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Case study: Tarmac

A new people-led channel for a diverse construction workforce

  • Transforming a print and digital solution for a 7,000-strong employee base.
  • Delivering an essential channel that captures the colleague voice.
  • Creating a new interactive online magazine that’s led to greater people engagement.

How do you turn an optional employee communications channel into an essential one?

That was the challenge laid down by Tarmac, one of the UK’s leading sustainable building materials and construction solutions businesses.

Despite a strong history, Tarmac’s employee magazine had lost its way and was no longer doing its vital job of reflecting and celebrating the work done to achieve business success. In February 2017, we launched One, an all-new quarterly print and online channel that transforms the company’s employee engagement activity – putting colleague voices centre stage.


Our vision for One was to create a light, but essential read. All content has to be relevant, informative and representative of the business and employee voices, with particular emphasis on the front line.

Simplicity and inclusivity are key. Short, punchy content, quality portrait photography, illustrations and clear signposting have made One and One Online accessible reads that appeal to colleagues.


In its first two weeks, 953 unique users enjoyed One Online, on average looking at five pages per session for almost five minutes. After four issues and a special edition, One Online has a growing audience, with employees returning to the site and interacting with what appeals to them most.

Through ‘liking’ stories, commenting or entering competitions, there’s been more than 600 interactions on the site – which equates to a very healthy figure of one interaction every nine sessions. The magazine and website have also been nominated in both the Best Imagery and Best Digital Channel categories at the IoIC Central and North Awards 2018.

“Even after 20 years of working on employee magazines, I was blown away by the concepts and again when we opened the first proofs. I knew 44 would shake it up for us but this is transformed. Our people love the new format and I’m proud that we finally have a stunning online version too.”

Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs – Tarmac
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