The following was published on February 25, 2021 as a LinkedIn blog post by Dina Pokedoff, Trinseo Corporate Communications Director.
I joined Trinseo in the midst of a sea of change—a transformational year of growth for the organization during a global pandemic that required significant adjustments to the way that we operate and communicate. However, one of the things that has set Trinseo up for success—and what attracted me to the organization as an employer—is the incredible value that is placed on effective communications. As Trinseo continues its transformation from a commodity to a specialty solutions provider, effective communication strategies have been essential to meeting our goals.
Moving Stakeholders Along the Continuum
I’ve found that some people look at communications as sprinkling fairy dust to make things sound good—but there is so much more than that. There is a discipline and a science to the work that we do, through either shifting perception from the negative to positive or, more optimally, moving our stakeholders along the brand continuum. A stakeholder—an employee, an investor, a customer—may begin with an awareness of our organization, but we eventually want to move them into an affinity for Trinseo with a willingness to take action (e.g., purchase our products, invest in our company, or join the team) and eventually to become an ambassador who advocates on our behalf when we aren’t in the room.
A key element of this approach is developing two-way communications. We’re not just pushing communications out—emails to customers, press releases to media—we are creating a dialogue and enabling the necessary conversations and feedback that will move our stakeholders to become our ambassadors. This is particularly important during such a significant time of change for Trinseo—for our customers to understand what they can expect, for our investors to understand where we are going as an organization, and for our partners to join us in our journey. It’s also especially important for internal communications. Our company culture and behaviors are changing to meet the company’s transformational ambitions and our teams must feel engaged and connected to elevate the organization and to achieve our goals.
Serving as Strategic Enablers
We have a lean, passionate team of communicators at Trinseo working across the enterprise—from supporting employee engagement, to working with marketing and communications brand alignment, to executive communications and more. This puts us at the heartbeat of the organization, and it allows us to add value across the company, serving as a resource and a strategic enabler to ensure that our stakeholders are engaged and informed.
It can be difficult, particularly for a nimble company in which people are moving fast and accomplishing a lot of work, but part of our role is to stop and ask the critical questions that will help us to communicate the change or the initiative. A good communicator will anticipate all of the difficult questions we could receive—from all stakeholders—and then determine what adjustments we need to make so we can answer them.
Through this work, though, strategic communications can become like a bubble wrap for an organization—protect our teams to make them feel comfortable, while also building good will with our stakeholders. Because in the event we face challenges, we’ve built up that essential trust and bank of goodwill.