Two years after Shell Chemicals entered the polymer market, 99 percent of its employees said they had a solid understanding of the new business. That was the result of an orchestrated campaign by J. Walter Thompson INSIDE to raise employees’ business literacy around polymers, and it has earned first place in the “Employee Education Program” category of Ragan’s 2018 Employee Communications Awards.
Shell turned to J. Walter Thompson INSIDE, which focuses on employer branding, employee communications and recruitment advertising. The goal of the program was ambitious: Engage employees in a new marketplace to transform a startup project into a profitable business that would become a growth engine for the entire company.
The team began with a brand platform rooted in proven strategic models like Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation and Collins’ Vision Framework, employing them to empower employees to disrupt the status quo. An employer branding program included a complete omnichannel approach to underscore the importance of Shell’s polymers play. It included a series of brand education sessions, leadership fireside chats, employee role-playing experiences and the launch of an influencer program in which staff made personal commitments to uphold company values and promote the external “Start Believing” campaign (fueled by an internal “I Believe” campaign).
The strategy culminated in an internal event, the National Plastics Expo Employee Experience, providing employees with a glimpse at the customer-focused show; the replica of the company’s booth featured 10 interactive stations, including virtual reality fly-throughs, video, sales content and product information.
After the event, 99 percent of attendees indicated they had a better awareness of Shell Polymers, and half signed up to be brand enthusiasts, a winning effort by any measure.
Kudos to the team of Julie Toth, Ian Kaplan, Doug Shonrock, Ariana Rivera Goldberg, Jason Andrews, Natalie White and Denise Bureta.