Author: Kayla Barnes 

A Framework for Getting Started 

This framework is meant to be a starting place for anyone interested in activating around a Moment that Matters. We’ll cover ideas around what it takes to Educate, Collaborate, Elevate, Communicate, and Activate a moment at your organization.  

Educate

A good place to start with any moment is educating yourself. Having a foundation of knowledge will help you navigate nuance and ensure you’re taking the right, sensitive approach. Once you have that background, you’ll be able to weave education into your activation, helping bring other stakeholders like employees and external audiences along with you.

Some areas to start with:

  • What’s the history of this moment?
  • How has this moment’s recognition changed over the years?
  • Who is influential in the movement (individuals, nonprofits, even companies at the forefront)?
  • Is this day universal? Or do different countries have similar recognition points at different points in the year? Are there equivalent/similar occasions in other geographic regions?

Another important area to dig into is what is your company doing around this topic. More and more, employees want to know what your organization is doing! This is a great chance to show them. Maybe you all are pushing for certain local or federal legislation, have made a corporate donation, have strong policies and trainings around the topic, etc. It’s important for your audience to see how you show up and walk the walk- don’t forget to shine a light on your internal efforts.

Collaborate

As mentioned above, a moment that matter should not be a moment to just check the box. It also shouldn’t feel like a race against time. Having a strategy around what moments your company wants to really focus on will help ensure that the folks you collaborate with don’t feel like the efforts are an afterthought.

There are ways to collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders to make sure you get your messaging and activation strategy right.

Internal

Human Resources & Diversity and Inclusion counterparts – they can help you approach employee resource groups and help you understand sensitivities, internal policies, and so much more.

Employee Resource Groups – these groups are certainly a collaborator you don’t want to leave out but don’t forget- they have day jobs too! Don’t rely or put a burden on your ERG-engaged employees, but don’t leave them out of the conversation either around moments that pertain to their group’s mission.

Executive Leadership – having an executive sponsor and a top-down approach can be beneficial. They can help rally other senior staff, management, and help you get buy-in internally from other stakeholders.

Marketing and Communications peers – having help delivering your moment to the masses can really ease the workload. They’re experts in their craft and can help you create compelling and engaging communication strategies.

External

Your peers! Other CSR & Employee Engagement folks are often eager to share their ideas and happy to provide feedback as to what has and hasn’t worked well

Nonprofits close to the moment can provide excellent consultation. You can even make a monetary gift towards the organization or pay a fee for leveraging their expertise to make the collaboration an equitable give and take

Social media & the good old internet – use hashtags and searches to see what other companies have done and get inspired

Remember, you can’t expect unpaid labor. Especially when it comes to employee resource groups- how are you collaborating and making sure you compensate for that time given? Are you framing your request as an ask, or as a demand? Are you listening to how they would like to show up for the moment as well?

If employees are supporting your corporate efforts, ensure you support the employee-led efforts as well! You can grab a quick checklist for employee led events here:

Whitepaper

A Guide to Employee-Led Events

Compensation ideas for rewarding employee collaborative efforts could be:

  • Volunteer time off for employee resource group members who help- it doesn’t just have to be the leads! This can be a great opportunity for newcomers and your general employee population to engage and contribute
  • Allow the volunteer time to go towards a volunteer team grant
  • Issue a Cause Card or other incentive in CSRconnect to the ERG members. Members can use the Cause Card to make a donation to the nonprofit of their choice. 
  • Actually make leading employee resource groups part of the job description so that these employees have dedicated time. Even just 5% of their time dedicated to ERG activities can make a big difference for making those employees feel like they are supported and have the time for these activities
  • Make sure to consult with their managers and ensure they are given the capacity to help- you don’t want to burn anyone out.

Elevate 

As part of your activation, you’ll want to know where to shine a light. Being able to point your people towards nonprofits doing the work around these topics will help them feel empowered to go out and make a difference through volunteering and giving.

What nonprofits are in your geographic regions? Look at where your employees and offices are located, and see what local groups or chapters of national organizations are nearby. Make sure to keep your global folks in mind! Don’t forget about museums too- as we mentioned above, being able to educate around the moment is super important. Creating relationships with museums can be super beneficial. Don’t discount how many museums now have online content that could reach your employees all over.

Take a people approach too. Are there employees who serve on nonprofit boards or are stellar leaders in their communities around the moment? Are there any senior leaders or board members of your company closely tied the moment?

What employee resource groups can you shine a light on? Using the moment to elevate the amazing work your employees are doing can help bolster a common thread in your culture, and help your ERGs potentially recruit more members.

Communicate 

You’ve done the research and have a great plan in place- don’t let it fall flat! Having a strong communication plan will ensure your message is well received and that your employees want to participate.

Here’s some questions to get your wheels turning on communication:

  • What avenues are you going to use to communicate with employees?
  • Are you planning to share externally as well?
  • How does your messaging change internally vs. externally? If you plan to do both, we recommend making a separate plan for both. They might overlap, but this will help you make sure nothing falls through the cracks for either audience
  • What will be your call to action- what do you want your audience to do?
  • What do you Communications colleagues suggest for best practices?
    • How far in advance should you communicate?
    • How many times should you send out your message?
    • What are the best days and times to send out your messages?

Checkout our CSR communication toolkit for even more ideas!

Whitepaper

Strategies to share your message

Activate

Now is the time to make the moment matter for your employees! You’ll want to consider providing different ways for people to plug in and get involved. We provide some ideas for employee volunteering and giving.

Volunteer opportunities

Curate options for your employees: In-person, virtual, skills-based, and even micro volunteering events that can help satisfy the time and availability of all of your employees

Not familiar with micro-volunteering? Check out this blog! Small actions can add up to big impact

 

 

You can provide a list of charities related to the moment, and even offer special matching programs for your selected charities. Maybe during this time, employee gifts are matched a 2:1 ratio instead of your typical 1:1 program.

Give employees a chance to celebrate together! Maybe there’s a hashtag people can join in on through social media. Have employees post on internal communication channels like Teams or Slack.

Share books, articles and podcasts for employees to consume. Create a discussion forum in your employee engagement platform for employees to come together virtually to share stories about what the moment means to them. We’ve seen clients leverage resource group technology in CSRconnect to create a space for different moments like 9/11 Remembrance and more.  

 

Taking a stand is expected by today’s stakeholders. Using your corporate voice to shine a light and activate around moments can be vital to helping build awareness and acceptance. Check out this Corporate Activism Toolkit for addition