Firefly boosts brand awareness for Cornerstone with major broadcast and press campaign, Summer Stretched

Insight

Cornerstone OnDemand is a global leader in people development solutions and has successfully established its recruiting, learning, performance and human capital management technology. The challenge set to Firefly was to show the impact that effective HR can have on employees, rather than just how it can make HR practitioner’s lives better. 

Firefly worked closely with the Cornerstone team to explore the issues where the worlds of HR and employees collided, allowing them to tell a story from both perspectives. 

The theme that kept cropping up was how unpredictable summer could be. It was important that the story was heard by HR channels as well as broader, employee (consumer) audiences, so the team needed to educate consumers about the opportunities and challenges of summer periods, reaching them through outlets such as broadcast channels. Firefly also looked to help maintain Cornerstone’s relationship with HR influencers, helping them to cope with difficult periods.

Plan

Many employees have to cover the workloads of other staff, which meant workers not on holiday would be even more stretched, contributing to stress levels and poor mental health. Providing this cover often gave staff an opportunity to learn new skills – but occasionally meant that tasks were done less well! 

The Firefly team centred the campaign around the most popular week for workers to go on their summer holidays. To find out when that particular week was, dubbed the ‘Summer Stretch Week’, and to learn more insights about how companies and employees handle things people are out of office, Firefly conducted consumer research. This then became the core data for the campaign.

Deliver

Once the ‘Summer Stretch Week’ was established from the research, Firefly created a content plan with a number of angles and third-party support, including:

  • The challenges of stress and mental health issues from covering colleague’s workload
  • The ability to learn new skills from covering a colleague’s workload
  • Tips for staying motivated when colleagues were sunning themselves in Ibiza
  • How to manage difficult workloads – and where to go for support

To tell the business side of the story, the strategy was to flip the consumer insights to discuss key themes around productivity, loss of talent, disengaged staff and have Cornerstone spokespeople offer advice to leadership and management around handling holiday workloads and motivating teams when colleagues were out.

Firefly also used content for news hijacking opportunities during other national awareness days, including Work-life Week, National Stress Awareness Day and the Christmas holiday season.

Evaluate

The survey highlighted the week of 5th August as the most popular week to take holiday, so Firefly set up a broadcast day during the week commencing 22nd July, just before the ‘Summer Stretch Week’, securing 14 interviews with Sky News, talkRADIO, LBC and more. Firefly carefully prepared Sue Hilliar, Senior Head of PR at Cornerstone, for broadcast interview as she had spearheaded the study. Interviews ranged from offering advice of feeling stretched, to viewing holiday cover as an opportunity to grow professionally. 

In parallel with the broadcast pitching, Firefly also pitched the story to the consumer media ‘warning’ them that lots of people would be out of office during the week of 5th August. Firefly secured pick-up of the story in national media like the Metro and i paper, as well as trade titles such as HR review and Workplace Insight.

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