May 03, 2021
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is Western Pennsylvania’s largest newspaper and the region’s most visited website. Every year, the publisher runs a Top Workplaces program to honor the best companies and leaders in the Pittsburgh area.
The program is a critical customer engagement initiative enabling the Post-Gazette to establish its brand as a thought leader with credible insights into business news and market trends.
The Top Workplaces program involves a year-long process of gathering and evaluating hundreds of company nominations, combing through 15,000 employee surveys and compiling its research to determine winners.
A virtual awards show to drive customer engagement
In the past, the Post-Gazette would host an in-person awards show. This awards show was a central benefit of the Top Workplaces program’s advertising package and generated revenue for the Post-Gazette. But the organization entered uncharted territory when the event had to shift to a virtual environment for its 10th anniversary.
The Top Workplaces 2020 Virtual Awards Show was the Post-Gazette’s first attempt at producing a digital event. As such, the Post-Gazette team had its worries, especially over the overall experience and the event’s ability to generate revenue without an in-person component.
To address these worries, the Post-Gazette needed a robust Platform that could offer advertisers visibility, and the ability to directly connect and engage with audiences.
A best-in-class awards show
With the ON24 platform, the Post-Gazette created an extraordinary audience experience for its Top Workplaces 2020 Awards Show. And, with a full-length, pre-recorded videocast, the experience went above and beyond the usual webinar/presenter model typical of virtual events.
The webinar delivered everything audiences desire in today’s world of virtual events — all in 30 minutes. The event delivered:
- Broadcast quality video filmed in multiple locations for visual interest
- Entertaining “cameo” celebrity appearances and award introductions
- Dynamic content, upbeat music, and fun and engaging polls
- Employee-submitted video clips
Impressive attendee and revenue numbers
The audience for the Top Workplaces 2020 Awards Show was three times larger than the Post-Gazette’s in-person audience the year prior. Eighty percent of those who registered for the event attended — a figure well above the industry standard.
The awards show also generated six-figure income from advertisers and sponsors, as well as astounding positive feedback from a group that was initially reluctant to go virtual and is now eager to support next year’s efforts.
In addition, the event drove strong cross-departmental collaboration within various teams at the Post-Gazette, from marketing to sales to the newsroom with their video production capabilities.
Invitations, emails and personal calls generated interest and excitement for the virtual show. The event also increased employee morale at the participating companies who were able to share the awards celebration far beyond what they could in person, enabling the Post-Gazette to reach additional prospects.
Best practices for your digital experiences
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