Industry: Media Company
Name of contact if available: John Cassaday – President and CEO
Corus Entertainment is one of Canada’s largest and most recognizable media conglomerates. Ever since I was five years old I knew about Corus Entertainment because their kooky logo bounced across the screen after my favourite YTV shows. Remember the YTV original series “Uh Oh?” If you do, you are automatically 5% cooler in my books! If not, you should get slimed…don’t get that reference? Then I feel bad you didn’t grow up in the 90’s (mainly because you missed out on shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Ready or Not).
Besides captivating audiences with quality programming, Corus shows a vested interest in their 2000+ employees. Corus Entertainment empowers their staff, whether on air or at a desk, to reach out through social media outlets. The most obvious examples of employee involvement with social media include TV and radio personalities who have the opportunity to connect with their viewers and listeners. This makes staff feel like they are apart of a 3 tiered community: brand, employee, and viewer.
The Edge 102.1 personality Fearless Fred, who is also the host of Teletoon at Night, engages his fan-base outside of his programmed timeslot. He is accessible. He is relatable. He can communicate with his own unique voice and perspective. Boom. A personal connection. Radio and television can be very one-dimensional. With personalities using social media to build beyond a medium with little to no interaction, the viewer’s sense of the fourth wall is almost completely invisible. The Edge’s Facebook page is a great example of how each radio personality can reach their demographic using other mediums outside of radio broadcasting and start to understand who their listeners are and how they relate and respond to the content provided.
Allowing employees to have creative freedom over blogs and social media forums allows for a broader scope of interest to be covered. Maureen Holloway, a morning host on Q107, has her “Last Word” blog that covers topics outside of music. Her coverage on other trending pop culture entities makes the radio brand more encompassing of relevant topics and thereby makes the brand more far reaching than simply all things classic rock related. Building this social media presence with unique voices and opinions builds the brand.
With a youth generation dictating trends via social media, establishing this open exchange of feedback makes the interface between the target market and a corporation or brand less bureaucratic and more spontaneous. It becomes a conversation to which the employee is an active catalysis. Creating this dialogue with their demographics encourages growth and development of areas that might be lacking. Every interaction, everyday, illustrates Corus’ programming performance. It can help predict trends and maintain programming quality assurance.
Based on Corus’ internal initiatives, they strive to educate their employees in vital parts of the business and created Corus University to develop social media, negotiating, and leadership skills. Investing in their employees invests in the company. Fostering strong workplace skills gives each employee a purpose and vested interest in the brand they serve. They know the branding visions inside and out and can communicate this message to the thousands of people following them on every social media platform. Giving each person the skills to unearth a voice gives Corus a stronger united voice.
Corus Entertainment must be doing something right. They are on the short list of the best places to work especially for youth demographics. Sure, any workplace with a slide makes it a great place to work but Corus incorporates fun with accountability and success. Employees have available resources that allow them to prosper within the company. In this case, business and play have been orchestrated into a complimentary collage of active participation and good business sense.
Submitted By: Constance Adams, University of Waterloo
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