I am happy to announce that JM Family successfully launched our community this past Tuesday. As I am sure all companies do, we did a ton of work to make this as successful as possible. We identified early on that one of the primary keys to success was developing a comprehensive pre-launch communication strategy. We really put our all into this and spared no expense. At the request of Brian Steinberg, I wanted to share what we did, including a link to our crowned jewel of this campaign, our pre-launch video.
Before I post the link to the video, let me give you a little background on this project. Prior to launching our community, The Hub, we had an old corporate intranet that was running on its last leg. I don't know if it was even a full leg that it was running on. It was more like running on its last pinky toe. The Sytem was well over 10 years old and running on a platform that was no longer supported by the vendor. If something broke, we were on our own to figure out how to fix it. Also, search was a joke. It was always fun to type a search phrase and see what horrible results were returned. And the concept of social didn't even exist when it was built, let alone being fully integrated into the user experience. Needless to say, it was time to get with the times and give our associates a voice.
As part of the project, our corporate and visual communication departments came up with a pre-launch communication campaign to build excitement and communicate key functionality. The theme was all centered around the concept of taking a "Hubcation," where our associates were taking a trip from the old intranet to the new. We built upon this theme for the entire communication campaign. The campaign was designed to occur across several weeks, culminating with our launch. Here is the time frame and corresponding communications:
- Week 1 - posters hung up across all locations and buildings communicating the functionality that was coming (social, improved search, etc.)
- Week 2 - desk drop of a personalized boarding pass. Associates were asked to keep their boarding pass for launch day to use as a raffle ticket for prizes.
- Week 3 - pre-launch video modeled after In-flight safety videos that are frequently shown on flights prior to take-off
- Week 4 - desk drop of a snack box that you would normally get on a plane, including peanuts, pretzels and an in-flight magazine with a letter from our CEO and other articles about what The Hub would be bringing to the organization
- Week 5 - Launch day with ambassadors in Hub shirts strategically places across the company as well as banners in the lobby of each building.
Here are some pictures of some of these items:
Our definite crowning achievement was our pre-launch video, our own "In flight safety video." Click below to watch it.
The campaign helped us achieve a level of 68% user engagement on day one, with users accessing an average of 21 pages/user. Additional users have logged in since then, and we are now up to 78% engagement in three days. This number is especially strong given the large number of people we have in the company who either work in the field, and therefore aren't on their computers during the day, and the number of folks that we have processing vehicles, who don't have work computers at all.
Now that we are live, and working out loud, I would love to hear your stories about what you did after your launch to keep the engagement and excitement going.