Deck the Halls and Communicate… Right on into 2008

As we come to the end of 2007, I was reflecting on all the things that go into making a successful CSR program. First, there are the obvious ones, such as measurable positive impact on the community and environment, recognition by opinion leaders, media and the public, and rates of employee involvement.

It’s the last point that I want to focus on today: to get employees involved, we’ve got to let them know what’s going on, and do so in a way that motivates them to want to be part of the effort. We might even consider turning it into this year’s CSR New Year’s resolution.

Like most communications, how you say something is at least as important as what you say, and when you say it. Just as we’ve got to be creative with our CSR programs, we’ve also got to be creative with CSR internal communications.

Newsletters are great. Update emails are great. And reports are great. But, let’s be honest, to some people, all this can all start to look and sound just like so much blah blah blah blah? And if no one reads these communications, can we honestly say they are communicating?

Hmmm, that sort of reminds me of the old philosophy question “If a tree falls and no one hears it, does it make a sound?” Well, does it?

So, I’ve been playing around with some new ideas. And, not to blow my own trumpet or anything, I’m actually very pleased with the results.

Just recently I wrote about the Israel CSR Report. It’s a long document, and it’s jam-packed with info. Even though I’m proud of it and believe it’s important, I know that for some people, it could be considered a nice contribution to all that blah blah blah blah I just mentioned. This made it a perfect candidate for creative communications.

Games are a great way of motivating people, so we created an online quiz that more or less worked like a guided treasure hunt through the report. We put together 20 multiple-choice questions, with four possible answers for each question. The motivation: winners got a disk on key (AKA memory stick).

With questions like: “How much money did Intel donate to the community last year?”, “How many Intel employees participated in Intel volunteer activities?” and “What is ‘Intel Learn’?” the only path to a sure-fire win was to click on the online version of the report and (yes!) read it.

The quiz is ongoing, but so far, the results are looking good. It’s just a start and we’re going to keep the quiz available for a little while longer. I’m hoping it’ll keep the holiday cheer going into the New Year.