Corporate Comms Team Earns International Award
Last year, the Cox Enterprises Corporate Communications team worked on two very different but equally high-priority communications campaigns: CEO Alex Taylor’s Purpose and Open Enrollment. Both were recognized recently for excellence in strategic communication with local and then national/international awards from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), a 40-year-old and highly respected organization for business communicators.
With Purpose, the team faced the significant challenge of embedding our CEO’s new vision for the company – one designed to unite his 55,000 employees to build the future of Cox. With Open Enrollment, there was a need to explain the most comprehensive benefit changes in 10 years, and help employees understand the updates were based on their feedback.
When Alex Taylor took over as president and CEO of Cox Enterprises in January 2018, one question loomed large: “What is Cox today and what does the company stand for?”
Through in-depth research and tailored communication strategies, Corporate Communications charted a unifying, forward-thinking vision for 54,000 employees and the company’s stakeholders and enlisted them in living that new Purpose.
In a three-year plan, the team focused on creating a personal experience for each audience. Employee stories were also used as a centerpiece, reinforcing that Cox employees were already living the new Purpose. Core tactics included:
- In-person and livestreaming meetings: Connecting employees to the message and making the Purpose personal.
- Digital: Internal and external websites, digital signage and social media.
- Videos: Spotlighting employees, award winners and company stories.
- Communication partner toolkits: Interactive leader guides, field posters, large-scale signage, booklets, magazines and home mailers.
In November 2019, the Atlanta chapter of IABC recognized the entry “Cox Enters a New Era with Purpose” with a 2019 Golden Flame Award in the Communication Management/Internal Communication category. The Cox entry tied for having the highest numerical score of all communication-management entries and was also named Best in Show.
In April 2020, “Cox Enters a New Era with Purpose” won the international 2020 IABC Gold Quill Award of Merit.
One of the ways Cox cares for its people is through a comprehensive rewards portfolio, and more specifically, robust healthcare offerings.
Cox’s healthcare package is market-leading and employees expect a consumer-grade experience during the annual Open Enrollment period when they make their healthcare selections for the coming year.
In August 2018, the Corporate Communications team began partnering with the Benefits team to create a communications strategy to roll out the most comprehensive benefit changes in 10 years to employees during Open Enrollment that November.
One of the goals was to increase participation in the Cox Medical Plan by 5% or more in 2018. Another was to make employees feel excited about the changes, and to understand that the updates were based on their feedback.
The solution was a three-phased approach: discovery of the new benefits and best practices, strategizing key messages and execution with stakeholders and target audiences. Corporate Communications worked with the creative team to create best-in-class hard-copy Open Enrollment brochures. Executives highlighted key messages. And digital resources and messages were developed to reinforce goals.
The result? Overall, enrollment increased by 6.1% and 91 percent of employees surveyed after the program demonstrated knowledge of medical plan components.
The IABC Atlanta-chapter awards in November recognized the Open Enrollment entry “We Heard You: Communicating Benefit Enhancements based on Employee Feedback” with a 2019 Golden Flame Award in the Communication Management / Human Resources and Benefits Communication category.
The entry also won a 2020 IABC Gold Quill Award of Excellence at the international awards competition, the highest honor possible.
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