WashingtonExec has reached out to leading govcon communications and media executives about the latest trends in a post-pandemic world. These interviews highlight success stories that resonate, discuss how organizations are navigating current challenges, and provide insight into lessons learned. Katerina Figurski, senior director of marketing and communications at Arcfield, shares her thoughts below.
What were you and your team heavily focused on this year?
As a new company and a new brand, my team was heavily focused on internal communications and employee engagement this year. In fact, we just celebrated our first birthday. And in this first year, building a culture around the brand that everyone in the Arcfield family is proud to rally around has been at the forefront of our leadership’s priorities.
To support this imperative, one of my team’s biggest projects of the last year was building and launching a modern, easy-to-use intranet platform called The Arcway. The mobile-enabled tool is the gateway and single source of truth for all things Arcfield. It serves as an online expression of our culture, and the place employees visit daily to communicate, connect and receive regular company updates.
Standing up a new company means a lot of policy, system and process changes for the workforce, so having a single place that is easy to get to and even easier to navigate makes communicating those changes that much easier. The mobile app also ensures our onsite employees who may not be connected to the Arcfield network on a daily basis are able to easily stay connected as well.
How did you/your team approach a post-pandemic world? What does that look like in your organization?
Like many people, COVID reinforced to me that if you’re disciplined and focused, most jobs really can be done from anywhere. As a remote employee myself, and a working mom, I support flexible working arrangements on my team. I have had some great mentors in my life, and one thing they consistently advise is that if you take care of the people, they will take care of you.
Supporting them in their needs when it comes to flexibility within the workplace, I find, is an easy way to do this. So, if starting your day earlier than 9 a.m. Eastern time works better for you, or if you prefer to burn the midnight oil, that’s all fine with me as long the work is getting done. This approach doesn’t work for everyone, and for most of my colleagues in operations is not possible, but it works for my team.
What are some of the biggest media and communications trends you are anticipating for the remainder of this year, and into 2023?
When I think about media and communications trends, my mind goes to social. At Arcfield, we are committed to developing compelling and dynamic content to engage our audience. I think you will continue to see video take center stage not only for us, but across the industry ⏤ and the shorter and more concise, the better.
How do you hope current or ongoing media and communications initiatives positively impact the organization and its workforce?
While 2022 had a heavy focus on building a solid internal communications architecture, we will shift the focus to external media and communications in 2023 to help build and grow the Arcfield brand. We’re working closely with an agency partner to build a robust thought leadership program and speakers bureau to elevate Arcfield subject matter experts; further reinforce Arcfield’s experience and expertise in this industry and; even more foundationally, to help establish and reinforce the brand with customers, peers and potential candidates.
Additionally, 2023 will bring a new and more in-depth website to Arcfield that will highlight our differentiated people and solutions, and the critically important national security missions they support, as well as the unique company and culture we are building.
What are you most passionate about enhancing communications-wide in your organization going forward?
Like many of my peers in the industry, communicating with a direct workforce that spends most of their time in cleared facilities continues to be a challenge. I look forward to partnering closely with my colleagues across operations to help break down some of the barriers that have been built up over the last several decades, and using innovative tools and new communications approaches to overcome this challenge at Arcfield.
Additionally, I am very passionate about making every Arcfield employee a brand advocate. As employees, we are all inherently brand ambassadors, but when armed with the right content and a means to activate it, we all can become advocates as well.
We don’t have a social amplification or employee advocacy tool in place at Arcfield yet, but I look forward to identifying and deploying the right tools across the enterprise to help enhance this aspect of our communications.