6a00d8345169c669e20128770afbdc970c-piIn this 28-minute podcast, you’ll hear how American Electric Power keeps its 22,000 employees connected through its award-winning intranet.

You can listen to the podcast now with the player above or download it to listen later. Or subscribe to this podcast in iTunes using the link at the top of this page.

Here are the show notes:
[00:01] Intro and welcome
[01:05] Donna met William Amurgis at the IABC Employee Communication Conference in Toronto in October 2009, where he spoke about their intranet to a rapt crowd. Donna says that William and Steve Crescenzo were the best speakers at that event.
[02:06] About AEP or American Electric Power: in business 103 years; one of the largest electrical utility companies in the U.S.; 22,000 employees; 5.2 million customers in 11 states.
[03:00] Challenge: make the intranet a meeting place; four purposes of the intranet: (1) enhance employee productivity; (2) reinforce corporate messages; (3) provide a place to meet and a shared experience; (4) convey a personal tone.
[06:12] Tools and capabilities.
[07:01] Intranet (called AEP Now) started in 1996; owned by Communications.
[08:15] Photographs inspire a sense of belonging.
[08:17] Corporate performance on the first page.
[08:50] Social media aspects of the intranet: interaction; employees respond to news and photos; personal profile pages.
[10:00] Around one million page views per week; about 14,000 to 15,000 employees access the intranet daily.
[11:00] The intranet is the company’s primary communications channel.
[11:09] Mobile version available; many employees are in the field.
[12:30] William envisions a day when all employees can see the same intranet on their mobile devices.
[16:27] The company will soon implement an internal Twitter-like client called The Current.
Key challenge: provide more opportunities for employees to share knowledge; build a data base that can be queried.
[19:33] Value of the intranet is understood at AEP.
[20:10] Complete redesign of the intranet is under way.
[21:29] William’s own measure is audience intimacy; he cares about how to best serve employees.

[22:00] The AEP Now intranet won an international honour called the Intranet Innovation Award for its Ideas Now effort, which resulted in a cost savings of $8 million over two months, thanks to employee suggestions.
[25:00] Comments from Bob Crawshaw, Sue Horner, Martin Buckland and a student-intern who shall remain nameless.
[27:12] Where to send comments: email to Donna AT Trafcom DOT com.
Theme music is “Beneath Your Surface” by the Elisabeth Lohninger Quartet from the Podsafe Music Network.

Note: You can meet William Amurgis in person at the IABC world conference in Toronto in June.


  1. Thanks for a great interview. It is always a treat to hear what goes on behind the closed doors, especially with a corporate intranet. The 4 purposes are what all organizations should strive for.

    Unfortunately, too many orgs feel that incorporating something like the 4 purposes of an intranet is like turning the asylum over to the inmates, especially with items 3 & 4. However, with a huge organization like AEP there is hope for every intranet, no matter whether it is in the private or public sectors. Thanks.


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