PR Oscar Season is Upon Us
Yesterday, I took a quick trip to D.C. to attend the PR News CSR Awards Luncheon as we were nominated for the work we did with Recyclebank during Earth Month last year. Our submission, “Gamification Goes Green: Recyclebank’s Green Your Home Challenge Sparks Eco-friendly Actions” was one of the finalists in the Social Good category.
I know everyone always says this (and usually they are lying), but it really was amazing to have even been nominated. In our category alone there were some powerful campaigns up for consideration, like SAP’s project to empower farmers in Ghana with mobile technology; Donna Karen’s Urban Zen Foundation and its work to rebuild Haiti; and the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company‘s efforts to support our nation’s firefighters. I sat with the CSR team from JetBlue, who won for their work with Company 20 on the “Soar with Reading” literacy campaign.
Although we didn’t end up winning, we were honestly thrilled to come away with an honorable mention for our efforts. Here is the full list of winners and honorable mentions.
As part of the awards ceremony, each recipient was asked to share lessons learned from their efforts. This got me thinking about what we have learned from our work communicating messages about sustainability.
My answer? Keep it simple.
Recyclebank has a complex story, but in the simplest form, it’s about motivating people to change how they consume and dispose of things. The goal is to realize a world without waste, using a constantly evolving definition of waste. We try to simplify this message with the media as much as possible, making the consumer and environmental benefits of Recyclebank’s program shine through. Inherent in communicating this vision; however, is connecting with consumers in a meaningful way so they understand the impact their individual actions can have on the planet (and their wallets!). The message needs to be clear and the “ask” needs to be easy to understand…and a little fun always helps! Recyclebank has used different gaming techniques — quizzes, challenges, prizes — to engage people online and offline. This helps get people’s attention, which is half the battle when you are trying to communicate in a noisy world.
So although we didn’t win the grand prize, I’m still really proud of the Recyclebank team – Jeff Harse, our delightful in-house leader at Recyclebank, and the Bateman team of Elissa Ehrlich, Laura Moen, Anna Vaverka and our fearless intern Ling Tran — has done to date. I’m also super proud that thanks to my thoughtful seat selection, I won the Harry and David candy tower at our table. My son thought I was the hottest ticket in town when I brought those beautiful boxes home, so that was enough for me.
We’ve got the SABRE awards coming up in May. Our work with Recyclebank is nominated for a Gold Sabre award in the Consumer Marketing (new product) category, so wish us luck!