How Philip Morris Increased Internal Communication without Overwhelming Recipients

Editor’s Note: In small companies, staff sometimes find it difficult to know how the company is doing. What about at a global company like Philip Morris International (PMI), with 71,000 employees? Add that PMI has said it’s transforming itself from cigarettes–responsible for all its revenue in 2015–to smoke-free products.

How do its internal communicators keep everyone on the same page during a pandemic and in normal times? That’s some of what we asked PMI’s head of global internal communication Bessie Kokalis Pescio. In addition, we asked how internal communicators at small companies should approach their work. Her remarks were lightly edited.

PRNEWS: PMI is in the midst of moving from cigarettes to smoke-free products. In the midst of that, the global pandemic hit. What did you do to keep internal communication moving ahead?

Bessie Kokalis Pescio: I’ll give you an example. Our chief operating officer Jacek Olczak, who [just became] our CEO, typically comes into the office at our headquarters here in Lausanne and likes to stop at the coffee corner and converse with employees.

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