PLANO, TX: The past couple of years have not been kind to EDS. The IT services and outsourcing company has been buffeted by Securities and Exchange Commission investigations, management churn, and the tech industry recession.
But as the company, and the industry, regains its footing, EDS is developing a campaign to tell its story to all the company?s stakeholders.
?We had some great [communications] initiatives, but they weren?t really tying everything together,? said Tom Mattia, VP of global communications. ?We were not going a great job of telling our people what this company is about. The DNA of EDS is to tell stories. When [founder] Ross [Perot] ran the place, he communicated by telling a story.?
EDS is returning to that tradition, starting with employees, and to external audiences later this year. Mattia is a believer that effective communication starts inside a company and works its way out.
?Your people should know what you are doing first,? he said. ?If you can get them to understand the company?s story, they become better ambassadors.?
EDS? employees were ?bloodied? during those tough months, and Mattia wanted to make sure they felt good about working for the company.
So he brought in London-based firm The Storytellers to help EDS hone its story for its 117,000 employees in 60 countries.
And the company?s story is the sum of the employees? own stories about helping customers, anything from working in a customer?s warehouse helping ship orders to determine the problem with an EDS system to personally delivering servers to a customer after it was determined the servers wouldn?t fit in a delivery plane?s cargo area.
?This company was built on storytelling,? said Paul Honeywell, Storytellers chairman. ?This will help renew the company?s power and pride. It?s important to engage these people in the evolving story of the company.?
Mattia admits that the company lost its ability to tell a story. It could present data and PowerPoint presentations, but that doesn?t tell a story.
?A story allows you to bring your company to life,? adds Mattia.
The campaign has already been presented to company executives, and is now rolling out to other employees, who will ideally listen to the stories already developed, as well as share their own. The campaign will reach out to external audiences later this year.
Mattia hopes that a few years down the road, the campaign will have taken on a life of its own, and storytelling becomes a part of the company?s fiber again.
?It?s easier to sit down with a client and tell them a story that relates to their business,? Mattia said. ?It captures what we are about in a more [meaningful] way.?