By Gloria Lombardi

Launched in May last year, the BuzzTale app enables companies or teams to create stories made of employee-sourced content that are real-time, mobile, and make the most of visual communication.

“While in our personal lives we are surrounded by images via Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and the like, our work lives are still email-dominated. However, there is a huge amount of visual content in enterprises that many social activities – from meetings and conferences, to team-building events, parties, training sessions and off-sites – can benefit from,” says Andris K. Berzins, CEO of BuzzTale.

BuzzTale taps into that opportunity. Businesses can gather the best moments of an internal meeting, curate that content and safely share stories that help define their unique culture. The content is produced by a smartphone app that integrates photos and short videos, but also texts, comments and tweets-like posts.

At first sight it may look very similar to Storify, but according to Berzins, BuzzTale is different. “People use Storify to search and gather relevant social media content to create a narrative after an event/fact. Instead, BuzzTale tells the story as it happens in real time. People see the story updated as it develops.”

Stories for particular purposes

“Often the content shared during internal meeting is so dry that employees don’t feel interested in what is said. How much internal communications effort is wasted?” points out Berzins.

However, by making employees the authors of the story, and through the power of visual, storytelling through BuzzTale can become an enabler of engagement.

As with Yammer, a company can create a group for the members taking part in a particular internal event (e.g. a leadership summit). The group can be either left open to the whole enterprise or made private. It is up to the participants to decide what to do in that respect depending on the purpose of the meeting and its story. By sharing content through their mobile devices within the rest of the group, every member helps to co-create the story.

Increasing engagement within Tele2’s extended leadership team

A good example of its use comes from Tele2. The European telecommunications operator used BuzzTale during their annual Extended Leadership Team summit, which took place in Stockholm in February. For the occasion, they created a restricted private group for the 130 top  managers attending the conference from across the world.

Tele2’s Viktor Wallstrom said he decided to use Buzztale because they were looking for a new, different way to energise and include all participants.

Wallstrom helped to introduce the app a few days before the event by sending out login details with a description of the tool. Tele2’s leaders engaged with the BuzzTale from the beginning. “Because it was company-sanctioned and everyone knew that it was not public, they felt free to post,” comments Berzins.

“Surprisingly, before the conference started everyone had already downloaded the app and started to use it. We found out that our leaders flying to Stockholm to attend the event were already posting their thoughts about the conference,” adds Wallstrom. “Many of them also met up and had dinner together the night before. So, BuzzTale became a good communications tool also outside of the specific conference’s purpose.”

During the meeting itself leaders shared hundreds of posts relevant to the discussion of the summit, commented them and also used them for Q&As. “For example, when speakers were presenting an interesting slide people took pictures and added their thoughts. Conversations around that topic continued and did not stop at the end of the presentation.”

A screen in the room showing the story through the BuzzTale feed also helped to keep the momentum going. Leaders could see all the questions and content popping up – motivating them to add something new to the discussion.

The social Q&A was also valuable for those participants whose English was not their first language. “These people may feel less comfortable at asking or answering questions in public; however they could do that easily on BuzzTale. This social form of posting helped to build engagement, loyalty, and deepen the social interaction among the group,” notices Berzins.

“We were very pleased with the results,” concludes Wallstrom. “We had an on-going debate and active participation for the whole conference, something that a traditional form of questions and answers would have not achieved. Leaders could bring their ‘self’ to the conference at any moment.

“I think it came down to its simplicity, plus its social and informative dimensions – a sort of simplified version in between Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest but for internal business use. For our managers this tool worked very well.”

Tele2 Buzztale case study – The Enterprise Story Network – February 2014 from BuzzTale on Vimeo.


This article originally appeared on simply-communicate