2015 Digital PR Awards: Employee Communications Online

Winner: PayPal with MSLGROUP - “Be the Customer” Challenge Sparks PayPal Growth Surge

Rallying more than 15,000 employees around the world to become PayPal brand advocates required clear objectives, careful planning and outside-the-lines creativity.

It also required PayPal to face the harsh realities that 1) not all employees were PayPal customers and 2) PayPal’s product set had grown so large that many employees didn’t know what the company offered. Generating brand advocacy meant employees must become PayPal’s best, most informed customers. To accomplish these objectives, a companywide effort was launched.

PayPal’s research and assessment of employees’ product usage and brand commitment led to a simple, yet provocative idea: invite employees to be the PayPal customer. By experiencing firsthand how PayPal products and services actually perform in everyday life, employees would become PayPal’s most reliable sources of what’s working, what’s not and how products could be improved.

PayPal’s Be the Customer program quickly engaged PayPal employees. First, an Entertainment Tonight-style video, PayPal in 90, appeared in employees’ email boxes weekly, generating pride with updates from around the world – driven by employees.

Next, monthly All-Hands meetings were broadcast globally to unify employees as one team and reinforce the importance of Be the Customer. Finally, an intranet with market intel fueled a competitive spirit based on what the “other guys” were doing.

With employees feeling a renewed commitment to growth, sense of urgency and responsibility to contribute, PayPal introduced multiple ways to familiarize employees with the breadth of products offered. A Product Fair at PayPal’s campus showcased its products and services, allowed employees to try them out, and talk to the teams who developed them.

By mid-year, a regional, grassroots competition was expanded globally. Employees competed for the title of “top customer” through an online platform that measured engagement and awarded points when employees used PayPal – giving more points for using features imperative to the business’ success, like online shopping across borders and mobile payments. Points were also earned for finding bugs and suggesting improvements.

Be the Customer delivered astounding results. From April to December 2014, nearly 7,000 employees, almost half of the company, had signed up for the Be the Customer challenge. These employees generated over $22 million USD in payments volume in just nine months.

Honorable Mentions:

•             CropLife America  - Tell Me More

•             Nexteer Automotive - Our Culture

•             Novartis & Ruder Finn - Long Live Life Actions: Community Partnership Day 2015