How better to promote water conservation nationally and internationally than to include participants who were as like-minded as Rain Bird, the leading irrigation company, in promoting water conservation and efficiency measures. The agency conceptualized and developed an online contest that support Rain Bird’s Brand core value, the Intelligent Use Of Water, and engaged with the next generation of leaders and innovators. The agency also executed a national outreach campaign that encompassed traditional media relations, digital and grassroots marketing.
The agency implemented a crowd-sourced philanthropy model, built an interactive community-driven website and formed a network of partners of trade and consumer media, trade associations, and non-profits to help seed the community by informing their networks, readers, and subscribers about the awards. A microsite was created and optimized for search and the agency implemented online campaigns to drive interest on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace platforms. Online forums for filmmakers were also tapped.
Participants uploaded their projects to the website and added descriptions, photos and videos about the project. An independent panel of experts was selected as a jury to evaluate projects based on demonstrated leadership, innovation and implementation of water-efficient measures.
In order to boost awareness of water conservation, nationally, the agency challenged the industry, water conservationists, public works and the community-at-large, to enter their water conservation projects in an online contest — the Rain Bird Awards Initiative.
Four awards were given, ranging from $1,500 to $10,000. Nearly 100 important water conservation projects were submitted to the program, which cumulatively netted over 275,000 votes. The website, newly launched, received tens of thousands of visitors. Media coverage included Fast Company and the Associated Press. Most importantly, the program netted wide coverage for the projects in their community newspapers.