The Southfield accounting and business advisory firm Plante & Moran PLLC says it was an early adopter of social media. And the nation’s No. 12 CPA firm used a charity challenge using Facebook as one way to celebrate the firm’s 13th consecutive year of being named to Fortune Magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For.” 

To offer a fun way to announce the firm’s placement on the Fortune list and use social media, Plante & Moran challenged partners and staff to share the good news with their personal Facebook networks. The firm provided a Facebook status update that included news on the Fortune award — and a survey link with the names of the 15 local women’s shelters the firm supports through its Plante & Moran Cares initiative. Partners and staff asked their Facebook friends to vote for the shelter they wanted to receive an additional $1,300 donation from Plante & Moran.

“Our original plan was to award one $1,300 prize to commemorate our 13th win,” explained Gordon Krater, Plante & Moran’s Managing Partner. “We had such an overwhelming response — 4,294 people visited the survey and 3,403 completed it — we decided to award the four top vote getters with donations ranging from $100 to $1,300.”

The Plante & Moran Cares initiative is Plante & Moran’s charitable outreach arm. Each fiscal year, a charitable category is selected and supported by all of the firm’s offices. This year’s focus is domestic violence shelters. The top vote getter, with 1,101 votes, was the SafeHouse in Ann Arbor. The Facebook challenge represents the first time Plante & Moran has urged the use of Facebook for P&M Cares, according to chief marketing officer Jeff Antaya.

“We regularly encourage staff to share firm announcements to their Facebook friends to help us tell the Plante & Moran story,” Antaya said. “To add Plante & Moran Cares to the message meant a whole new level of engagement among staff that was heartening to see and ultimately proved to be a new way to reinforce our caring culture.”

The Fortune 100 winners were announced Jan. 20 and the full list, which ranks Plante & Moran 26th, will appear in the Feb.7 print issue of Fortune.

Since first appearing on the Fortune Best Places to Work list in January 1999, Plante & Moran has grown from 900 staff to 1,600 and opened offices in Chicago and Elgin, Ill., Cincinnati, Flint, Monterey, Mexico, Shanghai, China and Mumbai, India.

Despite continuous growth and an expansion of service offerings, the firm preserves its profession-leading staff retention rate and unparalleled client satisfaction levels. In recent surveys, 100 percent of clients said staff were competent in their fields of discipline; further, nearly 100 percent of clients said Plante & Moran could use them as a reference and that Plante & Moran was proactive to their needs.

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