STM - Historic one-year anniversary of the pandemic - Shoestring tactic

Target Audience: In marking the historic one-year anniversary of the pandemic, the STM wanted to reach: - Active and inactive customers - Front-line and teleworking employees - The people of Montreal - The media Our communications team created an action plan to mark two important dates: March 11: National day of remembrance for victims of COVID-19 Endorsement of this day initiated by the Quebec government and around the world Message: With you wholeheartedly March 24: One-year anniversary of lockdown in Quebec Specific internal and external communication initiatives highlighting the work of STM employees who continued providing the essential service of public transit to essential workers throughout a difficult year Message: Working tirelessly

Strategy Objective:Objective 1: Show the STM's solidarity with Montrealers - Strategy 1: Mark historic dates with symbolic actions - Strategy 2: Bring people together through touching images and stories of all that the pandemic had changed Objective 2: Reconnect with customers - Strategy 3: Promote the fact that the STM and its employees are still there, providing the same essential service with the necessary safety measures Objective 3: Motivate employees - Strategy 4: Spotlight their contributions in an extraordinary situation The one-year anniversary was a chance to show solidarity with the public and to show our appreciation for the work of our employees, both to customers and to the employees themselves.

Situation Challenge: On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. On March 24, all of Quebec was shut down except for essential services. One year later, the situation remained dire: - Ridership was still around 30% - Public health restrictions were tight - Montreal was the most impacted area of Quebec - STM regulations for employees were still very strict The STM decided to hold two events: the more solemn on March 11, a temporary metro stop to observe one minute of silence, and the more joyful on March 24, a day of celebrating our employees by sharing photos they took during the pandemic. The popup campaign was launched on our social media accounts, press room, metro station screens and website, and in partner media such as the Journal Métro and 24 h newspapers.

Results Impact: The actions taken in this campaign were very well-received by the public, and media coverage was considerable. The social media impact was excellent, particularly on Twitter, with over 16,000 impressions—triple our strategic target of 5,000—and higher than average engagement. Our posts on March 24, 2021, were a spot-on way to publicly recognize the outstanding work of our 11,000 employees, who had been working tirelessly to deliver our services. Our LinkedIn post had 17,622 impressions and 4,116 interactions, for an impressive engagement rate of 23.4%, and our Facebook and Instagram post engagement rates ranged from 12% to 16%. The campaign budget of under $3,000 was used to produce a video. The other actions used in-house resources and free communication channels.

Why Submit: At a very low cost, the STM communications team successfully created a twofold commemorative campaign that had a major impact on its target audiences. The temporary metro stop was an unprecedented move in unprecedented times. Still, no complaints were lodged about it. Additionally, sharing photos by our employees highlighted their unwavering role in providing an essential service. It was also important to us to thank our teams directly, and we dedicated a significant portion of the campaign to internal communication. Our CEO appeared in a video to thank employees, in which he met with people working on the ground, and employee testimonials were published in our internal newsletter. It was an emotional year, but we got through it together.