A few weeks prior to our May 5 launch date, we planned several promotions to announce that something was coming. When you create a Web site, you typically want to promote it; who will visit your site if they don't know it's there? So why should it be any different just because our audience was internal?
Since we were dealing with the stigma of our current intranet's look and feel, we needed to make sure that users knew that they would be seeing something new and different. Working closely with a business partner in marketing, we adopted a campaign that's often used with the introductions of new automobiles. You've probably seen these adsthey display the car covered with a tarp, so you can't see the new body style until they're ready to show it to you. Well, we didn't put a tarp over Midcom. Instead, we created old west style "Wanted" posters that showed Midcom wearing those funny disguise glasses with the nose and moustache attached. Our posters greeted users as they entered the building one morning. We wanted to get them wondering about this Midcom Guy and what was coming soon.
Since May 5 was on a Friday, we decided to officially launch Midcom on Monday the 8th. On Sunday, two other team members and I came into the office and created five life-size Midcom Guys, drawn on foamcore boards using black markers, with added text from an inkjet printer. They all depicted Midcom in various poses with different props or clothing items. We stationed the Midcom Guys at various locations, including the entrances to our building and the door to the cafeteria.
Additionally, we had notepads printed featuring eight different Midcom Guys with applicable quotes. For example, one of the designs included the Midcom Guy holding an apple (for our Learning and Development department). The caption read, "Broaden your horizons, learn something new today." Each notepad contained a random sampling of the Midcom Guys.
While I was busy drawing Midcom Guys on foamcore, two other team members delivered a letter introducing Midcom with one of the notepads to the desk of each associate in the home office (about 1,000 people), so that they would find it first thing Monday morning.
Midcom was a great success!