In our 2016 Silver Leaf Awards profile series we’re sharing insights from the Calgary communicators behind the winning submissions. Marni Evans from Agrium shares her insights including details of the winning project and the process of applying for the award.

Q: Tell us about your project and its objective.

A: To prevent malicious cyber-attacks towards our organization and employees, Agrium increased its focus on embedding Information Technology Security (IT Security) into all organization initiatives. The Corporate Relations department was engaged by IT Security to create and execute an internal communications awareness campaign ‘Security is Not Complete Without U’.

The objective was to raise awareness and provide education and guidance to Agrium employees on the issues of IT Security and online safety at work and at home.

Q: What did you feel most proud of in this project?

A: The campaign was completed on a budget of C$7,000. This was specifically allocated for printing and distribution of communication collateral and the purchase of promotional items. The campaign came in below budget at C$5,800.

Our in-house graphic design specialist (Murray Garnett) and myself completed all of the work. With input from the IT Security team, I wrote and pitched the campaign strategy to the IT Security Manager, provided creative insight, wrote all employee communication materials and served as the primary liaison for external vendors.

Marni Evans, Specialist, Corporate Relations and Murray Garnett, Specialist, Corporate Relations who provided graphic design support.

Q: What was a key challenge you faced?

A: Prior to the start of the campaign, Agrium announced the decision to outsource some areas of IT to a third-party partner. Moving to a managed-service model caused uncertainty within IT and created distraction among some stakeholders making for a more challenging employee environment during the campaign. As a result, team resources available to support this campaign were more limited than in previous years.

Q: Was there anything particularly creative or innovative you can share?

A: The team used a software tool called Eventbrite to track employee engagement and attendance for the various information sessions. The sessions were recorded and used as webinars so employees who couldn’t physically attend could login and listen at their convenience. This approach increased our overall attendance numbers and was an additional tactic in promoting the campaign.

Q: If you had to use one word to describe this project what would it be?

A: Insightful!

Marni Evans and Murray Garnett, joined by IT Security team members, Nathan Turnbull, Michael Vaidya and Bryson Smith (L to R).

Q: Why is winning a Silver Leaf Award significant for your communications career?

A: I’ve been a communicator for more than 20 years and I’ve never really focused on award submissions for my projects. However, going through the process of applying for this award was an inspiring and rewarding learning experience.

Receiving the IABC Silver Leaf – Award of Excellence was extremely gratifying and validation that as a communications professional, I am focusing on the right things to deliver the right results for the Corporate Relations team, our IT Security stakeholders and for Agrium.

Thank you Marni Evans and the team at Agrium for their time responding to our questions!

Silver Leaf is IABC Canada’s premiere professional awards program celebrating excellence in business communication. It’s a chance for communicators working in all disciplines to receive national industry recognition for outstanding work in the field of communications.

“Congratulations to all 2016 Silver Leaf Award winners,” says Tracy Fox, IABC Silver Leaf Co-Chair. “The quality of work our members produce is excellent and really demonstrates the quality of communications professionals in Canada.”

To learn more about the Silver Leaf Awards click here.

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