Magazine article Communication World

Movies with a Message: Deloitte Employees Unleash Their Inner Director and Make the Company's First-Ever Film Festival a Success

Magazine article Communication World

Movies with a Message: Deloitte Employees Unleash Their Inner Director and Make the Company's First-Ever Film Festival a Success

Article excerpt

With today's fierce war for talent, many companies are trying to come up with recruitment strategies that set them apart from their competitors. Deloitte LLP, a leading professional services firm, took an unusual approach in 2007 with the first-ever Deloitte Film Festival, inviting all 39,783 employees to make three-minute amateur films answering the question, "What's your Deloitte?"

The company hires 10,000 people a year in the U.S. alone; most of those hires are drawn from Generation Y. In addition to recruiting new talent, Deloitte needs to "re-recruit" its existing workforce to help keep retention levels high. Employees span four generations, work in five different businesses and are located in 75 offices across the U.S. and India. The majority of client service professionals often work remotely from client sites.

With the film festival, Deloitte hoped to use the employees' short films for external recruitment and to drive workforce engagement via employee participation as filmmakers, film viewers and film voters. Because it is a traditionally conservative business, Deloitte recognized the need to take a nontraditional, unexpected approach to connect to its diverse audience.

1st Place Prize


Goals and objectives

The primary goals of the film festival were to:

* Encourage employees to make three-minute films answering the question, "What's your Deloitte?" to be used to recruit and retain talent.

* Create an innovative and inclusive culture by sparking new conversations and interactions, deepening the sense of community across the organization.

The objectives were to:

* Deliver breakthrough communication that would boost morale and drive participation (whether filmmaking or viewing/voting) among all Deloitte professionals.

* Reach and engage a dispersed workforce, inspiring them to do something outside of their comfort zone during their discretionary time.

* Empower employees at all levels to drive viral communications.

Solution and implementation

Deloitte's film festival team partnered with the creative agency NYCollective to develop the branding for the festival icon, intranet site, online newsletter, posters and 11 promotional videos starring Film Festival Guy and Awesome Tech Guy--ambassadors for the initiative.


The strategic approach was to drive participation from the bottom up, allowing buzz to grow organically. Through a prelaunch viral campaign, a group of 300 film festival champions called the Directors' Circle committed to making a film and promoting the film festival through their networks. Postlaunch, many business and office leaders developed their own promotional communications, encouraging their teams to participate.

The team relied almost exclusively on pull communication tactics, running an online campaign using the company intranet, DeloitteNet, and the film festival site housed within it. With only three weeks for the campaign to attract registrants, and another three weeks for the filmmakers to submit their entries, the festival had to get people's attention immediately. To manage the expected gap between registration level and submission, the team established deadlines to function as assessment tools.

Once registration closed (and the starter kits--some including video cameras--were disbursed to 630 teams), all communication shifted to the filmmakers, with a focus on motivational and technical support through an e-newsletter, online guides, a help line, live training and access to a royalty-free music house. …

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