Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar collaboration professionals and their best practices at work.
Mark Schumann, ABC, IABC Fellow, is Founder and Principal of e-communicate, where he works with organizations – and their senior leaders, HR and Communication staffs – to re-invent how to inspire employees to deliver brand promises to customers.
Formerly with Towers Perrin, Mark served as the firm’s leader of the global communication consulting business as well as the Managing Principal of its offices in Texas. Over the years, Mark has developed employer brands for such organizations as ExxonMobil, DIRECTV, American Express, Cathay Pacific, Kimberly-Clark, McGraw- Hill, Halliburton and Yahoo.
Mark is the winner of 17 Gold Quill Awards from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and is a Professor of Communication at Fairfield University.
Join Mark at the Advanced Learning Institute’s Strategic Internal Branding Conference, April 19-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona as he presents “Redefine Your Employer Brand and Deliver Your Brand Promise Authentically for Today’s Workforce.”
In the meantime, read on to learn more about Mark and his insights on the evolution of the internal brand.
Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
Mark Schumann, ABC: For more than 25 years – since the early years of Southwest Airlines – I have worked with organizations to develop and sustain their “brands” as places to work to inspire employees to deliver their “brands” as places to buy. This reaches the core of who the organization is, what the organization considers essential, and how leaders connect with employees so they, in turn, positively answer, “what’s in it for me” to deliver what is promised to customers. And the work is just as critical today as when this movement began.
PB: What are some of your past and current projects that you are most proud of?
MS: Certainly I think back to the early years at Southwest Airlines when I had the chance to work with Libby Sartain, one of the great minds in HR, to develop this idea that we now call an internal brand or an employer brand. And, about 10 years ago, Libby and I began to document our work in a couple of books, Brand from the Inside and Brand for Talent that define what an employer brand can be, what it requires and what it can do for an organization and its people. Since then, as the concept of employer brand has matured, I have relished the chance to work with organizations interested in using this brand to connect leaders with internal and external stakeholders.
PB: What is most important for employees to understand about delivering the brand promise?
MS: That it all begins with the customer, and what the organization promises to the customer. This defines what employees must deliver every day. And the smart organization will align the experience, opportunity and rewards it offers employees with the experience, opportunity and results it offers customers. An internal or employer brand means much more than how to recruit people to join an organization; its real value is how, once inside, employees commit to deliver what customers on the outside expect.
PB: What will people gain from attending the Strategic Internal Branding Conference?
MS: I can’t wait for the conference. When you look at the range of topics and speakers – in the workshops and sessions – this event will be an excellent way to access the latest thinking on internal brand from a strong collection of experts.
PB: What is your contact information for questions, comments, ideas?
MS: Please write! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Register for the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. Together we’ll learn about using authentic internal branding communications to create brand champions, build culture and engage employees to live and deliver on the brand promise.
Since I’m a conference supporter, just mention Starry Blue Brilliance when you register to receive a $200 discount. 🙂
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