Panasonic Revamps Bring Your Child to Work Day With an Educational Virtual Family Hour

Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky participates in event as part of larger online programming initiative

headshot of a woman over a computer screen
Ledecky will chat about her training regimen in quarantine and STEM education during the Panasonic Virtual Family Hour.
Panasonic

Panasonic normally hosts a Bring Your Child to Work Day every April, but with the Covid-19 pandemic forcing its employees to work from home indefinitely, the electronics company had to get creative with its internal family-friendly programming.

To offer its 270,000-plus employees and their families an educational work break, the company will host its first virtual Panasonic Family Hour today, featuring competitive swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky.

The online event includes a conversation with Lauren Sallata, chief marketing officer of Panasonic North America, and Ledecky, who became a Panasonic ambassador as part of the “What Moves Us” campaign, which debuted at CES in January. As a brand ambassador, Ledecky advocates for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

“The well-being of our employees and their families is a priority for us, and we want to provide as much support as possible, whether through helpful resources, sponsoring virtual social time or offering learning and professional development resources,” Sallata said in a statement. “We’ve held public events that employees enjoyed with other team Panasonic members, but this internal event is the most recent example of how we’ve managed to adapt and foster a supportive community.”

During the event, Ledecky will discuss how she’s balanced education while training for the Olympics, why she thinks STEM programs are important for youth and how her training regimen has been impacted by the 2020 Olympics postponement and her local shelter-in-place restrictions.

The event, streamed using Microsoft Teams’ live event platform, will also have a Q&A component with Ledecky, educational activity for students and their parents and screen the swimmer’s “What Moves Us” campaign video.

Sallata said the virtual family hour event aligns with the brand’s Bring Your Child to Work Day’s objectives to “educate youth not only about what Panasonic is doing, but ultimately motivate them to think about the diverse possibilities of STEM.”

With physical gatherings not an option for any brands indefinitely, Panasonic is leaning into online events to engage consumers, too.

In April, Panasonic partnered Sakura Kokumai, the first American to qualify for the Olympic Games in karate, for a three-part series of karate and kata on Instagram Live, which are available to view on the brand’s YouTube channel.

The brand has also partnered with Ledecky to introduce her Dive Into STEM education program, which offers digital educational resources to middle and high school students to build career opportunities, to the Japanese market with an online event on May 31 that will stream live on YouTube. Titled “The power to create the future,” the event has selected students to form groups and conduct interviews with STEM education professionals. Afterward, they will make presentations about what they learned while Ledecky will speak about the program.

Sallata said the brand plans to host more public virtual events with brand ambassadors this year, including a discussion about mental health with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and a chat with Olympic long jumper and motivational speaker Lex Gillette.

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