2014 Marketing Excellence Awards: Wolftracks
Portfolio: Mascot delivers the good news
Internal newsletter modeled after internal mascot an award-winning success.
By Christina Zweig
ECS Carolinas, LLP (Chantilly, VA), placed first in the Internal Marketing Category of Zweig Group’s 2014 Marketing Excellence Awards with their fierce, wolf-inspired, quarterly internal newsletter.
The award-winning campaign has helped the firm better connect with employees and build a sense of community.
Everything from the name (Wolftracks), pictures, footers (wolfpaw prints), and inspirational stories arcs back to one overall theme and the firm’s internal mascot, the wolf. All aspects of design and layout were created in-house by the ECS Carolinas, LLP marketing department.
In the early stages of development, the marketing team reached out to a select group of employees across the company. This group provided suggestions on topics they would be interested in. The marketing group’s strategy was to create a newsletter that would incorporate the internal mascot in a professional yet fun manner. They also wanted to make something that wasn’t too technical and had personality. The team envisioned color, quotes, and randomly placed shout-out facts in a piece that had flexibility and wouldn’t get stagnant. Mostly, they wanted to create a newsletter that ECS employees would want to open and read.
“The goal in creating our internal newsletter was to build and reinforce purpose, community, loyalty, and morale. It was designed to focus on the people who will read it and to simply connect with them,” said Julie Smith, marketing assistant.
The marketing department takes the lead for each issue. But while they choose page topics, content comes from branch managers, business development staff, administration and technicians as well as safety and human resources staff. Topics run the gamut, including leadership, inspiration, noteworthy projects, office spotlight, congratulations, and a safety minute. Special features include topics such as “testing the limits,” benefits, Q&A, collaboration, community, call to action, “class of 2013,” and creativity. The newsletter is written in a friendly, informal style, with multiple voices used. The newsletter is distributed to over 300 staff members in 11 offices.
Results. The vibrant eNewsletter is now distributed quarterly and involves current employees and their projects. The firm’s Marketing Excellence Award entry stated, “Once the first edition of WOLFTRACKS was distributed, the marketing department received over 25 personal emails or phone calls expressing gratitude for creating the newsletter.”
While the content initially focused around ECS Carolinas, LLP employees, requests came in for other non-firm employees to be added to the distribution list.
This article first appeared in The Zweig Letter (ISSN 1068-1310), issue #1073, originally published 9/29/2014. Copyright© 2014, Zweig Group. All rights reserved.
About Zweig Group
Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.