Written by: Christa Shavers
Social activism has become the new wave for businesses both large and small with the rise of #GivingTuesday and community service days. Companies are using more resources to give back to the communities in a variety of ways from allowing employees to use workdays to volunteer and rally behind causes through sponsorship’s.
One Illinois based company, in particular, has taken a unique approach to community engagement and social activism through the use of technology, marketing, and outreach. Commonwealth Edison, known as ComEd, the largest electric utility in Illinois, and the electric provider in Chicago and much of Northern Illinois has taken on a new approach to social activism through fundraising that not only services the communities they serve but also allows their customers to get involved in the giving.
The ComEd Save and Share App Pilot; which launched in the Hyde Park, Bronzeville and Kenwood communities in Chicago, is a program designed to assist ComEd customers in improving their energy habits. Customers can achieve this by reading through interactive and customizable informational messaging, energy efficiency messages and prompts or notifications through an app that customers could download on their smartphones. ComEd customers, in turn, save money on their energy bills through improving their habits and they then are able to choose an organization of their choice to donate to. Essentially the ComEd Save and Share App Pilot assist customers to save then ComEd takes those saved dollars and donates them to a non-profit organization of the customer’s choice. The featured non-profit organizations were diverse in scope and service the Hyde Park, Bronzeville, and Kenwood communities.
In order to accomplish the growth of the Save and Share App Pilot ComEd enlisted the L3 Agency, a millennial and women specialized Marketing and Public Relations agency. The L3 agency utilized their pulse on the community and recruiting micro-influencers within the targeted area of Hyde Park, Bronzeville, and Kenwood. Through this connection, L3 was able to conduct research where they gathered the opinions of members of the targeted community. L3 was then able to implement the findings from our research to execute a series of marketing assets, campaigns, and events to significantly increase brand awareness + community engagement and elevate the positioning of the non-profits participating in the Pilot.
This partnership with L3 and ComEd resulted in unique advocacy efforts, thoughtful marketing and outreach strategies to achieve an authentic level of social activism and impact at a greater level. We strongly believe in order to best achieve a higher level of social activism and brand recognition for corporations, we encourage engaging in niche agencies.This decision could amplify your brand while cause-related organizations can benefit significantly. It becomes a thoughtful collaboration.