Last night, P&G brought a group of internal staffers and external partners together for a friendly charity-based event. I didn't have any details about what we'd be doing before arriving in Cincinnati, but was looking forward to reconnecting with former colleagues, social media connections, and others who I've heard of but never met in person.
The essence of the event was network activation to support Tide Loads of Hope and education for observers. We were split into four teams, each with a vanity URL (e.g. Tide4.com) which would track t-shirt sales. If you review the Twitter stream for #pgdigital, you can see most of how the four-hour competition unfolded. If you search further, you'll also see how creativity played out in online videos, blog posts, and even a music video. And you can still participate, until 11 am EDT on March 12th.
I want to share my key takeaway from the event with you. Because it has little to do with cause marketing or even social media marketing.
At the end of the evening, P&G's CMO Marc Pritchard remarked that in the future, all employees should get involved in activating connections similar to what had just been witnessed.
The significance of that idea is staggeringly huge. This is a company with 138,000 employees starting to realize the value from having all of its constituents connected and activated. They're also learning about new tools to change the process of engagement. Events like "Digital Night" help recalibrate the company's mindset.
By the way, my team won. But the true winners will be the recipients of relief from Feeding America who will benefit from everyone's generosity in participation. We collectively raised $50,000 which was matched by Tide. In the long run, P&G benefits as well by moving along the path to transformation.
Disclosures: P&G is not a current client. I was not compensated or reimbursed in any way to attend. And I have been a Tide customer for as long as I can remember buying laundry detergent.
One final note. During the event, a small volume of snarky tweets showed up. I'm looking forward to reading commentary from those who weren't here in person. I believe the ego trap was defused for many participants given a request for silence leading up to the event - but I wonder how many bruised egos will lash out tomorrow from the uninvited.
UPDATE: Word from P&G on final results. Over 3,000 t-shirts sold, over $100,000 raised.