Creative Places to Advertise your Whistle-Blower Hotline

A couple of weeks ago my Wildly Effective Compliance Officer Tip of the Week was about creative places to put your whistle-blower hotline.  Since that day, I’ve received several notes about creative places to put the whistle-blower hotline to advertise it.  If your hotline number is only on a poster in the break-room, why not try one of the following to spice things up?

Mobile Phone Stand


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The clever folks at Balfour Beatty had a problem.  Huge numbers of their workforce never come to an office.  In fact, most of them work on construction sites all day.  Keely Hibbit, Group Head of Business Integrity, and her team sourced a mobile phone stand with the whistle-blower hotline number on it.  The stand lays flat on the back of a cell phone, then clicks open to hold the phone up (like a snap bracelet for any of you alive in the 90’s). 

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The hotline number appears every time the person uses the phone, making it highly visible to everyone. 

In the Bag

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The Royal Mail Group (like the U.S. Post Office for the UK) hosted a series of leadership meetings focused on compliance and ethics.  The take-away gift was a cloth carrying bag with the words, “Ethics is my Bag” emblazoned on it.  Inside was a pocket-sized fold-out guide to compliance at the Royal Mail for managers, including the number for the whistle-blower hotline.  Not only did they get to advertise the whistle-blower hotline, they also got senior managers publicly carrying around the message that ethics were core to their culture. 


During Ethics and Compliance Week at a company I worked with, they’d put the number to the whistle-blower line as the screen-saver on every computer in the company, so that people could see it everywhere when they walked around the open-plan office.  Although this was only a week-long exercise, the impact was profound in highlighting the availability of the whistle-blower hotline.


One company I heard from puts the number for the whistle-blower hotline on the payslips of the employees.  You can bet the employees take a look at their payslips once a month, and this reinforces the compliance message.

Other Places

In addition to the ideas above, some companies put the whistle-blower hotline number on pens or post-it notes.  Others create a business-card-sized hand-out that goes to every new employee, which can commonly be found on employee pin-boards or in their wallet.  Still others add the number to the lanyards people wear around their neck to hold their badges, or put them on the clear-plastic covers people use to hold their employee ID cards.

Wherever you put the whistle-blower hotline number, be creative so that employees are surprised.  If you’re doing something creative with your whistle-blower hotline, send me an email at or add it to the comments.  Who knows, your idea may be included in a future blog!