Karen Picard had been working at the ALCOA Foundation for two years. She worked hard to earn her stripes. She spent long hours in the office and used the ALCOA tuition reimbursement program to earn her MBA. She wanted to make a difference, to be an important member of the team. When the Executive Director of the ALCOA Foundation called her into his office, she knew that her opportunity to prove herself had arrived. The ALCOA Foundation wanted to encourage employee volunteerism in the community, and she was heading the initiative. The project included developing the name of the program, the messaging, and the promotional collateral to motivate employees to take action in their own hometowns.
But the challenge was greater than it seemed at first glance. The target audience for the campaign was the “global” community. With offices located throughout the world, the foundation’s intent was to encourage employees from every ALCOA office – and in their native language – to volunteer in their communities. Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Picard evaluated her available assets and the skill set of her current team and decided that the project was too large and too complex to be handled in-house. She needed help. She needed Ideahaus. Picard contacted us, and at our first meeting she explained that the campaign message had to be coordinated and released in ALCOA offices worldwide, an interesting challenge, even for us. The creative challenge increased: how do you convey the same message to so many people that speak so many different languages?
We started with the English message.
“I hired Ideahaus to develop an identity program including logos for two employee volunteer programs and posters in 11 languages for the Worldwide Week of Service at Alcoa. It was a difficult project as it had to resonate with many diverse stakeholders and convey abstract concepts including people, community service and motion. Kevin and his team delivered results with a limited budget and produced a suite of materials to be used by communicators around the world that are still being used today. Kevin is a pleasure to work with and provides prompt, thoughtful and comprehensive ideas and tools for successful communication to internal and external company audiences.” – Karen Picard, Employee Engagement and Communications, ALCOA Foundation
Once Ideahaus, with Picard’s help, captured the essence of what ALCOA needed to communicate, we worked with international translation services and local ALCOA employees to adapt the message to be a proper presentation of the program intent, adjusting, as necessary, to deliver the message while respecting individual and cultural values.
Ideahaus named the program “Bravo!” – an Italian word used to praise the work of a performer that ALCOA agreed had transcended its native meaning to achieve a common understanding worldwide.
Letters depicting a group of people in motion comprised the logo. Program participants were presented in distinct contrast to those who were not. Like the program, ALCOA wanted to communicate that they recognized the difference, and would incentivize employees for taking action, and this communication could be done through the universal medium of art. To overcome the costly obstacle of printing thousands of posters and distributing them worldwide, Ideahaus provided digital versions of all print materials in easy to access and easy to print file formats.
Picard coordinated with her counterparts in every ALCOA office to schedule a global launch of the program. Press releases to every medium, posters in every break room, downloads on the server and links inside every employee email – all launched on the same day.
Within a 24-hour window, the program unfolded to an overwhelmingly receptive audience. Email replies followed about an hour behind each sent piece to include “best wishes”, “congratulations” and “thank you’s” from directors, managers and employees. Everyone in our audience was cheering, “bravo!” And Picard was front and center to accept her much-deserved recognition.
Category: Client Stories