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Not Your Parents’ Corporate News

October 31, 2014 by Angela Dunn 0

The revolution is underway. The days of stale, boring corporate news are over. Or so SAP hopes.

Head honcho of Global Corporate Affairs (GCA), Torie Clarke, is looking to speak to SAP’s many audiences in a new way. That’s why she signed up three top media professionals from print and TV. The goal is simple: create disruptive content that informs, entertains, and tells the SAP story in a simple way.  So when Nicola Leske, Megan Meany and Paul Taylor were looking to make the move from journalism to the corporate “dark side,” Clarke made sure they had a home in GCA. All three have started at SAP in recent weeks. Their world-class media credentials will help to augment and enhance a talented group of SAP corporate comms professionals.

The Content Team is aiming to broaden the way SAP tells stories and how they tell these stories. More human, more personal, more visual.  Sharable, accessible stories. GCA Head of Content Sam Juneau calls it “the consumerization of corporate communications.”  A former broadcast journalist and television producer himself, Juneau thinks employees and external audiences will consume information more vigorously if the information feels and looks like the content they consume at home. More humor, some drama, more fun, more human — a mirror of the choices they make outside of work in front of the TV, on their tablets and smartphones.

It might come as a bit of a surprise to hear that Leske, the new Head of Global Media Relations, dislikes press releases. “The way they are presented and written is of no use to a journalist,” says the former Thomsen-Reuters technology correspondent.  At the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School of Journalism, she learned if you can’t shout your headline to a chef in a noisy kitchen and make yourself understood, your message is too complicated. “If SAP could modernize the news process, we could really stand out,” says the German-born, American-bred journalist whose job it will be to do just that.

Paul Taylor, a tech journalist who joined SAP after a long career with the Financial Times, approaches his job as senior correspondent in the Global Corporate Affairs content team as he did his old job. “A good story is a good story. It includes human characters. What works in the real world can work in corporate — people want something interesting to read and to share.” He believes if it feels right for an external audience, it should appeal internally too. He sees no division.

Meany’s foray into corporate communications resulted in “The Spin,” a weekly newscast, light, irreverent but informative. During her career as a lifestyle journalist for broadcast media, she developed, produced and moderated TV series for consumers. “You were responsible for telling a good story even if one wasn’t handed to you. There was constant pressure to create content people would be interested in,” she says.

The team’s mission is to cannibalize the mainstream media outlets and bring viewers and readers into the SAP family. In fewer than 140 characters and often less than 120 seconds. Here’s a sample of what lies ahead:

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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