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"Corona Crash"

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intellicents wins multiple awards for “Corona Crash” survival kit

March 30, 2021

intellicents has won both a first-place and second-place Eddy Award from Pensions & Investments newspaper for their efforts in communicating investment advice during Covid-19 for clients and specifically, Vermeer Manufacturing.

The Eddy Awards are given annually to plan sponsors and service providers for excellence in communications campaigns. Awards are given in six categories: plan conversions/403(b) consolidations, financial wellness, plan transitions, pre-retirement preparation, ongoing investment education and special projects. intellicents won both first place as a service provider and second place as a collaborative submission with their client, Vermeer Manufacturing, in the special projects category.

In a time when plan sponsors and their employees needed advice the most - but meeting in-person was no longer an option – intellicents made it their mission to help relieve the stress of HR by providing tools/communications that would keep their clients’ workforce calm and collected during the “Corona Crash.” What started out as a couple of short written participant communication pieces on the most common questions the intellicents participant call center was receiving, evolved into a 16-page digital brochure titled, “your investment roadmap on surviving the Corona Crash.”

The Corona Crash campaign was made up of a series of educational articles designed and authored by intellicents which were then emailed to clients multiple times a week for three months straight. Plan sponsors would then distribute each of these pieces as they saw fit. Vermeer Manufacturing was a client that truly embraced these resources. Each piece they received from intellicents was distributed by HR through “The Voice”, an internal communications platform at Vermeer that is available to team members on both mobile app and desktop web browser. These 401(k) communications were made available in the platform’s newsfeed and were also sent out through broadcasts, which notify team members of the post via email and mobile push notification. It is Vermeer’s largest communication channel and reaches nearly 86% of team members at Vermeer.

“This really just started out as a way to better serve our plan sponsor clients during the pandemic,” commented Brad Arends, Co-Founder and CEO of intellicents. “Thinking back to the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, we knew there would be a lot of worry, questions, and borderline panic from both plan sponsors and their participants. This time, however, we were faced with travel bans, point of entry restrictions, and mandatory working from home. We not only wanted our consultants, advisors, and relationship managers to reach out to all of our clients via phone, but we developed a digital communication campaign to touch our clients almost every other day.”

Clients such as Vermeer were concerned about their plan and how participants would react to the pandemic regarding their 401(k) but had other much more pressing HR issues to deal with daily. intellicents wanted to relieve that pressure from HR, and virtually hold each participant’s hands on key emotional investment issues they knew they were going to go through -- thereby relieving their panic.

“Thanks to our partners at intellicents for helping create a strong communication campaign for our team members throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While our team members’ physical health and safety is front and center to our concerns, we also value their financial health,” stated Vermeer Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Steve Van Dusseldorp. “We are proud to offer comprehensive financial benefits for our team members in partnership with intellicents.”

When asked how intellicents managed to successfully create/execute such a timely campaign, Arends responded by stating that “hardship often brings out the best in people. I can say without hesitation that this was the case with all of our people in 2020. Never has so much been asked of us, yet never have I been so proud to be working with such a great team. It truly will be a year that none of us will ever forget, but what we have accomplished together under such circumstances is phenomenal.”

You can access the entire “Corona Crash” survival kit on the intellicents’ website here.

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