Custom cartoons will engage your employees

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by Denise Reynolds

Approaching many human resource topics armed only with words isn’t much fun. But arm yourself with a cast of cartoon characters and you’ll look forward to delivering key messages about benefits, wellness and just about any HR topic.

I work with all kinds of organizations, developing innovative and engaging cartoon campaigns that cover a broad spectrum of topics:
• Health and welfare benefits
• Retirement plans
• Wellness
• Retirement/financial planning
• Safety
• Policies and procedures
• General HR messages

It’s routine for us to work on benefits or wellness campaigns for several organizations at a time. While many of our clients may address similar topics, the characters and scenarios we create in our cartoons are customized. That’s one of the best things about the work we do: nothing is “off the shelf.”

Every client gets cartoon characters and cartoon campaigns that match their organization. So, cartoon panels about retirement programs, medical benefits, safety initiatives, or heart-healthy exercise will vary by organization – from the characters, scenario, style of humor, to the tips/advice that are offered along with the cartoon panel.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples that focus on Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services. While both organizations – ACRT, Inc. and the Greater Cleveland RTA – want employees to take advantage of the company-sponsored program, each had a different key message.

For ACRT, the EAP-themed cartoon appeared in January – when employees typically fret about the bills that follow holiday spending. They wanted employees to understand financial planning and budgeting services are available.

ACRT, Inc's cartoon characters promote the Employee Assistance Program in this January 2013 panel.

ACRT, Inc’s cartoon characters promote the Employee Assistance Program in this January 2013 panel.

At RTA, the cartoon promotes the EAP’s counseling services that help employees work through stressful situations at home or work.

RTA's characters, Floyd and Harley, promote the EAP's counseling services.

RTA’s characters, Floyd and Harley, promote the EAP’s counseling services.

Each cartoon is accompanied with a brief summary or several bullet points to provide tips or additional details.

It’s fun to conjure up cartoon concepts for each client. My team of cartoonists and designers keep these objectives in mind as we develop our cartoon solutions:
• Keep the messages light-hearted and simple – the fewer the words, the better;
• Get the attention of the employees;
• Make them smile; and
• Be effective: deliver messages that raise awareness and understanding.

Curious about how cartoons and cartoon characters can work in your organization? Contact us at denise@otlcreativegroup.com or 216-407-4676. Visit our website at otlcreativegroup.com. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/otlcreativegroup.

Stay Tooned: In the next two weeks we’ll cover:
• Q&A Session with Cartoonist Jenny Campbell (Part 1)
• Q&A Session with Cartoonist Jenny Campbell (Part 2)
• Create an engaging cartoon character that fits your organization

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