Guest Author: Barrett Ward
Position: Director of Brand Marketing
Time with Champion: 3 months
A new initiative this year at Champion has been integrating our Core Values into our marketing strategy. We’ve stepped up our marketing efforts across all channels and have made tangible goals through next year, but we see it as an ongoing process that will keep growing for years beyond that.
I’m new to the company and I didn’t come from a security background, but I was won over by Champion’s Core Values and the work being done to support them. As a marketer, it doesn’t matter what the specific core values are, but instead, does your company actually believe in them and how is your company applying them in both internal and external communications? Below are Champion’s and the work we’re doing to back them up.
This is our first and foremost Core Value and the one I knew we needed to work on the most from a marketing angle. When I started, we had no photography that was of our actual officers. We wanted to show how much we value our people, but stock photos really can’t do that. Having locations spread throughout the country during a pandemic made getting on-site photographs more difficult, but I was able to visit multiple branches and take photos of our officers in uniform and in action.
Along with photos, I’ve also been collecting stories about our officers to highlight the individuals that make up our company. For example, in Orlando, I met an officer who is a Haitian minister and we talked about his life and how he got into security. Another officer just got out of culinary school and has been baking for her fellow officers. We’ve shared these photos and stories on social media, along with others, to make that connection between saying “People Matter Much” and actually showing that our people, as individuals, matter to us.
Another initiative was for Veteran’s Day. Security is an industry that is home to a lot of veterans and Champion itself is made up of a large percentage of veterans. I called on every branch to send me the names of any veterans working with them and then sent out a newsletter on that day that listed every name I received. There’s so much more meaning in seeing your own name mentioned than just being part of a generic group.
We’ve also been stepping up our internal communications. When there are gaps in communication, you’re not valuing people. You’re not setting them up for success. Before I started, there was a lack of communication between officer-level staff and the branches and then the officers. I’ve increased our internal newsletter communications to at least once a week because there is always information that needs to be distributed. This way our people feel connected and have what they need to succeed.
This is a value that I knew we needed to highlight more through social media. You never know who is looking at your posts. Current clients and potential clients both could be vetting us or stumbling upon us and we needed to show our track record in this area. I’ve worked to incorporate a mix of client partnerships into our channels. We share each other’s posts and interact. We want to show that we don’t just sell to you and then you never hear from us again. We foster those relationships both through service on site and digitally.
We also use social media to spotlight scenarios where we go above and beyond. When the branches tell us about times they hear from clients who appreciate us or any time we’re delivering what we say or more, we amplify that through social media and our blog.
One of the ways we practice this value is by always promoting from within before we look externally for a candidate. We want our people to grow with us. My role in that is to make sure that when someone is promoted, we celebrate it in our newsletters and on social media to show we’re really committed to the growth of our people.
In the future, we want to offer more micro-trainings where people can learn about things like budgeting, résumé building and other career skills. We’ll share those opportunities throughout the company and set registration goals because the more we promote it, the more people will take advantage of it. We know that some of that education could potentially set someone up to leave Champion, but we’re 100% okay with that if it leads to their success.
We’ve also started promoting when individual officers are recognized by clients. Before, a client would email a director or manager to tell us about an amazing job an officer is doing, but it would end there. Now that news is passed on to me so that I can highlight those officers on social media and in our newsletters. We’re showing that if you’re doing what you’re supposed to do and more, you’ll be celebrated. This also makes a difference in leadership team meetings. When names are coming up over and over again with clients, we take note and make sure those people are given opportunities for growth.
At Champion, we define “doing the right thing” as not doing what is fast and easy, but instead doing what may be hard, but is right. It’s what guides us in all our other values. It would be easy for us not to share officer stories or have our four executives write blogs. It would be easy not to double check the name and rank of an officer before we send out a newsletter or to just say Happy Veteran’s Day and be done with it. We could not do those things and our operations would keep going on exactly as they have, but we see it as an opportunity to celebrate our employees and show how much we value them.
When I think of my job, I’m more of a project manager than a marketer, but the reason I do that is because I believe promoting our people is the right thing to do.
We could just push sales and be very client-focused in our marketing, but we’re intentionally trying not to do that. As a brand we don’t want to be known for that. We’re not a giant mega company. We care about our people and you’re going to get better service because of that.
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