Telling the right stories
Now she works mostly on B2B campaigns on LinkedIn and Twitter but De Bok also works closely with her social counterpart who is more focused on B2C communications through Instagram and Facebook. “I already knew Philips was a leading player when it comes to social media but I was happy to see how much weight it carries within the whole organization. When you talk about social media as a storytelling or sales tool there are still a lot of sceptics. At Philips we see that senior management have truly taken it at face value and are eager to use and explore it.” De Bok has already trained and coached a lot of (senior) leaders in optimizing their Linkedin profile and their usage of the platform. And it pays off. Social selling numbers are impressive as well as the data her department crunches on social statistics as well.
But that was not all. “I have always thought Philips had amazing stories. They create these fantastic products that help people live better lives, serve better outcomes in healthcare and help people recover quicker. But somehow when I talk about it to friends and family they have never heard them. Which is such a waste. So for this year we are truly focusing on telling stories. We want to show the world, or at least the Benelux, all the amazing stories that live within the company and also show the amazing people who work here.” An example of the first attempt of the social media managers to help profile the stories within the company came about on International Women’s Day. De Bok: “We have amazing female leaders at Philips and we decided that they should be heard more. We reached out to several of them asking them about their career advice and asking about their lessons learned and they too proved to have amazing stories. As a result we now have some really interesting blogposts about these leaders on our blog and we are already finding new and exciting angles on other stories.”
Since starting at Philips the roles within the BC&D team have changed as well. Every senior professional in the team is the marketing and communications lead for a specific modality. Ilona is responsible for IGT, image guided therapy. “I knew about minimally invasive procedures in health care but I didn’t know we have amazing products that help cure the most complex cases. I was most enthused by an interventional radiologist who explained that we provide a sort of Google Maps for the coronary system. This way the specialist can easily see the best and fastest way to reach a blockage.” Of course, there is still much to learn on the complexities of IGT and the business. But so far, Ilona has been able to expand her job description far further than the one she read initially.
“I love the fact that we get to shape our own role within the company. Of course you notice it is a big corporation. Sometimes processes are indeed slow but with the right mindset and a healthy dose of energy and enthusiasm, we are able to move mountains. And the best part is, people are really open to ideas, to new approaches and insights. And most of all they are willing to help and encourage you when you do take that plunge and go boldly where no man has gone before. Even if you fail, it is not your fault. It’s the process that was at fault, not you, and you need to find a way to improve that process in order to grow and learn. Since starting here, I have certainly grown and learned a lot.”