Cox Enterprises partnered with the Atlanta operation of Techstars—a global organization that incubates startup businesses in a variety of technology markets—on a 2018 event that has won Cox first place in the “Event Promotion” category of PR Daily’s 2019 Digital Marketing & Social Media Awards.
Techstars’ goal is to elevate the business plans of the entrepreneurs and help them secure investors to grow their businesses. This purposeful affiliation is a noble one, especially given that employees are more inclined to stay and contribute at companies that support causes bigger than their own businesses. Yet Cox employees were largely uninformed about Techstars—it’s why they didn’t attend a 2017 Techstars @ Cox event—leading the Cox corporate communications department to educate employees and clarify Cox’s involvement.
Turning employees out to the event was important, since the internal activity was just a trial run before the entrepreneurs attend a similar event in front of an investor audience more than 10 times larger than the employee event.
The communicators used traditional channels, including the intranet, to promote the program, along with a content series on 2018 startups that appeared weekly across Cox’s internal channels. The team rebranded the event itself to build internal excitement, introducing a variety of features.
To call the strategy successful is an understatement: More than twice as many employees RSVP’d than the venue could accommodate. Employees also generated a substantial amount of social media content from the event, including participation in a Twitter chat. A post-event survey found 83% of attendees rating the event excellent; 98% said they would attend the 2019 Techstars@ Cox event.
Congratulations to Joanna Coker, Christina Burnham, Natalie Giurato, Ruth Davila, Jennifer Mesa, John Belcher and Alexandra Fonseca