Employee newsletter for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
Winner of Bronze Quill Award of Excellence, Silver Leaf Award of Excellence and Gold Quill Award of Merit for Communication Creative
Established in 1973, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is a provincial Crown Corporation (taxpayer-owned) auto insurance company with a monopoly to sell mandatory basic insurance for all registered motor vehicles in British Columbia. In 2006, private insurers were starting to make inroads with better drivers, reducing sales in some of the company’s most profitable pockets of business. Market intelligence revealed that several more private insurance companies were poised to enter the BC market and ICBC was vulnerable to their size, scope and financial strength.
In response, ICBC’s Strategic Marketing department, working with an outside advertising agency, revised the ICBC brand, summarizing it as “building trust. driving confidence.” The customer experience had to match, however, which meant ICBC had some work to do on the employee side. The company culture urgently needed to shift to one driven by people, not processes; emphasizing customer value through individual attention and specialized services from employees committed to the company and its goals. As the brand rollout plan developed, its centerpiece became the re-launching of the employee newsletter in a format that would more accurately reflect the redefined brand.
Intersections is designed to appeal to our readers as a whole person, not just as employees of ICBC. The approach is to spotlight employees, put their voices at the fore in conversational language rather than “from Head Office” to make articles more credible and easier for staff to identify with. Initially we researched various employees newsletters from other companies for their content, readability and visual appeal. We also met with ICBC’s advertising agency which had developed a rough template for Intersections which we used as a starting point for developing the newsletter.
Our creative objective was to visually support the writing and reinforce the ICBC brand in order to engage more employees to read Intersections than the previous newsletter. From a design perspective, keeping in mind that our readers’ average age was 44, we employed a combination of graphic design elements to make Intersections inviting, friendly, and easy to read. Utilizing a lot of white space, a large font size, large photos, pull quotes and photo captions, each issue of Intersections contains several access points to each of the feature stories.
Since we first started designing Intersections in the Summer of 2007 we have slowly been fine-tuning the layout to keep the look of the newsletter current. Formal measurement shows that Intersections met and is maintaining its defined objectives.