Case Study: Connected Life, Irish Life’s Employee Magazine

Content Marketing Awards 2017 Finalist

Content Marketing Awards 2017 Finalist


This work won us recognition from the Content Marketing Institute as a finalist in their 2017 Content Marketing Awards. There were more than 1,100 entries, representing companies all over the world and across 92 categories, covering every aspect of content marketing, from strategy and distribution to design and editorial. We were chosen as a finalist in the Internal/Employee Publication category and couldn’t be more proud of this achievement.



Client: Irish Life
Publisher: Zahra Media Group
Services: Creative direction, content strategy and identity for the new magazine
Audience: Employees of Irish Life


Irish Life is one of Ireland’s leading and most trusted financial institutions, providing life, pensions and investment products, and health insurance for over 1 million customers. The group is also the largest provider of company pensions, life insurance and income protection for companies and affinity groups across Ireland. In addition, the Irish Life Investment Managers division manages assets in excess of €50bn on behalf of multinational corporations, charities and domestics.

In 2016, Irish Life bought the two leading health insurance providers in Ireland and formed Irish Life Health. In this context, it was crucial that the new magazine build a sense of belonging and community amongst new employees who were adjusting to a new company culture.


Connected Life magazine is distributed to 2,900 employees of Irish Life who are spread across various physical sites and businesses. It is also distributed to retired employees to reinforce a sense of belonging and to support the culture of proactive engagement Irish Life is known for.

Cover of Irish Life Connected Life Magazine

Irish Life Connected Life Magazine



Zahra Media Group was asked to develop a creative direction, content strategy and identity for the new magazine.

From initial mood boards showing our layout approach including the cover style, photography treatment and a mix of illustrations, through to advising on paper stock and size of the magazine, we brought the client through the creative process. We also created an editorial approach to achieve the magazine’s goal of fostering a better understanding of Irish Life’s businesses, strategic priorities and community activities.

The final result was a 44-page magazine containing a mix of stories and snippets from across the different businesses, features and thought-leadership articles as well as health and wellbeing content, recipes and a fun crossword puzzle (which we created especially for the client).


“Our ambition was for a high-end, quality, conversation starter of a magazine to support our employee engagement programme where we seek to build a community of people who support our business. We wanted to get to a magazine people would choose to read – not a staid, corporate, “brochure” but something they’d choose to pick up, spend time with and – maybe most important of all – take action as a result of something they’d read. Working with Zahra gave us the focus and inspiration we needed – they shared our vision and partnered with us every step of the way to successful delivery. Connected Life not only has a readership, but a circulation and for us that’s something really valuable.”  – Caroline Collins, Group Head of Communications and Engagement, Irish Life



In terms of employee engagement, the aforementioned crossword competition received over 600 entries, just over 16%.

A reader survey was conducted via SurveyMonkey that all employees were invited to complete with their feedback. A total of 516 employees completed the survey.

  • Over 98% feel that Connected Life achieves its objective of fostering a better understanding of the company’s businesses, priorities and CSR activities.
  • Over 97% agree that the magazine has helped them to understand what their colleagues and other teams do.
  • 91% agree or strongly agree that they feel more engaged with the company after reading Connected Life.
  • As the magazine is a brand new publication, the client wanted to measure how often employees would like to receive the magazine – twice a year or more frequently than that. Over 61% would like to receive the magazine 3 times a year.

These results clearly demonstrate that in terms of an employee engagement tool, the magazine has performed strongly with its first edition and the fact that employees have shown an appetite to receive the magazine 3 times a year is a very positive indication of the value they place on it as an engagement tool.


If you’re struggling with employee engagement within your organisation, get in touch. We’d love to help!

Zahra Media Group:
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