Guides, Manuals and Reference Materials
Corporate communications isn't all glamor and glory. Frequently, when something (i.e., just about anything) important in an organization needs to be written, edited, formatted and/or distributed, it falls to the comms team to get it done.
In 2007, I received a baptism by fire in technical writing. Sure, I'd done a few small projects in this line before - work instructions, reports, style guides, proposals and the occasional case study - but nothing that required me to dive very deeply into unfamiliar waters.
Until, that is, I joined Capital One's HR Communications team and was tasked with producing:
- A comprehensive 40-page guide for benefits open enrollment
- Four location-specific supplement guides
- A 30-page FAQ, glossary and package cover letter
- The employee communications plan and related materials to roll out this new benefits plan
This was a monumental effort that included working with benefits providers, consultants and vendors for printing, kitting and mailing. Not to mention a lot of internal folks to get employees up to speed on a brand new program; address their questions, concerns and complaints; and push them relentlessly to enroll.
Policies, Processes and Procedures
No less challenging, in some respects, was my follow-up assignment at Capital One: To develop, all but from scratch, a 20-page employee Code of Conduct, including a cover letter from the Chairman and CEO. The project involved numerous high-level stakeholders across the business and support teams, including HR, Legal, Investor Relations and others.
This experience paid dividends when I was later tasked with editing and making consistent the full gamut of board-approved policies, processes and procedures (including forms) at UTi Worldwide, and developed a new set of those materials for employees regarding external/public communications and use of social media.
I worked closely with the UTi corporate governance and legal teams throughout my tenure with the company to ensure the integrity of these and other technical documents.