Knowledge Universe Family & Employee Engagement Campaign

Driving employees and families to participate in an annual engagement survey.


Knowledge Universe is the largest for-profit provider of early childhood education in the U.S. and was recently acquired by Partners Group.

The Assignment

Every year, KU launches two important annual surveys. One survey measures overall family engagement. The other survey measures employee engagement, targeting education center Directors and Teachers. Initial attempts to drive participation for both audiences had stagnated, so KU looked to Vignette to help develop an internal communications strategy and creative solutions to improve participation.

Key Insights

  • Center Directors and Teachers were a key touchpoint of the relationship between KU and families, to help encourage family participation.
  • Families are a difficult audience to reach, and KU has always been fighting the perception by both Center Directors, Teachers and Families as a “corporate caregiver” over “family caregiver”.
  • Center Directors and Teachers have minimal break time as they are always with their students so how they are reached, engaged and what they are being asked to do as a result of the communication must be important and require little of their time.

Theme Development, Message Points and Visual Center

While Vignette was already working with KU on other assignments and had been exposed to the company’s employer branding; we also had an opportunity to elevate the employer branding on this assignment. With a goal to drive survey participation, we first needed a way to connect with both Families and Employees. We began with initial working sessions to gain a deeper understanding of Family and Employee perceptions, frustrations, wants and needs. With a firm grip on our audience we then developed key message points and a hierarchy to help our team and KU align on delivering messages that would drive the action we were looking for. Additionally, we developed an employer branding deliverable called a Visual Center, acting much like a style guide that aligned our team and KU on the core branded elements such as fonts, colors, guidance on use of imagery, graphics and design explorations that bring the elevated employer brand and visual essence to life. The result of this process created the campaign theme of “Yes, we hear you” along with a stylized set of tools to guide the creation of our main vehicles.

Campaign Channels, Tactics and Vehicles

    • Email – Awareness and activation commenced with emails sent to communicate the purpose of the short campaign. We targeted families and employees with messaging specific to what we were asking of them and why, driving their attention to the video.
    • Video – The crown jewel of the campaign was a video called “Tuesday, 7:50AM.” The video is a highly-creative execution that delivers an emotional context to the moments before a parent drops their child off at one of KU’s centers. The message to families was, “We know, they mean the world to us, too. And this is why we need your input in our survey so we can continue to provide the best care possible for your family.” We provided full service video capabilities including  developing the video concept, aligning KU’s CEO to the concept and campaign plan, script development, managed all casting, directed, shot and, edited the video and prepared it for distribution.

  • Posters – We developed a few different posters that communicate the campaign’s message and drive attention to participate to be hung in education centers

  • Flip Card – a condensed printed piece of collateral was created  as a coaching guide to help encourage Center Directors and Teachers to both drive Family and employee participation

  • Social – The video was hosted on the KU’s YouTube channel, accessible via a campaign landing page, and available on KU’s social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The social campaign encouraged education center participation which resulted in a high engagement. Centers received printed materials in the form of a large thought bubble where they would write a message, take  selfie of themselves and post or with other co-workers and children.  
  • Newsletter – We created a special edition of KU’s corporate newsletter, Canvas. We used this vehicle to provide a deeper explanation of the campaign’s purpose and drive immediate participation.


The outcome of the short campaign delivered on our mutual KPIs. Final family and employee engagement participation was higher than expected, with well over 90% participation.


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