Last September, we received a “not so typical” question from Bacardi. From a surprising region, moreover. HR manager Surabhi and Communications manager Maciej, responsible for the Eastern Europe and North Asia region, were about to launch their #fitforthefuture campaign. An eight-month program in which they introduced employees to all facets of well-being. Bunchmark was flown in for the content and communications strategy around their well-being topics.
Quite an exciting task, especially for a region where many people are vulnerable on welfare. But the combination of content and form suits us well, and with Bacardi’s message of “keep it light-hearted and honest,” there was no more doubt.
There was a campaign on the shelf at Bacardi: #fitforthefuture. The broad outlines were also in place. In eight months, all employees would learn about well-being. Every two months there was a different theme:
1. Mental well-being
2. Physical well-being
3. Social well-being
4. Community well-being
But how do you shape such a program? In what way do you communicate? And what role do cultural differences play within the region? A region that runs from Poland, Central Europe, the Baltic States, past Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia all the way to China, South Korea and Japan.
We too did not have ready answers to the above questions. So when Bacardi approached us to help them define a communications strategy, one thing was certain: We don’t set the course, but rather discover together in sprints what works best so that we can evaluate and adjust in the interim. The Bunchmark Bacardi squad consisted of HR experts Mara and Léanne, marketer, facilitator and well-being pro Hilke from the community and our Marieke who handles communications and marketing for ourselves, with Marieke in the lead.
Through a weekly newsletter, videos, assessments and online games, all employees learn about mental and physical health. Bacardi provided inspiring messages from managers and Primos (that’s how Bacardi employees are called) about gratitude, the importance of connecting with your colleagues, a healthy social life, etc.
To conclude each topic, we organized an online quiz that playfully tested everything that had been covered in the newsletters. Maciej himself was the host and Hilke from the Bunch Community joined as Well-Being expert to provide background information. With short brainstorms, the squad provided the right content and tone. And Marieke was in weekly contact with her counterpart in Japan.
Thus, we worked together intensively for 8 months during which we learned a lot. Not only about well-being itself, but also about the challenges in cultural differences and the importance of a campaign like this one within a large company. HR marketing really deserves a place in the HR profession. Sometimes our campaign felt a bit like a drop in the bucket. Sometimes we found the range was not great enough. Yet in the evaluation last week, we could only look back on a very successful campaign. We may not have made everyone in the region expert, but we did plant the first seeds among Primos about the importance of their mental health. And so we are proud of the result and wish Maciej and the Bacardi team every success with the next steps.
Communications Director EEURA