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External communications

Any communication from a Serco employee is a reflection on the Serco Group. Think before you speak.

Our reputation is affected by what people hear about us, either directly or through the media. So we must make sure our external communications are co-ordinated and consistent.

External presentations and speeches are good opportunities to raise awareness of Serco and enhance our reputation. However, you must consider the benefit to Serco and get approval from your manager and/or Communications manager before accepting an external speaking engagement.

Critical incidents

Whenever there is a critical incident, there's huge pressure to communicate what has happened at the earliest possible opportunity. However, what people first read and hear about an incident will shape their perceptions of what's going on.  So it is really important that we make every effort to get the facts right, and be clear about what we do and do not know, so we are accurate and concise when we communicate what has happened. We should also follow local arrangements, which will be detailed in a crisis management plan.

Ask your manager for more details.

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What you can expect from us:

  • We have specialists in Serco who communicate with different external audiences. If you are not one of them we will only ask you to speak for us under special circumstances.
  • Much of our business is carried out in the public eye. So we must all treat members of the public with respect, courtesy and consideration whenever we act or speak in public.
  • During a potential or actual crisis, we will follow the guidelines set out in our Crisis Communications Manual.
  • As a listed company, Serco must follow strict rules about disclosing information to the stock market. Only authorised employees, such as shareholders, brokers and investment analysts, may talk to the investment community.

We expect you to:

  • Always gain the proper permission before you communicate on behalf of Serco.
  • Give accurate, consistent and timely information if you are communicating on our behalf.
  • Never make misleading claims about the company, our services or our competitors.
  • Direct a financial analyst or institution to Investor Relations if they ask you for information.
  • Get approval from your manager or communications manager before releasing any information either internally or externally.

Our reputation is affected by what people hear about us, either directly or through the media. So we must make sure our external communications are co-ordinated and consistent.

A Journalist approached you in a bar wanting information.

He says you can speak "off the record".

Can you?

1. So long as I don't disclose confidential information it's okay

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Yes, of course, it's off the record so no one will know

Wrong. Please try again.

3. No, I am not authorised to speak to journalists and we have specialists for this

Right answer because:

Our reputation is affected by what people hear about us, either directly or through the media. So we must make sure our external communications are co-ordinated and consistent.

We have specialists in Serco who communicate with different external audiences, including journalists. If you are not one of them we will only ask you to speak for us under special circumstances.

Unless it is your role to talk to the Press and you have received a formal briefing on the company's position, you must not talk to a journalist.

It is never okay to speak to a journalist, whether that is on or off the record, if you have not been briefed to do so. The phrase ‘off the record' is open to so much interpretation it must be avoided, even if the journalist involved is a friend or you are in an informal location.

Any communication from a Serco employee is a reflection on the Serco Group

A Journalist asks you to comment on the news that Serco is taking over new services on your site.

You've heard rumous, but there's been no official communicaiton about it. You're not in a communication or PR role.

What might you do?

1. Tell them you have heard rumours but have not been told anything officially

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Don't tell them anything; it is not your job to do this

Right answer because:

Our reputation is affected by what people hear about us, either directly or through the media. So we must make sure our external communications are co-ordinated and consistent.

We have specialists in Serco who communicate with different external audiences. If you are not one of them we will only ask you to speak for us under special circumstances.

Unless it is your role to talk to the Press and you have received a formal briefing on the company's position, you must not talk to a journalist.

Always gain the proper permission before you communicate on behalf of Serco and give accurate, consistent and timely information if you are communicating on our behalf.

Never make misleading claims about the company, our services or our competitors.

Get approval from your line manager or communications manager before releasing any information either internally or externally.

If we are working at our customer's site then we must respect that they expect us to remain trusted partners at all times. We cannot make comments that might impact their security and we must not give information without their permission.

Apply good judgement to this situation. If you comment, it could put the company in a difficult situation. So the best thing here is simply to say, "No comment, please refer to Serco's PR department."

Any communication from a Serco employee is a reflection on the Serco Group

3. Give them your full-blown opinion after all they were terribly charming and you do have a view on the subject

Wrong. Please try again.

