Best Corporate-Nonprofit Partnership

Campaign leads to tangible behavior change: More people call before they dig

The Common Ground Alliance knew its audience well enough to know where to reach them: at NASCAR events. The association targeted racing and DIY enthusiasts with a campaign designed to reduce utility damage.

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A communication plan should determine specific, business-related goals, identify the right audience, and deliver a strategy that will motivate that audience to move the needle.

That’s exactly what the Common Ground Alliance—an association representing the underground utility industry—pulled off with a campaign designed to get people to reach out to the call-before-you-dig hotline before undertaking a project that could damage gas or electric lines, “Call 811.”

While most contest entries limit their results to outputs (like the number of article placements), the CGA was able to point to a 20-point increase in awareness of the hotline (Call 811), along with a commitment from 74 percent of respondents that they would call before digging, a 23 percent increase. Those are communication results leadership will appreciate.

For its successful campaign, we award the Common Ground Alliance top honors in the Best Corporate-Nonprofit Partnership category of PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards. Our congratulations go to Khrysanne Kerr and Erika Lee of the CGA and their partners in the effort, including Shell, 3M, Edelman, MATTER, MGH and Sports Dimensions.

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