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Comms in the time of corona

With remote working now a reality for big corporates, companies like MTN are using WhatsApp chatbots for their internal comms.
Comms in the time of corona

Coronavirus Covid-19 is officially a disaster. And a pandemic. And a serious threat to both lives and businesses. While the presidency and the nifty little chatbot from the National Department of Health can advise us how to keep ourselves going during this tricky period, big corporates are getting a little stuck when it comes to engaging with their workforce while everyone is locked away behind closed doors.

In today’s weird and wonderful world of digital things, emails and other traditional forms of communication just don’t cut it anymore. When it comes to internal staff communication, an email is about as engaging as a black and white printout pinned to a notice board.

People need information that’s fast, free, and available all the time – especially now.

Organisations like MTN and the National Department of Health are not oblivious to that particular fact of modern-day life and have engaged with companies like and to help them build bots – or intelligent assistants – on WhatsApp. While the NDOH Covid-19 chatbot has seen up to 1.2 million users in a single day, that kind of engagement is also possible on a smaller scale.

Comms in the time of corona

MTN has built a WhatsApp chatbot called AmaY’ello that sends their employees important company info, and has been instrumental in keeping everyone up to date with Coronavirus comms during this critical period. Whether they need to communicate regular news or special broadcasts like this, they have a way to reach staff anywhere from the boardroom to the storeroom whenever they need to.

Full of features

The bot can be used to share breaking news, ideas, feedback, exco updates and more. It can even be used for regular everyday functions like Jargon Busters.

Push and pull

It can send info to any employees who have opted-in, but staff members can also pull info from the bot at any time. It’s a two-way communication system between newbies, board members and everyone in between.

Segmented sending

Not only is this bot service personalised, but it can also segment the user base by location or seniority within the company.

Feersum feedback

All feedback, data and usage stats go through Praekelt’s Feersum Engine, the product that’s the brains behind it all. That info is sent on to the people who need
to see it so the bot can keep doing its job.

It’s a new look for employee comms, and it works.


MTN employees signed up after the first two weeks


Interactions in the first two weeks


MTN employees who are actively engaging with the company

Praekelt’s Feersum Engine is an AI-powered conversational platform that builds Intelligent Assistants that can chat to millions of users in multiple local languages.


20 May 2020 12:03