because I can’t imagine it was a one size fits all. How did you how did you care for the customizations that were needed with regard to chain training those content managers on the platform.

Yeah. I can talk to this. Sure. Please So when I’ve brought on topic managers and content managers, I’ve literally just spent thirty minutes with them.

Mhmm. And just locked them through it. Now, a lot of them are still using classic studios, so it was easier. I might have spent a little bit more time with people on new.

But they pick it up so quickly.

It’s not it’s it’s a it’s not a difficult thing to learn. If they’re already try if they can send an email, they can post to this. Do they have trouble finding, like, nice images sometimes and having the right size? Yes.

But besides that, they’ve been very easy to train and work with. Now, I don’t have any of our frontline employees that are topic managers. They’re all at least supervisor level.

Yeah. And same. We we do a demo, and then we train the topic managers very briefly. We give them a couple days or weeks to play in the platform, and then we go live.

Now, and there are settings, like you mentioned, is it open as it closed or the workflows, are there not We walk them through those. We make a recommendation that they just open everything up. But if they wanna start with the workflow and approve content and then, you know, get used to that, that’s fine too. So, and culturally, each region has communications people, maybe one or two big swaths of regions they know and trust those communications leads, and that’s who they work with.

So, I showed some of the posters and stuff All of the training materials, all of that has been, translated and localized in country. And I don’t care if they change it as long as they stick to the basic values and how how we’re doing it. So we allow the communications teams to do that customization as needed Yep.

Hi. I’m Barb Barclay with the Goodyear tire and rubber company, and we are structured. Similarly, we have over a hundred and thirty topics, and we really focused on launching them locally first. To really prioritize the local content and local language. But from the beginning, we’ve always gotten pushback on pushing down our global content directly to those topics.

We’re just hearing from our regional teams and the plant teams that the frontline workers there just don’t really care about it, and it’s overwhelming their local news. So I’m curious if you heard that same pushback at all, And if you’re customizing what you’re sharing with them from Global and Corporate for that audience specifically?

We have a global topic that everybody automatically follows when they join the app. The only other topic they have to follow is one called Go Connect Help, which I managed, topic managers follow a topic manager’s topic where I throw hints and tips out there, and then everyone follows their local topic. Then they can follow whatever they want. So they don’t get a lot of noise.

We do ask the topic managers to publish two times a week. Do you have that kind of Cadence? We are headed that direction. Yeah.

And they don’t all do it. But, I haven’t heard that feedback, but I’m gonna ask That’s a good question if we’re hearing that. I kinda look at it like you’ve got, you know, those three different, you know, the if you don’t wanna see the global news, don’t look at it. But you, you know, you do kinda have to actively decide not to look at it.

So we’re hoping at least they scroll past. And most of the global news is still the number one in the, in the, in the platform. Now I showed you that quality and food safety all the stories they published were in the top five, while that topic we called that a pop up topic. So cool.

Those stories got more visits than even the global news, because it was, you know, a cool campaign.

So, yeah, that’s a good question. And I don’t know. Do you have that issue? We do hear that feedback, because we started out as just our one local facility with one of the operating companies inside of that facility.

So as it grew, and they started getting more, of the corporate messaging coming down, we did hear a little bit of that in the first. But like Connie said, they scroll past it. I also have a really good relationship with our corporate comms team, and we have If they think there’s anything that might be sensitive to the hourly population across any of the hourly operating companies, We always discuss it first before they put it out there. And we have there’s a couple that they’re automatically enrolled to, like Connie, the global one. Then we also have one that none of the hourly can actually see.

And it’s not to exclude them from information, but it’s a lot of times, like, they have different benefits packages and things like that that we wouldn’t put out there for them.

So it doesn’t get as noisy as one might think.

My name is Alex Sirkin. I’m from Firstup. My question is for, Kirsten. It was great to hear that you are using Firstup, not just for mobile.

And I’m curious if you could speak to digital signage or the web application or email and how they’ve potentially enrich frontline employees. Right? I think folks always think about mobile as a powerful way, certainly. But are any of the other channels helping you to better reach and engage the frontline folks that you’re powered through Firstup?


