Problem to Solve
As COVID-19 vaccination rates increased in 2021, employers wrestled with developing and implementing a sensible return-to-work strategy for their remote employees. Employers needed to know: When is the right time to allow a return to the workplace? How can this be achieved most safely and effectively?
Absent any prior experience for reopening a workplace during a pandemic, employers naturally turned to health care authorities for guidance related to COVID-19. One of the nation’s largest and most respected health insurers emerged as a leading resource for employers and brokers about recommended COVID-19 safety measures. Thus, it became paramount for this insurer to ensure all of its public-facing COVID-19 information be current, accurate and pertinent to the needs of employers and their employees.
Owing to the rapid and changing pace of information related to COVID-19, this insurer sought to refresh a microsite dedicated to COVID-19 information for employers and brokers. However, the insurer’s digital division overseeing updates like these was being reorganized, and the microsite’s web host was being replaced. Amid these substantial changes, the insurer needed an experienced, go-to resource to expertly manage the microsite update. The insurer engaged Freed Associates (Freed) for this effort, in part based on Freed’s long-standing relationship with this insurer, as well as Freed’s history of project management successes.
Strategy and Tactics
Based on input from the insurer’s commercial products division, which works directly with insurance brokers and employers, and the insurer’s digital strategy team, Freed interfaced with the microsite’s web host team to devise a site redevelopment plan. The goal of the microsite redevelopment was to meet both the insurer’s direct business requirements as well as employers’ COVID-19 information needs. All of Freed’s work needed to be done within five months, per the insurer, due to the rapidly changing environment of COVID-19.
Compounding Freed’s degree of difficulty with this work was the fact that the insurer lacked an overarching digital strategy to guide its decision-making, particularly involving commercial products communications. So in addition to supervising the new microsite’s creation, Freed would also need to begin formulating a new business-to-business digital strategy. Additionally, because of the pending departure of the insurer’s microsite host, all of the site’s architecture and design would have to be recreated. A new website host would then assume responsibility for the revised microsite.
Besides ensuring alignment on the revised site’s layout, design and themes, Freed focused on overseeing the microsite’s content creation. The revamped site’s content needs involved gathering the latest COVID-19 input from all relevant federal, state and local authorities, as well as integrating new information on workplace safety measures from recognized health experts.
Freed regularly met with all parties involved with the revised microsite’s design, content and search optimization, and served as a liaison to the insurer’s commercial products division to ensure the site’s revisions would meet the division’s business needs. Before the updated site could be finalized and go-live, Freed needed to clear the site through legal review and user acceptance testing, which it successfully accomplished.
Simultaneously to its site-specific work, Freed also developed and facilitated execution of the commercial product division’s go-to-market communications regarding the revised microsite. This was an important component for internal and external stakeholders, as well as for publicly establishing the insurer’s thought leadership position regarding COVID-19 safety measures in the workplace.
Lastly, Freed developed a long-term maintenance plan to ensure the rapidly changing content was updated and managed successfully.
The insurer’s new microsite, with all-new information on recommended COVID-19 protocols and safety measures for the workforce, was completed seamlessly and on-time. The insurer’s transition of web hosts for the microsite also proceeded without issue. Through this work, Freed developed a repeatable process for the insurer to manage its digital microsites on its own, as well as a foundation for the insurer to create a new digital strategy.
Representatives from the insurer’s commercial products and digital divisions were pleased not only with the outcome of Freed’s project management efforts, but also with the involvement itself. They credited Freed for addressing and alleviating initial internal concerns over a challenging website changeover and successfully achieving a positive outcome through Freed’s high-caliber project management efforts.