Article in Business life

ACTION GUIDE. CORPORATE MAGAZINE

KEY TO EFFICIENT COMMUNICATION

In BusinessLife’s March issue there was an expert article on corporate magazines, publication which can become both a source of problems and an efficient management tool for an organization. Further on this subject, we are offering you a material on one of the best corporate magazines in Kazakhstan – Munaishy, which is published by PetroKazakhstan.

Munaishy is a full-color A4 size publication on 62 pages or more. The information is published in three languages – Russian, Kazakh and English. Munaishy publication started in the year 2000, and during the last 13 years this originally thin bulletin transformed into a full-fledged magazine which fulfills all tasks designated for a corporate b2p type publication (for employees).

First and foremost it is solving the communication tasks, which is  especially important when the company headcount is high and many of the employees are geographically distant from each other. All in all, there are about 3.5 thousand people working in PetroKazakhstan, and that’s not counting the employees of contractor organizations. The company’s upstream division is located in the Kyzylorda Oblast, its  downstream  division is in the South Kazakhstan Oblast. The Head Office is in Almaty. There is a representative office in Astana, which conducts work with shareholders from KazMunaiGas JSC. Another shareholder – the CNPC company – is in Beijing.

As a result, PetroKazakhstan’s employees are distributed over quite a large geographical area, and since every division is performing its own operational tasks, it is the Munaishy magazine that serves as one of the key tools for communication among all divisions of the company.

The team which works on the magazine creation, consisting of the Strategic Communications Department employees, was able to make the magazine a part of the corporate culture, where personnel perceives their own success through the lens of the company’s common achievement. As noted by PetroKazakhstan’s Vice President Bakhytzhan Issengaliyev, who is alsothe Munaishy’s Editor in Chief, the editorial office sees its task as assuring that every employee knows what the company is doing , what the essence of its business is, and perceives himself or herself to be a participant in the production cycle and in the organization’s development process.

Topics and ideas

Munaishy is published four times a year, at the end of each quarter. All that happens in the company in the three months – new production projects, events, achievements, challenges – finds its reflection in the magazine. The information on the company’s activities is provided to the magazine’s team both directly by management and by way of expert articles, reports, and interviews. This allows communicating the company’s mission, strategy and objectives to each employee.

In each issue, the magazine’s team reports on the company’s social life, and it tries to emphasize the merits of those who are the best in their work. This is an additional way of addressing the issues of personnel motivation and non-financial recognition. Since PetroKazakhstan is a regional economic leader, the biggest employer in two regions, the company is strictly adhering to the corporate social responsibility standards. Labor safety, employee health protection, insurance issues, labor union news, company’s sponsorship and charity projects – the magazine regularly publishes information on all of these topics. Special events in the company’s life are marked by special editions of the magazine. The narration of all this is done in an easily understandable, informal language, through the prism of human interrelations. For example, the magazine published a series of interviews with the heads of all the divisions of the company. “We showed all the structure of the management’s work, – says Bakhytzhan Issengaliyev. – An employee working in our oilfield or at the refinery should understand how the management in our central office in Almaty is functioning, and what constitutes the work of various departments. We aim to assure that every worker will have an understanding of the key business processes of the company as a whole”.

The editor’s office also sees its task in expanding the outlook of the company’s employees. Events from the spheres of the arts, sports, science, education and, first of all, the events related to the company, find their reflection on the pages of Munaishy.

For example, the magazine has a regular column called “Oil: From Subsurface Right to Your Home”, in which PetroKazakhstan’s experts provide descriptions of technological processes, showing all the cycle starting with  exploration operations and ending with manufacturing of household items from oil processing products. Thanks to Munaishy, the Kyzylorda employees are abreast of the production and corporate news of their Shymkent colleagues, and vice versa.

Propaganda  of a healthy lifestyle is one of PetroKazakhstan’s policy priorities. The company prides itself on PetroKazakhstan’s Olympics, which is being held for the fourth year now. Its participants include employees from all business divisions of the company. It is a real festival of sports, corporate unity and healthy ambitions!

In practically every issue, Munaishy readers are acquainted with the Kazakhstani sports stars who have become friends of the company. A lot of feedback was received on the materials about Serik Konakbayev, Ilya Ilyin, and Yuri Golodov, the legendary conqueror of the Everest.

“We want our younger generation to understand that there is a place for sports in life, which is often associated with extraordinary courage, responsibility and discipline, – says Bakhytzhan Issengaliyev. — The sports people, about whom we write, have done  a lot  for Kazakhstan’s recognizability. Even if this has an effect on just a few young people, and they start engaging in sports, that will mean that our educational work in this area was not in vain”.

Articles about legendary people, who are the pride of the whole nation, have proven to be in high demand by the readers. For example, one of such articles was about Bibigul  Tulegenova. This year the company sponsored publication of a book about the life of this outstanding singer, which was written by Irina Serkebayeva.

The editorial staff attributes high importance to the feedback from employees, regularly conducting surveys  on up-to-date and most actual matters. It was in this manner that ‘Our Talents’ column appeared, about the employees’ children and their interests and achievements, and the ‘Travel’ column, in which the company employees share their experience  about the countries  they visited.

