CHICAGO: McDonald’s is collecting stories from employees around the world about how they are helping local communities, then centralizing them on a microsite that debuted Thursday morning.
The site, called Our McFamily in the Community, isn’t meant to boast about what staffers are doing, but rather as a place for employees to share stories, uplift and inspire each other, said Michael Gonda, McDonald’s VP of global communications.
The homepage includes a story on how U.K. staffers used a social media challenge to cope with social distancing; how convenience items have been added to drive-thru menus in Australia; and how McDonald’s drive-thrus are being turned into testing sites in Israel. It also has stories from staffers in China, Romania and South Africa.
“Now more than ever, there are people who become the heart and blood and soul of everything a company stands for,” said Gonda. “They are showing employees how others are standing up and serving their communities.”
The communications team is manning the site, which will be regularly updated, but its content will not be “highly polished or produced,” Gonda said. McDonald’s in-house team is working on this effort and R/GA supported the website design.
“These are just pieces of content that get shared around, and we put it on the site,” he said. “People submit their own content. These are not ads; they are real stories about real people.”
Gonda added that the stories have elements of grit, compassion and everyday heroism.
Since the pandemic began, McDonald’s comms team noticed that remarkable but very local stories about staffers supporting their communities were being shared internally.
“It was important that we be able to share those with members of the system,” said Gonda. “Right now, people don’t want to hear from corporations speaking down. People want to hear from other people who are standing up.”
The microsite is also a way for McDonald’s to connect its 2.5 million employees in more than 100 markets. Although it’s a very large company, it is made up of “these small, powerful stories,” said Gonda.
“You can juxtapose what’s going on in Guatemala or Croatia or South Africa or Israel and you start to see a commonality of humanity and community,” said Gonda. “Serving the community connects all of these actions.”