Overview – Barbecue cards

Barbecue cards are individual A5 cards packaged in a purpose-made folder. Each card addresses a ‘hot’ issue. The cards summaries the organisation’s response in a simple bullet-point format to provide employees with the information they can easily refer to and recall. This enables employees to readily communicate the organisation’s position on those ‘hot’ issues while at work or in social settings, such as barbeques. ‘Hot’ issues might surface in the course of poor customer experiences, negative or misinformed media coverage, or questionable organisational practices.

Grey TickThis tactic is useful for:


Delivering consistent messages about sensitive or controversial topics in a concise and memorable way.
Giving employees concise responses to ‘hot issues’ in a cost-effective print format. One or several cards can be pinned to the wall of employees’ workstations.
Providing front-line employees with easy-to-read information when a printed reference is critical to job performance (e.g. call centres or contact centres).
Empowering employees through communication so they become informed champions and advocates of the organisation.
Communicating information that may need to be refreshed or updated on a regular basis. The format allows for a single card to be produced rather than reprinting an entire booklet.

cloudyThings to consider:


Determine the organisation’s critical ‘hot’ issues.
Articulate memorable responses that reflect the organisation’s stand on those issues.
Assign one issue per card.
Express the issue in the words of customers or the public so its significance resonates with employees, e.g. “Why can’t I speak with a real person instead of getting an automated response when – I call your company?” Use that statement or question as the header at the top of the card.
List several bullet points beneath the header that encapsulates key aspects of the organisation’s response. This provides at-a-glance information.
Provide a more detailed explanation on the reverse side of the card, including supporting facts and figures.
Produce new cards as new issues arise for employees to add to their packs.
Update the information of existing cards as required.

Tone BulbHelpful tip:


Test the draft content of barbecue cards via focus groups. This ensures the information and key messages are articulated in a way that resonates with employees. Include a feedback mechanism on the cards, e.g. telephone number or email address of a designated person, to respond to any additional employee questions or concerns.
Category: Print