Through the digital signage, we go through another third part, we use the micro app created in Firstup, which goes through another third party and onto the digital signage all around our facility. And that’s just like our standard go to. That’s always been our standard go to for communications. Oh, just put it up on it’s called ANN, Altria News Network. Just throw that up on a and n. And a lot of people still do rely on a and n to get their messaging because they don’t have the app, and they don’t know their password.

But once we did get the email added in, That was actually game changing. Like, I didn’t realize how many of our hourly employees were checking their email.

And it’s nice because it pushes it out to them where they’re gonna actually look at it. Right? Like, I was really scared to use the optimize and all of that. I’m like, but then I lose all control over when this goes out. In some messages, I do have to turn that off because you need things to go out at a certain time. But it has been, like, game changing for them to re receive the news across the different platforms when they need to. And when they when first off determines that they will actually look at it.

As far as like the web, It’s really it’s the web experience. So it feeds to the internet, and that’s really more for our our our salaried population.

Our front line employees aren’t really on the internet looking for stories. We have micro apps that feature from a certain topic that just automatically go in different carousels on our internet page. It doesn’t populate all the evergreen information on there. It’s just rotating stories and events.

Tim from rider. Again, I did have a question for Kirsten on this. I believe you mentioned, regarding comments. You kind of really open things up and and don’t monitor that. We monitor. Okay. We don’t police.

Well, that that was where is that line? Cause When we opened comments, we decided that, you know, as long as you’re not completely breaking, you know, principles of business conduct. You you can complain about us. All you want. That was a fight that we had with HR. Yeah. People are allowed to say negative things.

But what level Like, where is that line? Do you use the system’s block list for, you know, stopping keywords and that kind of stuff or, you know, How do you manage that? So we’ve only ever seen the music notes appear twice.

And those people had to talk to.

Yeah. We didn’t start it till aft, like, towards the tail end. We were July twenty twenty one.

So the line would be like if they break any kind of policy, our code of conduct, which they already have to abide by.

The when we first started it, there was we put out some, like, basic guidelines.

Right? Like, don’t break this. Don’t break that.

Be a good human being now, go create a negative buyer. Right? And we really haven’t had that much problems. Like, we might have one troublemaker that gets addressed on a personal level sometimes.

Alright. And our last question back here.

Hi, everyone. My name’s Hillary Young. I’m with Wegmans.

Thank you both for sharing so much. This has been so interesting and incredible to hear everybody’s different stories and same challenges and everything. So just thank you. Just a quick follow-up with how you train people, and I apologize. You may have said this, but are you training them in the back end for your topic and content managers, or are they just submitting posts as if they’re, just just an employee submission?

We we do both. Some some communications teams will show them studio, and we also are still in classic for the most part.

But our Europe team is the one that discovered Hey, HQ.

Why are you even bothering with studio? Because the average person at a plant is just happy with, you know, what they can do from the app or, from the desktop if they’re pasting something for a Microsoft Word. So That’s really cut down on our training overhead. I personally train people for the portal every for our internet.

Every single person gets trained by me, and it takes sometimes two one hour sessions. That’s insane. I’m never doing that again. And so that’s why I love Firstup because it’s almost no training.

It’s it’s more training in you know, what to communicate, how to communicate, you know, what levers to push and pull and a little bit about, you know, these are the guidelines.

Be nice, you know, what she just said so eloquently. Act right.

Yeah. I only train people in the back end of studio to be a topic manager.

But we do put posts out there, like, on the welcome to We connect topic on how to create your own content.

And we have videos and tutorials on that. So people learn how to do that on their own.

Yep. That’s that’s great. Last thing I’ll say related to that too is, as a customer, you should have a customer success manager. Encourage you during your alignment meetings as questions just like that.

Like, how what type of tips do you have as it relates to trading content publishers, etcetera? So Alright. Well, that’s, puts us at at time. Let’s give a round of applause to County and Pearson Cruise.

And before you leave out, I’d be remiss if I did not acknowledge this. There’s a session tomorrow called The Power of Harnessing Data, and we have two panelists here right at the front, Chris, and Savannah. Encourage you to attend that one. I’ve had a couple of conversations with them and their presentations are absolutely amazing.

So I encourage you to attend that one. But I wanna say thank you again for joining us, for this session. You have a short break. About thirty minutes, I believe.

I think the keynote is at four o’clock.

And I’m super excited for that discussion about AI. And I hope you enjoy the rest of your day. Thanks again, everyone. Bye.

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