Water. We can’t live without it. Unfortunately, every day nearly one billion people lack access to this most basic necessity. Dow is committed to being part of the solution and to raising the global profile of the issue in order to spur change and make a difference.
Together with Live Earth, GolinHarris (GH) developed a global platform to spark a worldwide movement to help put an end to the crisis and position Dow as a leader in water sustainability and solutions.
On April 18, 2010, 200 cities, across 81 countries on six continents came together to take part in the Dow Live Earth Run for Water as a kick off to Earth Week. The Dow Live Earth Run for Water is the largest solutions-based initiative on record consisting of 6 km run/walks (the average distance many women and children walk every day to fetch water), as well as concerts and educational activities taking place over the course of 24 hours all over the world.
Primary objectives for the event included:
· Increase familiarity of Dow’s commitment to sustainability and the global water crisis by 10 percent globallyamong key stakeholders
· Activate a global platform in at least 100 cities around the world on a single day to create a tipping point for the issue
· Build Dow’s relationship with the NGO community by securing at least 10 NGO partners for the event
· Create awareness of the program worldwide through targeted traditional and social media outreach, securing at least 500 million media impressions worldwide
· Engage at least 50 percent of Dow’s 52,000 employees in the event
The Dow Live Earth Run for Water targeted:
Research & Planning
Custom research commissioned by GH identified water as the resonating issue among our key influential audience and an area where both Dow and Live Earth have credibility to participate. The research also helped guide the platform and message development with the following insights:
· No one company was dominating the “water space” in the minds of our target audience, offering Dow and Live Earth an opportune moment to lead the conversation in this area.
· The ‘global water crisis’ galvanized interest, but the ability to be part of the solution motivated action. From this research, we knew our platform needed to be participatory.
· Our target audiences appreciated being part of a local effort to help solve a global problem, making it important that our platform laddered up from local to global.
Armed with this research, GolinHarris created the Dow Live Earth Run for Water – the largest single-day event in history aimed to ignite a global movement to raise awareness for the safe drinking water crisis. Using a sophisticated distributed-event model, we:
· Built a network of partners around the globe including race directors and experts, agency and NGO partners, local governments and celebrity supporters.
· Developed a robust global communications campaign that leveraged events, key milestones, local news hooks, the power of viral media and celebrities, athletes, the running community and impassioned advocates to build chatter and interest during and leading up to the event to ensure a steady drumbeat of news globally.
· Activated a global network of NGOs in an effort to increase Dow’s credibility among the NGO community, as well as to ensure local money raised would benefit local communities.
· Created a unique and impactful employee engagement program that generated pride among Dow’s 52,000 employees and made it easy for them to participate in their own markets.
Global Event Activation: To bring the event vision to life and successfully activate in hundreds of cities on a single day, GH and Live Earth identified and partnered with leading experts from around the world in areas of race development and event activation. To ensure consistency in event and message penetration, we developed an online resource center – containing key communications tools, artwork and event activation templates – that would serve as a “one-stop-shop” for our partners to execute the global event locally.
Worldwide Communications Campaign: We created a global communications campaign, hosting events and activities that could be customized and implemented by local PR agencies, NGOs and other partners around the world. We also developed a global crisis preparedness plan to ensure all parties were primed for any issues that might arise.
Employee Engagement: We created a unique program specifically for Dow employees that included ongoing communications about the event and Dow’s commitments, a dedicated intranet site and an online resource for downloading programmatic tools and resources to activate the event locally.
Evaluation of Success/Results
The event was a resounding success. It:
· Moved the Needle for Dow: Post-event research showed familiarity with Dow’s water/environmental commitments increased 12% among key influencers. Of those aware of the event, 87% considered it an “excellent” or “good” event overall.Further, 51% of respondents (unaided) were aware of the event.
· Sparked a Worldwide Movement for the world water crisis: Musicians, athletes, environmentalists and everyday citizens participated in 200 cities, across 81 countries in the event.
· Strengthened Ties with NGOs: We built a network of 30 NGOs worldwide, solidifying connections for Dow that would have not otherwise been possible.
· Generated Global Awareness for Water Sustainability: We secured more than 3,000 media placements across 40 countries, totaling more than 1.35 billion impressions. The campaign generated more than 20,000 Twitter tweets and more than 40 million Facebook impressions.
· Spurred Employee Engagement: More than 60 percent Dow’s 52,000 employees got involved in the event:
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