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iTalent Digital - Internal Communications Campaign


Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Company: iTalent Digital, San Jose, CA
Company Description: iTalent Digital is an innovative global woman- and minority-owned digital consulting company headquartered in San Jose, California. It helps companies in diverse industries do what they do better through a suite of digital transformation services including enterprise collaboration, automated mobile solutions, BI, AI, cloud integration, software development, and transformation management.
Nomination Category: Communications & Marketing Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Internal Communications - 1,000 or More Employees

Nomination Title: Microsoft: Motivate – Educate – Celebrate Campaign Among Microsoft PowerBI Community Members

In up to 525 words, tell the judges about the nominated campaign: its genesis, development, planning, commission, and performance to date:

In August 2016, Microsoft Power BI launched its Motivate–Educate–Celebrate campaign to foster engagement among members of its online community. The central goal of the campaign was to stimulate contributions from users, which boosts the overall value of the community. The initiative was rolled out to over 700,000 registered members globally.

The Motivate–Educate–Celebrate campaign was created and led by Sandy Rivas, Community Strategy Manager for Microsoft’s Business Application Group. The other members of this all-woman team are Jessica Cook, Mackenzie Lyng, and Anh-Thu Chang.

The campaign was built on three pillars:

1. MOTIVATE members to contribute and engage by building trust and demonstrating value
2. EDUCATE people by facilitating access to information, displaying examples of what other members have done, and providing more opportunities to participate
3. CELEBRATE the users through badges and recognition

Step one was creating the Data Stories Gallery, where members post examples of how they use Power BI to tell a story or display insights from their data. Each entry is open to upvotes and comments from other members.

Each month, users are presented with a theme for Gallery entries, and the submitted stories are evaluated by the community staff or industry guest judges. The best data stories are highlighted, with one being selected as the “Story of the Month.” The best submissions are also featured on the Power BI blog, which drives additional traffic to the Gallery and boosts exposure for the contributor.

Members are excited to show off their work and connect with other talented peers. Additionally, the Data Stories Gallery has become a great resource to power other forms of engagement – for example, turning selected reports into examples during a “Dashboard Makeover” webinar that turned out to be the most-attended session to date!

Once the Data Stories Gallery launched successfully, the community team replicated its success across other new Galleries. Together, these Galleries provide users with the information they want, when they want it. This builds trust and motivates them to participate in the community, which in turn provides them with recognition and feedback that adds value and facilitates learning, creating a virtuous Demonstrate – Participate – Celebrate cycle.

The strength of this model is that the learning and inspiration comes from what other users are doing, not what Microsoft does. Rather than one-to-many communication, Microsoft fosters an environment where peers can learn from each other, a key driver of community value.


The launch of the Data Stories Gallery and the subsequent additional galleries have been an enormous success for the Microsoft Power BI Community team in terms of driving monthly active users, building engagement, and creating a pipeline of quality content. Some metrics include:

-300,000 active monthly community members
-12,000 monthly forum posts and replies
-Over 700 submitted pieces of content
-5 Galleries created to date with over 1.1 million views
-Increase of 65% in the amount of quality content generated each month
-Galleries are consistently in the top 5 of all forums for customer traffic

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the team that created and carried out the nominated communications campaign (up to 125 words):

Sandy Rivas is a Program Manager at Microsoft. A 19+ year Microsoft veteran, she manages allthe Power User Communitiesat Microsoft for the Business Application Group. Her real-world use of Power BI with her brother’s business has given her a keen insight into self-service BI. Sandy has a passion for empowering customers to master their data through self-service, whether it is seeking data insights, creating useful applications or automating workflows. Her practical experience & enthusiasm are contagious!

When she’s not innovating creative and fun ways for online and in-person community content and events that customers value, she enjoys architecting her environment to surround herself with things that she loves and that make her happy - especially her dogs Domino and Oreo.