Mentorship Programs

4 Ways to Promote Your Mentorship Program

Promote mentorship programs with champions, events, mass communications, and celebrating participation. Get new ideas for boosting engagement and recruitment in this article.


Published on 

July 2, 2024

Updated on 

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So you’ve created a mentorship program, sent out invitations to all eligible participants, and are anxiously waiting for it to take off…only for you to find out participation rates aren’t as high as you had planned them to be. 

This is not an uncommon scenario when it comes to mentorship programs. That’s because simply inviting eligible participants is only part of the equation. Now it’s time to promote your mentorship program at every stage: pre-, during, and post-launch.

4 Tactics for promoting your mentorship program

Promotion is not a one-time effort—it’s a continuous strategy which leads to long-term success. The best promotion campaigns get people to take action. They make people aware of the program and motivate them to join. Effective campaigns celebrate past success and use champions, events, and mass communications to spread the word.

1. Finding Champions

Champions are leaders, managers, or past participants who have a vested interest in seeing their colleagues thrive. Engaging them boosts all other promotion efforts. They act as recruiters and ambassadors for your program. 

To find champions, identify managers and leaders who have relationships with eligible employees. ERG leaders, managers, directors, and senior executives are all a good fit for this role. Engage them through coffee chats, emails, or events to share the program’s goals and benefits. 

You can also provide them with a one-page document highlighting key information about the program and its benefits. This way, you will show them the use of mentoring as a tool for employee growth. Additional resources like blog posts, intranet posts (posts on your organization’s internal communication channels), kick-off webinars, and feedback from past participants will all help engage leaders further and turn them into champions who will promote your mentorship program.

Tiffany Futch used this exact strategy at First Horizon to turn leaders into champions and drive participation. She dedicated time to building relationships with senior leaders. She got leaders excited about the program by sharing benefits and past successes, along with the ease of use of Together. This excitement translated into increased registrations and engagement from employees.

2. Celebrate past participation

Celebrating past participation highlights star mentors and mentees and motivates others to join. When celebrating past participation, share genuine stories and real feedback. This is especially powerful for attracting mentors. Positive stories about previous programs will challenge people’s doubts about being a mentor and show the rewards.

Take the following steps to celebrate past participants:

  • Collect feedback through periodic surveys and session feedback. Ask questions about the mentorship experience. Share the feedback with future participants.
  • Share participant testimonies on your organization’s communication channels.
  • invite past participants to speak at events.

As you collect feedback and testimonials, keep a file of positive comments and use it to promote your mentoring program. AAA uses this strategy to great effect. At the end of each cohort, their program admin connects with mentors and mentees to gather feedback. These stories are shared throughout other program communications, highlighting the benefits and encouraging more employees to join.

Holcim is another organization that celebrates past participation to promote new mentoring programs. They took celebration to the next level by creating a promotional video which features real employees sharing their mentorship experiences. It’s a powerful tool that showcases the program’s impact and motivates others to participate.

3. Events

Events raise awareness, build enthusiasm, and engage participants on a deeper level. They allow personal interaction and make the program more tangible and exciting. While standard promotional tools like emails and intranet posts have their advantages, events help you speak directly to potential participants, answer their questions, and highlight the program's benefits. That’s why we’ve introduced a new feature that supports a range of events to enhance your program. These events help you engage participants at every stage, from kickoff to completion.

While there are many types of events that can help you promote your program, the following have the most impact:

  • Program kickoff – Kickoff events raise awareness and build excitement. Held at the beginning of the program, they explain the program’s purpose, how to register, and what participants can expect.
  • Office hours – Office hours offer ongoing support. They provide a space for current participants to ask questions and for potential participants to learn about the program. They can be held in-person or online.
  • Graduation ceremony Graduation ceremonies celebrate the program’s completion. They highlight achievements, share participant stories, and reinforce the program’s impact.

Organizations like AAA use events effectively to promote their mentorship program. At the end of each cohort, they host a celebration event where participants share their experiences. This event recognizes participants’ achievements and inspires future involvement. It shows the program’s value and encourages others to join.

4. Mass communications

Mass communications help raise awareness, drive engagement, and keep your program top of mind for all participants. Use tailored campaigns, multiple communications, and multiple channels to make full use of this strategy.

Running tailored campaigns

Segment your audience based on roles, needs, and preferences. For example, mentors might value professional development, while mentees look for career guidance. Use feedback to refine your messages. Hubspot used tailored campaigns to promote their mentorship program with great success. They had fewer mentors than mentees, so they sent specific invites to mentors. This focus helped them exceed registration targets by 2.3X.

Sending multiple communications

It takes more than one message to make people aware of your program. Frequent reminders about events and the program itself will help you increase participation. Elizabeth Camacho from Affirm spoke about how they used this strategy in our latest customer panel. Affirm didn't rely solely on emails from the program administrator to get people to participate in their mentoring program. Instead, they included snippets in their weekly company newsletter, and made sure they reached all employees multiple times.

Use multiple channels

Using different channels prevents over-reliance on email. Tap into your intranet, MS Teams or Slack, newsletters, all-hands meetings, and even traditional methods like flyers. Different channels have different dynamics, and using variety will help you make sure you reach everyone. MCI Group's success story highlights this approach. They use multiple channels to create awareness and make sure their mentorship program remains top of mind for employees.

Example promotion schedules

To promote your mentorship program effectively, you need to make schedules. We’ve created three different schedule templates that you can use as examples to build your own.

1. Registration

A standard template for a registration promotion schedule

The registration schedule will help you promote your mentorship program once your program design is finalized. If you look at the schedule, we have activities planned 30 days from registration all the way up to two days after the kickoff.

  • Begin your promotion with a leadership/management tour on Zoom or a similar tool. This will help you get support from influential figures within the organization.
  • Use mass communications to announce the program. Send out program announcements and tailored communications to mentors and mentees.
  • Schedule your kickoff event to be held within a week, or even a day, of registration opening. The kickoff event formally introduces the program, explains how to register, and provides an overview of what participants can expect.
  • As the registration deadline approaches, set up reminders and additional posts to ensure participants register before the deadline. 

Together can help automate invitations, reminders, and notifications, thereby reducing the manual effort required and ensuring consistency.

2. Post-launch

After the initial launch of your mentorship program, you need continued promotion to maintain momentum. The following is an example of a structured post-launch promotion schedule which will help you keep your participants engaged.

A post-launch template to keep participants engaged

Immediately after launch, focus on maintaining engagement through regular touchpoints. 

  • Host weekly or monthly office hours so participants can ask questions and seek guidance.
  • Share updates on program participation. Post stories, quotes, and highlights from participants on your intranet every month.
  • Run quarterly campaigns targeting both champions and potential mentors for continuous recruitment.
  • Regularly celebrate the successes and milestones of your program. Share testimonials, feedback, and stories from participants through multiple communication channels.
  • Send periodic reminders about key program activities and upcoming events. Reminders for registration deadlines, office hours, and other important dates will keep participants informed and engaged.

Build on this template and get regular engagement and continuous recruitment throughout the mentorship program.

3. Post-program

After your mentorship program concludes, you need to set the stage for future iterations. A structured post-program promotion schedule will help you maintain engagement and prepare for the next cohort.

A post-program template to drive future engagement

We discussed the importance of champions earlier in this article. Start recruiting champions as soon as the mentorship program ends – these will come from your most engaged participants and will help you recruit more participants in the future.

  • Host a graduation ceremony shortly after the program ends. Use this event to celebrate the accomplishments of participants and highlight the program’s success.
  • Communicate the program's impact to the wider organization. Use statistics, stories, and testimonials to show how the program met its goals and benefited participants.
  • Send a wrap-up email summarizing the program’s outcomes. Include key metrics, success stories, and feedback from participants.
  • Use the positive feedback and success stories from the program to recruit future participants.
  • Continue to engage with champions and advocates who supported the program. Share the outcomes and successes with them and seek their feedback.

In addition to all of the above, start planning the next iteration of the program. Use the feedback and data collected from the current cohort to refine and improve your next program.

How to promote your mentorship program – the complete masterclass

Need more ideas to promote your mentorship program? This article is based on a detailed, 45-minute masterclass on the same topic. We discuss specific use cases, real world examples, and detailed ideas that will help you promote your mentoring programs, recruit champions, and drive engagement through the roof. Watch the full masterclass today.

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