by CorpComms on 24/11/2011 00:14:00 in CorpComms Online
Agency: The Collaboration Company
Highly commended entry: SABMiller
Helen Dunne is the editor of CorpComms Magazine, follow her tweets here @CorpCommsMag
Employee volunteering projects are not new, but pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has taken the approach one step further. Now in its second year, Thinkathon is a two-week UK wide initiative that brings together charities with Pfizer staff to brainstorm creative solutions to real life challenges faced by these organisations.
'This is collaboration using cross department teams taken to the next level,' said the judges.
More than 300 employees worked with 16 charities in May but since launch, Thinkathon has generated more than 400 business ideas for 27 charities. Each Thinkathon project was unique, and staff received a Rough Guide ahead of the day which contained details of the charity and the challenges it faced. 'There is a charitable project depending on you to produce high quality thinking and ideas,' the guide said. 'It is an intense, highly charged working environment; the group has a deadline that it has to meet.'
In Northampton where 16 Pfizer employees visited charity CAN which works with people with alcohol dependency, the team came up with proposals to restructure management teams to become more effective at income generation and fundraising.
Working with the Welsh Air Ambulance in Swansea, Pfizer staff came up with ideas for how the charity (which receives no government or lottery funding) could use e-channels and the media to boost awareness. 'This initiative truly engages Pfizer staff [97 per cent of whom rated the day as 'good' or 'excellent'],' said the judges.
But the initiative was also designed to raise awareness of Pfizer at local level, drawing on the Thinkathon to showcase its work with charities and demonstrate a tangible example of 'community values'.
Pfizer's media team aimed to achieve local and regional media coverage and consequently set targets for the number of articles, staff quotes and radio interviews. 'This initiative changed the local communities' perception of Pfizer,' concluded the judges.
Highly commended entry
Ten priorities. One future. - SABMiller
My action for children day - Action for Children
Money can't buy love but TLC drives Essex engagement! - Essex County Council
Engaging our people with our vision - Scottish Water
Sponsored by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide