I have a lot of sympathy for people whose work involves cold sales. Whether they’re knocking on doors to sell conservatories, stopping people in the street to ask for charitable donations or picking up the phone to call prospects, engaging people is a challenge. Whether you’re selling a product or an idea, the first hurdle is getting people’s attention.
How to get the attention of CSC employees was the challenge on the table when my colleagues and I came together to discuss how to engage CSCers with Earth Day, the annual global movement dedicated to inspiring people to take action on environmental issues. CSC has supported Earth Day for a number of years now and each year I convene a group of volunteers from around the business to help design the campaign.
CSC has long recognized that operating ethically and responsibly to deliver sustainable value to our clients and stakeholders is vital to our business success, so engaging our people with that agenda is a key part of our corporate responsibility strategy. But just how do you get the attention of such a diverse and focused group of people? And given competing business demands, how much attention should you aim to command? Our other question was around the complexity of the issue. Environmental issues come in many shades of green, so we were mindful of the need to design a campaign that would allow people to find their own level and engagement point.
Something for everyone
Our approach was a multi-faceted campaign designed so that everyone, regardless of their level of knowledge or the limits on their time, could get involved in some way. Run over three weeks to maximize the opportunities for engagement, we led with a photography challenge where we invited CSCers to take a picture of what nature meant to them and then share it with us via our Facebook page. We also ran a Print Wisely campaign, held a talk on sustainable consumer buying choices and publicized opportunities for colleagues to get involved in local tree planting initiatives.
2,000 trees were planted thanks to events held in eight locations, and around 100 people joined the call on sustainable buying choices. But this year it was the photography challenge that was the resounding success. Over 500 pictures were submitted from CSCers from all corners of the globe with the top 4 then shared more widely on CSC social media channels. From sunsets to spiders webs, beaches to bridges, it was fascinating to see colleague’s view of the natural world from such a global perspective. The challenge reached 24,789 Facebook users and gained more than 1,000 interactions. The top 4 pictures were then shared on CSC social media channels. (Check out the full photo gallery on CSC’s Facebook page.)
This has been by far the most successful Earth Day engagement we’ve run to date and the lessons learned will be used to help shape future campaigns. Engaging employees with corporate responsibility, no matter how strategically important, will always be a challenge, but as this campaign has demonstrated, that’s not an excuse not to try.
What did your company do to inspire engagement on Earth Day?