Internal communication

During 2008, the internal community at the Pirelli Group was the object of numerous communication initiatives at both global and national levels, while varying widely in terms of duration, scope of action and channels used. The following paragraphs illustrate highlights of the principal areas in which Internal Communication and Human Resources took actions with useful, interesting and engaging actions, in step with the most modern formats but especially capable to reinforce the employee’s perception as an active member of the business community, where individual contributions create value for everyone.

Opinion Survey 2008

The second Group Opinion Survey was conducted in 2008, and involved executives, managers and white-collar employees (the previous opinion survey was conducted in 2005).

Participation in the survey, which involved the distribution of an online questionnaire translated in 10 languages that was distributed to a target of 5,971 persons, was very high (78%).

Some of the most positive results showed that respondents had a strong sense of belonging to the Group, high levels of knowledge and skills involving Company products/services, a good level of operating efficiency and a satisfying quality of internal relations amongst colleagues/departments.

Instead, those highlighting the need for improvements are related to reconciling the demands of personal life and work, performance management and feedback by management to the various levels of the Company and the need to further increase spending on training and career development support measures.

The survey results were returned to the managers of the individual business units/departments (in Italy) and local HR managers in September and October 2008. The HR managers were also involved in a specific workshop held in October to interpret the survey results in the individual countries, discuss them and guide the definition of specific action plans at both the local and Group level to be implemented in 2009.

At the end of 2007-beginning of 2008, a study was carried out on the climate of the population of the two plants in Settimo Torinese. A large number of employees participated, as illustrated in the following table:

 

Settimo Veicoli Plant

Settimo Vettura Plant

Total (1,114)

Staff

93%

88%

91%

Blue-collar

65%

57%

62%

Total (1,114)

72%

64%

69%

On the whole, the survey produced satisfying results.

In particular, in comparison with the Turin population as a whole, the survey showed that perception of Company products, image and equal opportunities are the key components that generate the Company’s identity.

Minimal differences were detected amongst car and vehicle plants, but they were restricted to limited areas, particularly safety and the environment, relations with co-workers, corporate communication and management style.

During 2008, the Group also conducted two additional surveys targeted at the blue-collar population, particularly at the Rome (USA) and Slatina (Romania) plants. The response rate for these new surveys was also very high (80.9% at Slatina, 100% in Rome).

The “Pirelli is a CSR Company” campaign

After being launched in all countries in 2007, the campaign to improve employee awareness about corporate social responsibility issues was completed in July 2008 with communication of the actions that the Company had taken in response to the feedback it had received.

The “Pirelli è una CSR Company” (“Pirelli is a CSR Company”) campaign used an informational brochure and postcard (in local language) to explain the meaning of sustainability and its integration in Company operations to employees, asking them to express their opinion on what they thought were the most important aspects of CSR and suggest any improvements.

CSR campaign

Pirelli Group. CSR campaign.

Over the following months, each country developed its own local action plan on the basis of the feedback received. These action plans were communicated to everyone through a local information campaign. A poster with the opinions expressed in percentage terms by the employees at each location was put up in the main corridors of all affiliates, while a series of messages published on the Group Intranet explained the reasons for the actions to be taken, in view of promoting general consensus on a project that involved the entire internal community on socially relevant issues.

Pirelli Corporate Press

The project to reorganise the corporate press was implemented in 2008. This project was planned in 2007 to overhaul internal information activity by adopting an immediate style capable of appealing to employees by providing useful, interesting and engaging content.

Implementation of this project began with the three historic magazines published by the Group in Italy - Pirelli Flash, Fatti&Notizie and Pirelli World. The first issues of the new generation of these publications came out in February, at the same time as the launch of the new Intranet portal, where the Company house organs are available in digital format in a special area found on the home page.

Pirelli Flash, a monthly news magazine for Italian blue-collar workers that had traditionally been composed and printed by Corporate Internal Communications in Milan and distributed at the Arese, Bollate, Figline Valdarno and Settimo Torinese plants, was made directly accessible to factory managers once it moved to the Intranet, so that they could independently manage, print and distribute it, consequently reducing the time and cost of centralised printing and distribution.