You pick up a call from a financial analyst who is asking you about the financial performane of the contract where you work.

What might you do?

1. Tell him what I know, it'll be in the public domain soon anyway

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Don't tell him because I'm not sure of all the information

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Don't tell him anything, Serco have people for this, I'll pass him on

Right answer because:

As a listed company, Serco must follow strict rules about disclosing information to the stock market. Only authorised employees may talk to the investment community, such as shareholders, brokers and investment analysts.

Direct a financial analyst or institution to Investor Relations if they ask you for information.

Our reputation is affected by what people hear about us, either directly or through any other source. So we must make sure our external communications are co-ordinated and consistent.

We have specialists in Serco who communicate with different external audiences. If you have not been briefed to do so you must not disclose financial information.

You must keep confidential information safe and make sure it does not get into the wrong hands.

Dilemma 1

A Journalist approached you in a bar wanting information.

He says you can speak "off the record".

Can you?

1. So long as I don't disclose confidential information it's okay

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Yes, of course, it's off the record so no one will know

Wrong. Please try again.

3. No, I am not authorised to speak to journalists and we have specialists for this

Right answer because:

Our reputation is affected by what people hear about us, either directly or through the media. So we must make sure our external communications are co-ordinated and consistent.

We have specialists in Serco who communicate with different external audiences, including journalists. If you are not one of them we will only ask you to speak for us under special circumstances.

Unless it is your role to talk to the Press and you have received a formal briefing on the company's position, you must not talk to a journalist.

It is never okay to speak to a journalist, whether that is on or off the record, if you have not been briefed to do so. The phrase ‘off the record' is open to so much interpretation it must be avoided, even if the journalist involved is a friend or you are in an informal location.

Any communication from a Serco employee is a reflection on the Serco Group

Dilemma 2

A Journalist asks you to comment on the news that Serco is taking over new services on your site.

You've heard rumous, but there's been no official communicaiton about it. You're not in a communication or PR role.

What might you do?

1. Tell them you have heard rumours but have not been told anything officially

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Don't tell them anything; it is not your job to do this

Right answer because:

Our reputation is affected by what people hear about us, either directly or through the media. So we must make sure our external communications are co-ordinated and consistent.

We have specialists in Serco who communicate with different external audiences. If you are not one of them we will only ask you to speak for us under special circumstances.

Unless it is your role to talk to the Press and you have received a formal briefing on the company's position, you must not talk to a journalist.

Always gain the proper permission before you communicate on behalf of Serco and give accurate, consistent and timely information if you are communicating on our behalf.

Never make misleading claims about the company, our services or our competitors.

Get approval from your line manager or communications manager before releasing any information either internally or externally.

If we are working at our customer's site then we must respect that they expect us to remain trusted partners at all times. We cannot make comments that might impact their security and we must not give information without their permission.

Apply good judgement to this situation. If you comment, it could put the company in a difficult situation. So the best thing here is simply to say, "No comment, please refer to Serco's PR department."

Any communication from a Serco employee is a reflection on the Serco Group

3. Give them your full-blown opinion after all they were terribly charming and you do have a view on the subject

Wrong. Please try again.

Dilemma 3

You pick up a call from a financial analyst who is asking you about the financial performane of the contract where you work.

What might you do?

1. Tell him what I know, it'll be in the public domain soon anyway

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Don't tell him because I'm not sure of all the information

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Don't tell him anything, Serco have people for this, I'll pass him on

Right answer because:

As a listed company, Serco must follow strict rules about disclosing information to the stock market. Only authorised employees may talk to the investment community, such as shareholders, brokers and investment analysts.

Direct a financial analyst or institution to Investor Relations if they ask you for information.

Our reputation is affected by what people hear about us, either directly or through any other source. So we must make sure our external communications are co-ordinated and consistent.

We have specialists in Serco who communicate with different external audiences. If you have not been briefed to do so you must not disclose financial information.

You must keep confidential information safe and make sure it does not get into the wrong hands.