Hype or hope?

Learn how to adapt agile practices for integrated corporate communication and public affairs

Are you looking to apply agile practices to corporate communication and public affairs? If so, Kirstin Simons and Ernst Weijers’ session at the Global Communication Summit 2020 will be required viewing.

Together, Kirstin and Ernst will share how the Corporate Affairs Team at energy company Essent adapted agile practices by applying Scrum practices to , and the steep learning curve involved. From breaking down silos to delivering more impactful campaigns, from project vision to Sprint meetings, Kirstin and Ernst break down the agile journey, step by step.

In 2018, the corporate communications and public affairs function at Essent co-created a new functional strategy to support its overall ambition to be the number one in energy for everybody in the Netherlands. The functional strategy consisted of five initiatives:

  1. Foster internal engagement and strategy alignment
  2. Reposition the brand towards new products and services
  3. Protect and enhance the reputation of Essent
  4. Support the launch of new products and services
  5. Drive functional excellence within Corporate Affairs

The leadership team of the corporate communications and public affairs function soon realised that in order to be able to deliver its plans more efficiently and effectively, it needed to change its way of working. More specifically, the team wanted to: a) co-create its plans with the business in order to be able to contribute to shared goals; b) use the expertise of all functional experts within Corporate Affairs to make sure its campaigns were relevant for all stakeholders; and c) deliver campaigns with more speed and creativity and learn from mistakes in order to be able to adapt to the ever-changing requirements of an increasingly complex stakeholder and digital channel landscape.

Many corporate communication directors face similar challenges amid increasing business pressure and stakeholder complexity. Can agile help tackling parts of these problems? For the Corporate Affairs team at Essent, it seemed worth a try. Find out more about their one-year journey to becoming more agile, and take home lessons to apply to your own comms and/or corporate affairs team, by joining Kirstin and Ernst at the Global Communication Summit.

Kirstin Simons

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Kirstin Simons is Director of Corporate Affairs at Dutch energy supplier Essent (part of Innogy, one of Europe’s largest renewable energy players). She is responsible for communication and public affairs in the Netherlands and Belgium. Before joining Essent, Kirstin worked as Communications Director at AkzoNobel.

Ernst Weijers

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Ernst Weijers is Senior Consultant at Innovation Booster. He has led various product and service innovation development and change management efforts together with clients from F500 companies in the FMCG, Retail, Energy & Gas, Banking, Chemical, Staffing and Insurance industries.