Fatti&Notizie, a news periodical targeting all Pirelli employees in Italy, underwent radical changes. The magazine has abandoned the old top-down approach to communication and has employees speak through interviews and reports about working life on the factory floor or in the office, complete with specific photo reports. This approach to communication reinforces content by making it more concrete and topical, thereby encouraging the reader’s process of identification and involvement. Extensive positive feedback has confirmed the magazine’s enhanced appeal. In particular, the formula of factory reporting, which focused in 2008 on the Bollate and Settimo Torinese factories, generated tangible effects of cohesion in the productive environment at a particularly delicate time in internal relations.

Employees have become the protagonists of internal communication

With the new column Entra in redazione, the new Fatti&Notizie reports stories by readers, beginning with their experience in motor sports. The invitation Sei mai stato a una gara di Superbike? (Have you ever been to a superbike rally?) that initiated this format was accepted by various enthusiasts, with the most interesting piece later being selected and published in the magazine.

Another important characteristic of the new publishing project was the reinforced synergy between the magazine and other internal communication events: Fatti&Notizie is linked with the Intranet (icons point to the portal for more detailed information on a specific topic) and with numerous events such as open day, competitions, mood surveys, etc.

The magazine is no longer mailed to employees’ homes, but is provided to them instead at specific distribution points at the workplace, consequently reducing distribution time and costs.

Pirelli World, an English language magazine targeted at the Group’s management around the world, is published in Milan and distributed to associates and affiliates. It underwent a major graphic and editorial restyling to reinforce its external image. A collaborative process supports production of the main articles, with various Company departments contributing specialised pieces that are occasionally complemented by the contributions of external experts. For example, the last issue of the year, which came out after the United States presidential election, focused on the United States and contained an exclusive interview with Nigel Gault, an economist who is an expert on IHS Global Insight, addressing America after Obama’s victory. The previous issue focused on the Group’s history in Latin America, and publishing a scenario report on Brazil by ISPI, the (“Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale” - Institute for International Political Studies).

Phase 2 of the corporate press overhaul project began in the second half of the year, in order to transfer the Group’s principal identifying traits to the approximately 30 publications put out by affiliates and branches worldwide. Pirelli News, the German monthly, standardised its image according to the new guidelines of the corporate publications. The Chinese monthly Pirelli Voice is instead undergoing integration of local content with pieces that reinforce corporate identity, responding to the need expressed by the company’s CEO. In Romania, Stiri is a new monthly magazine that further enriches the wealth of information, communication and collaboration by Pirelli corporate communication around the world.

Aside from the development of global and national publications, 2008 also witnessed the creation of new tools of information by individual practise communities, first and foremost the newsletter “PMS - Pirelli Manufacturing System,” which was rolled out to support the introduction of the new Pirelli production system at all production sites. This monthly bulletin, which is sent via e-mail to the various heads and managers at Pirelli Tyre plants around the world and available online over the Intranet, reports on the projects implemented at individual factories to promote the exchange and sharing of achieved targets and results.

Intranet

The new Pirelli Group Intranet went online on 4 February 2008. It was the result of a complex overhaul of the old portal that engaged an interdepartmental project team (Internal Communication, Human Resources and Information Systems) over the course of six months.

Available in Italian and English, accessible by 17,000 users in 34 countries, it is the only Intranet that is shared by all employees at all Group companies worldwide. It has two objectives: to create a public place where everyone’s information and tools are available to everyone; reinforce individuals’ sense of empowerment, by inviting them to “speak up” and “express their own opinion”.

In the area dedicated to news, which is updated daily, the activities and know-how of individual companies are shared with everyone, thereby encouraging the exchange of information and technology amongst businesses and departments. This exchange is enhanced by the possibility each employee has to make his own comments, which immediately enter the public domain, contributing to the Company’s knowledge base.

Corporate news that can be commented on, cooperate networks, interviews and a direct line with the editorial office: from being users of content, employees also become its producer, stimulating constant refinement of site formats in step with the needs of the internal community.The home page of the Intranet also hosts a section dedicated to the individual countries where the Company has a production plant. News of local interest is published in this section - Arab, Chinese, Romanian, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, etc. - accessible to everyone through the selection features.

Eight thousand individual visitors a week, 500,000 visits a month and constantly increasing time online: in 10 months the Intranet has become the principal tool of internal communication, as affirmed by 81% of the employees interviewed during the Opinion Survey conducted last July. The implementation of additional functions for employees was planned for 2009, and will use Web 2.0 technology for new forms of cooperation benefiting innovation inside the Company.