How Cadmus’ innovative grassroots outreach approach helped National Grid drive energy-efficiency program awareness
National Grid is one of the largest energy companies in the world, delivering electricity and natural gas to millions of customers in Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island. For the past 25 years, National Grid has produced creative community outreach programs that build upon customers’ interest in sustainability, efficiency, and protecting the environment.
Challenge: National Grid wanted to build awareness of its energy-efficiency program offerings among residential customers, as well as support broader marketing goals, including its “Here with you. Here for you,” brand promise. The utility asked Cadmus to develop a campaign that would engage the community, educate customers on the benefits of energy-efficient equipment and practices, and improve awareness of National Grid’s efficiency programs.
Solution: Cadmus, along with its agency partners Match Drive and wedü, developed a grassroots-style campaign to engage a diverse customer base, educate the community, and encourage energy efficiency through awareness of the utility’s programs. Tapping into a resource synonymous with community information-sharing—the local, public library—as a campaign partner and resource, Cadmus developed a unique campaign initiative that rallied the community and engaged customers in National Grid’s programs.
The Light Up Your Library Community Tour brought together nine local Massachusetts and Rhode Island libraries through a month-long series of energy-efficiency events, energy-saving light bulb fundraisers, and a contest to win an ENERGY STAR® lighting makeover. Specific components of the campaign included:
- Library Community Events: Events featured fun and interactive energy-efficiency exhibits and entertainment with games, activities, prizes, and product demonstrations. As the tour’s lead media partner, Radio Disney provided pre-event promotion and exciting on-site events.
- ENERGY STAR® Lighting Makeover Contest: All nine participating libraries were featured on National Grid’s Facebook pages, where customers could vote online and invite their social networks to join in, spurring viral, online sharing of the campaign’s message.
- Social Media Outreach: Cadmus and partners used all of National Grid’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube) throughout the duration of the campaign and at each event to spark and sustain customers’ excitement and interaction.
- Library Fundraising: Libraries paired a fundraising component with each event, raising money through sales of ENERGY STAR® light bulbs through the National Grid Fundraiser Program, which donated the bulbs to the library. Sales proceeds benefited Friends of the Library.
- Home Energy Kits: National Grid donated home energy kits—consisting of electricity meters, educational information, and energy tips—for interested libraries in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to distribute to support patrons’ efforts to begin their energy-efficiency education in their own homes.
Cadmus ran a variety of paid media placements to support the entire campaign, including Facebook ads, banner ads, radio spots, and print ads. To create awareness of the overall campaign and events, we supplemented the paid advertisements with direct outreach, including press releases, media alerts, community calendar lists, and media liaison services for the libraries.
After the contest’s finale, the winning libraries from each state received their makeovers, a Radio Disney celebration event, and congratulatory print insertions and billboards.
Results: Light Up Your Library was one of National Grid’s most successful grassroots community outreach campaigns to date. By building relationships with local libraries and their communities, National Grid reinforced its brand promise as a community partner. The campaign not only drove leads into National Grid’s energy-efficiency programs, it also expanded National Grid’s online presence and reach. The campaign’s social media impact has also helped strengthen subsequent outreach campaigns.
Campaign result highlights:
- Generated 889 energy-efficiency program leads directly from social media
- Received more than 5,400 online contest votes
- Drove 800 community members and citizens to the live events
- Created more than 8,100 new Facebook fans—an increase of 115 percent in Massachusetts and 29 percent in Rhode Island in just one month
- Sold over 1,700 energy efficient light bulbs, saving 838,206 kWh
- Donated more than 50 Home Energy Kits to various libraries
- Generated 120,444,064 total media impressions
- Donated $15,000 each to two local libraries for ENERGY STAR® lighting makeovers
See Light Up Your Library for yourself in this compilation video.
Posts on National Grid’s social media accounts, like these, built and sustained excitement around the campaign.