Inside PR and PRSA present a special interview with the 2012 Best of Silver Anvil award winner: IBM’s ‘Centennial Celebration of Public Service’ featuring Lisa Lanspery, manager of Corporate Communications, IBM and Esty Pujadas, partner and director of the Global Technology Practice at Ketchum.

Last year IBM turned 100, a rare milestone for a technology company, and the organization wanted to mark the occasion with a year of celebrations. Looking to their values and heritage for inspiration, they created a comprehensive corporate social responsibility program that focused on activating and engaging employees to share their skills in projects around the world.

IBM has over 400,000 employees globally and all were encouraged to contribute at least eight hours of their time.  The corporate communications team and Ketchum developed an integrated communications strategy inviting staff to give back through active participation in hyper-local programs that provided a direct benefit to the communities involved.  And they wanted to provide a platform that enabled staff to share stories and visuals about the positive impact their work produced.

Central to the program was a digital map of the world showcasing the various activities. The employees’ stories offered a glimpse into their dedication and the breadth of the volunteerism whether it was engineering and computer projects or personal donations of time. What made it stand out was the human element – how the company empowered employees to help.

For its anniversary, IBM wanted to make a difference its staff’s efforts and their results were impressive: 80 per cent of IBMs work force volunteered on programs in 120 countries and touched the lives of 10 million people.

And it was captured and amplified via social sharing and traditional media, with a message to spread the word to others to volunteer.

It’s an innovative and inspiring initiative and we want to congratulate IBM and Ketchum on their honor. And the volunteerism from within IBM continues.


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Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.

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