Magazine article Communication World

Project Giggles Builds Community Spirit Inside and Out

Magazine article Communication World

Project Giggles Builds Community Spirit Inside and Out

Article excerpt

Established by the Humour Foundation, a national charity that promotes the health benefits of humor, Clown Doctors is a program that operates in major children's hospitals all over Australia. Performers don white medical coats and colorful props to parody the hospital routine, providing much-needed laughter and fun to sick patients. Thirty-two Clown Doctors affect the lives of more than 60,000 people a year. The program currently seeks more funding to increase visitations from two days a week to seven. To help, Cadbury Schweppes embarked on an initiative called Project Giggles that sought not only to raise funds for Clown Doctors, but also to unite colleagues and boost morale during a time of difficult and significant corporate change.

Intended audiences

The primary audience for Project Giggles was all Cadbury Schweppes employees in Australia, from senior executives to factory workers.

Everyone at the company had experienced a challenging year of change that included leadership restructuring, a substantial cost-reduction program and job losses. Cadbury Schweppes had also merged two separate businesses, Confectionery and Food & Beverages, and was working toward building a shared identity.

Goals and objectives

The main goals of Project Giggles were to inspire employees to enjoy their work and to support the company's efforts toward building a global community.

Cadbury Schweppes identified six main objectives related to these goals:

* Inspire employees to make a difference in the community.

* Build an internal community spirit.

* Boost morale and spirits in times of change by giving employees "permission" to have fun at work.

* Raise between AUS$20,000 and AUS$30,000 for Clown Doctors through employee fundraising and a dollar-match scheme.

* Create support for the merger.

* Demonstrate senior commitment to the cause.

Solution overview

Cadbury Schweppes launched Project Giggles with a unique, groundbreaking internal campaign designed to secure involvement from managers and employees. Individuals were empowered to generate and implement their own ideas for the program.

Cadbury Schweppes engaged a group of key senior managers from several sites to help implement a multisite launch that would generate excitement. Events held at each site led off with a video message from Cadbury Schweppes' managing director, Mark Smith, that showed Clown Doctors at work in the hospitals and "Dr. Big Wig" (Smith) joining in the fun.

Senior managers were encouraged to create Clown Doctor personas and outfits. Colleagues were treated to a party with balloons, streamers, bubbles and party whistles. Everyone was served a variety of Cadbury Schweppes products, including cakes, muffins, jellies, chips, drinks, chocolates and lollipops. Those who could not attend were shown the video at team briefings, and some sites included activities for their meetings to further promote the initiative.

During the launch, the managers announced a national employee fundraising challenge, whereby volunteers were chosen to lead site fundraising activities. These fundraising teams were called Smile Committees, and they found novel ways to raise money for Clown Doctors and bring more smiles into the workplace. A "Giggles Gallery" intranet page was set up to display information, including a tally of funds raised to date and photographs of the many events that were taking place around the business. Ongoing messages of appreciation and encouragement were sent to all colleagues via e-mail from the managing director. …

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