Getting employees fired up year after year

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It was fun to return to the Microsoft Citizenship team this year to strategize and execute on the employee communications plan for their annual Giving campaign.

Last year was my first Giving Campaign. It was like drinking from a fire hose, but also a dream come true to work on Corporate Social Responsibility efforts and put my years of internal comms experience into something so noteworthy. I loved the energy and passion the team has for the Microsoft employee giving program.

This year was a new experience, running the same campaign two years in a row. This campaign happens every year like clockwork during the entire month of October. How do you make it new and fresh when they’ve seen it before? How will we get employees excited again?

It turns out you can! Here are a few lessons I learned for internal campaigns 2.0.

A refresh saves time and money, and still makes in impact

Last year a lot of time and money went into new campaign branding, and it was very successful. This year we kept the overall look and feel, but refreshed the illustrations with new imagery. This saved on review cycles with stakeholders and freed us up to explore new opportunities.

Use the same time-tested channels & add a few new ones

We have our trusty channels that we know work, but they still take time and review cycles to set up. This year, we added some new channels and used the same messaging across them to make it easy and consistent. Plus, with new channels, you get new metrics – while existing channels provide a better baseline for comparison. This helps you make informed decisions and understand what is delivering the best ROI.

Zero in on new audiences with new messaging

While “Microsoft employees” are our target audience in general, there are still a number of audiences within that larger group (leaders, managers, new employees, etc.). By saving time in other places, we gained time to build out plans and tactics for reaching these groups with new, creative messaging.

Stories still matter

It all comes back to stories—even if you do the same things as the year before you still need to find fresh new stories. The good news is there are always inspiring, exciting stories to find!

In the end, there is a lot to be said for repeating a successful internal campaign. You get to build on what you learned the year before and have more time, energy, and creative thinking to put into this year’s campaign.

//lindy

Lindy Henry
Lindy@zumcom.com

Director | Lindy@zumcom.com