Employee Resource Group Acts on Their Belief in Change for Chicago’s Neighborhoods
When members of AT&T’s Employee Resource Group recognized a need to support and uplift their Chicago community based on their experiences living and working in neighborhoods affected by violence, Believe Chicago was born. Led through a diverse lens, several business units with the company, including marketing, communications, human resources and community relations came together to focus on 19 Chicago neighborhoods most affected by gun violence. FCG was tasked with media relations to support AT&T’s Believe Chicago campaign which focused on job training, dedicated hiring, community service, minority supplier development and philanthropy.
FCG collaborated with AT&T’s regional and national media relations teams to drill down into general market and multicultural media to tell the story of Believe Chicago through the lens of unique activations partnering with Chicago natives KeKe Palmer and Vic Mensa. These hometown celebrities went out in the community to provide surprise and delight moments to local residents while AT&T team members hosted D&I recruitment events.
Believe Chicago included several hyperlocal efforts such as a Hackathon at Illinois Institute of Technology designed to create improved tech for Chicago First Responders and a short film showcase where local high school students were given equipment and instruction on how to produce short films about their own “Beacons of Hope” – individuals they felt are making a difference in their local community. AT&T’s pop-up store experience in Water Tower shopping center provided an opportunity for media meet-and-greets and interviews with Palmer and Mensa.
FCG was able to generate significate awareness of Believe Chicago with unique stories across key national, local, entertainment, African-American, Hispanic and other multicultural media. Coverage included the Chicago Sun-Times, Black Enterprise, Chicago Defender, Forbes and The Source as well as broadcast TV outlets and social media. The success of the Believe Chicago program was extended to other cities.