The ‘Expert’ column presents opinions with respect to political and economic developments. For example, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations with the PRC, the magazine engaged in an expert capacity Mr. Vyacheslav Gizzatov, a recognized specialist on China, ambassador-at-large, head of the government delegation for delimitation and demarcation of the state border in the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

Distribution and popularity

The publication also performs the functions of external communications, since it constitutes the company’s ” trademark”, it plays an important role in the establishment of PetroKazakhstan’s positive image in its relations with the government authorities, investors and partners.

The magazine is read not only by the company employees, but by the residents of the Kyzylorda and the South Kazakhstan Oblasts as well. The magazine can be found in the reception offices of the heads of Akimats, and other public offices in Almaty, Astana, Kyzylorda and Shymkent. The RK Ministry of Oil & Gas, the RK Ministry of Environment Protection, KazMunaiGas JSC, the KAZENERGY Association, and partner companies receive the magazine on a regular basis and are aware of all events at PetroKazakhstan. Articles in Munaishy are interesting and relevant for many colleagues from the oil & gas sector. Especially since the materials are often presented in the form of an open dialog and reflections on various subjects.

Lately there was an increase in the number of the magazine delivery requests from community organizations, associations, funds, and educational institutions. For example, at the Korkyt Ata Kyzylorda State University students and teachers look forward to receiving the magazine  as they also use it as support material for teaching English to students, since all the articles are presented concurrently in three language translations. Munaishy serves as a useful tool for teaching Kazakh, Russian and English languages in some rural schools. The editorial staff is very pleased with this, as they see it as an opportunity to popularize among the youth the knowledge about oil production, thus popularizing the professions required by the company.

The magazine’s translated articles are used not only at the educational institutions, but at business offices as well. Recently PetroKazakhstan’s former President and the current Senior Vice President of PetroChina, CNPC Int. President Mr. Bo Qiliang admitted that he studies Russian using the Munaishy magazine, which is regularly delivered to the company’s Beijing office.

The magazine creation process

It is notable that such a popular and high quality magazine is produced by a small team of employees of the Strategic Communications Department. Assistance is provided by specialists from Public Relations departments of the Kyzylorda and Shymkent divisions. The articles are written by staff members themselves, and they also do translations of the materials or check the work of translation agencies. Much attention is paid to the quality of the text and photographic materials.

As noted by PetroKazakhstan’s Director for Strategic Communications Makhabbat Dzhailganova, making a high quality product requires a creative approach and a high level of responsibility. “We participate in and control the whole production process, including article writing, selection of photographic materials, page layout, and printing of the magazine, – she says. – We have a very scrupulous attitude to the magazine creation. The company’s President Mr. Wei Yuxiang takes part in the approval of the final version of the edition, he reads the magazine from cover to cover and evaluates it all, including the design and quality of photographic materials. We are very meticulous with respect to what we do”.

It should be noted that besides the magazine, Munaishy’s team also produces other corporate  products such as leaflets, books. For example, a couple of years ago the “PetroKazakhstan. Business Philosophy” book was published, with a creative cover design. It is clear by looking at it that the Munaishy team is comprised of creative intellectual people with a wide-ranging outlook.

“We put the Zen sign on the cover, which symbolizes the energy of vitality and purity, simplicity and fullness, balance and harmony, – says Makhabbat Dzhailganova. – We wanted to emphasize by this that business isn’t just about making money, it’s much more than that. Business provides the possibility of living a full life, of being harmonious and consistent in one’s actions and thoughts”.

Currently, a photoalbum  about the company’s employees called “We are PetroKazakhstan” is being prepared for publication. About a hundred employees from different divisions of the company will be presented in this book, from operators to managers – members of the one PetroKazakhstan family.

As a result, the team building goals are eventually achieved. Using the marketing specialists’ language we would call it establishment of efficient communications in the company, work on indirect personnel training, investment in human capital, and raising the employee loyalty level. People feel a sense of pride for their company, a sense of involvement in its achievements, corporate patriotism. That means that they work with dedication, receiving moral satisfaction and material reward. And that is good for all – the company, its employees, and the country.

The Almaty office Accounting department team:

– Thanks to our Munaishy magazine, we learn many new things about achievements of other departments, about interesting facts from the lives of our co-workers, both their working and personal lives. This elevates the corporate spirit and evokes a sense of pride for the company of which we are a part, because not every enterprise publishes a magazine on its activities on such a scale and in such high quality.

Igor Dyadischev, Manager,oil bases operations:

– For me personally, it is important that Munaishy contains information on activities of the company.

I learn from about the issues of corporate safety, labor protection and environmental safety. It is interesting to read about the company’s social projects. Information on the leisure activities is very useful. I like that the magazine fosters respect to the history and traditions of different people, it promotes healthy way of life, and there are many materials on sports. I once contributed to the ‘travel’ column myself. Our magazine is of high interest and demand.

Zhamilya ABENOVA

BusinessLife      August, 2013

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