To wrap up this series of posts, here are some ways you can plan & leverage your organization’s anniversary celebration, according to Phyllis Barr, founder of New York-based Corporate Culture Marketing by Barr Consulting Services.
Start with why you should consider celebrating. Phyllis suggests the following as sample objectives :
- To enhance corporate or product identity
- Rejuvenate an aging brand
- Educate staff and stakeholders (including customers, investors, local community and/or the public-at-large)
- Reinforce the corporate culture
- Enhance donor awareness & fund raising efforts (for nonprofits).
How Should You Celebrate?
Consider how long you intend to celebrate:
- on the day of the anniversary itself?
- a week- or month-long commemoration?
- throughout the year?
Then consider how you’ll celebrate; for example:
- Special events – such as hosting an open house, customer and/or staff appreciation activities, etc.
- Exhibit highlighting your organization’s history & memorabilia – can be off-line and/or on-line; for example, set up a traveling exhibit at schools, malls, trade shows, etc. (whatever is appropriate for your organization)
- History documented in a special book, newsletter, and/or DVD
- Special promotions and/or giveaways
- Sponsorships – another great idea for nonprofits: link up with a local business that’s been in business for the same length of time to develop a joint celebration.
Phyllis laments that too many corporate histories tend to be “cut & dried” & put together in dull fashion, but they need not be that way. You can be creative as your imagination & budget allow.
Also, you don’t have to do it alone – include oral history interviews with staff and customers. (What a great way to recognize the folks who’ve been with you the longest!) You can also solicit old photos and artifacts related to your organization.
Whatever you do to celebrate your organization’s history, make it meaningful and make it fun!