The Business Roundtable
The Business Roundtable (BRT) wanted to showcase what their CEOs were doing to foster a culture of sustainability within their companies. They had previously offered perspectives and best practices from Roundtable CEOs on environmental sustainability but these had been static PDF, text-based documents. The BRT team wanted to change things up and make sustainability an ongoing online conversation and more than a one-time hit when the year’s report was released.
Beekeeper Group worked with The Business Roundtable to create the #EmbracingSustainability CEO-to-CEO challenge where Roundtable CEOs would challenge each other to share how their companies are successfully using sustainable practices to benefit their businesses, employees, the environment and the communities in which they operate. For example, Doug McMillon, CEO of Wal-Mart, publicly challenged Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts, in his video. The approach of using videos and public CEO challenges was created to humanize the CEO’s and the important work of their companies and give these efforts more of a sustained presence across digital and social media.
The campaign had Business Roundtable CEOs record their company’s story and publish then the video on social media using the hashtag of #EmbracingSustainability. To keep the initiative going, each Roundtable CEO concludes his or her video by challenging another CEO to participate.
A key challenge that prompted this initiative was the need to break through the noise of typical reports and present an interactive experience that would spark action and faster conversation. The most valuable resource in any issue campaign is people’s time and attention and BRT knew that a text-based report that was hundreds of pages long would not be a competitive piece of content in this cluttered landscape. A new approach was needed to reach target audiences and promote the great work of BRT’s CEOs.
By moving away from static content to video and layering in an element of a public challenge issued via the video and social media content, the CEO’s sustainability efforts were amplified not just for the individual CEO, but also for the collective group of these leaders and for BRT as the organizer of the conversation. The short videos and path of leadership challenges encouraged people to explore the efforts of multiple companies.
Beekeeper Group created and developed the initial concept for this #EmbracingSustainability CEO challenge campaign and organized the logistics involving planning the scheduling of video releases, coordinating the challenge video content, mapping out the order of CEO “tagging”, creating social media content, and production of creative assets as needed to support the overall issue campaign.
The effort was recognized by the Public Affairs Council with a Communications Innovation Award at their Advocacy Conference.