As a new Green Office, we needed a way to reach out to our public fast and effectively, both offline and online. Because we wanted to show everyone that there is more to sustainability than ‘just’ the environment, our communication team came with an interesting idea:
Sustainability comes in many colours. But the idea will be stronger if not Green Office HU (Hogeschool Utrecht) tells that story. Who should tell this story then?
Well, what if we asked the students and staff what sustainability is for them and then share it on Facebook? And so we did!
During the ﬁrst events of this academic year, students and staff members were asked to write down what sustainability meant for them personally and have their photo taken. With this material, the Facebook posts of the campaign were created.
On the picture, you see three circles, surrounded by simple forms that describe sustainability, while our logo is on the down and right corner. The name and quote of the participant has a central spot in the picture and further explanation is available in the blob.
Despite having different pictures and quotes, this structured presentation makes them all part of the same campaign.
The effect of the campaign
Our Facebook page insights show that the ﬁrst picture had a bigger reach than any previous posts we had had up to that point. It was also liked and commented on more often. Since then, every week on Thursday, a new post is published. The day was chosen to alliterate with the Dutch words “Duurzaam” for sustainable and “Donderdag” for Thursday.
The campaign will continue throughout the year and therefore more pictures are needed. The team goes out to various locations on campus and engages with students and staff to get them to participate in the campaign. By having a specific theme to talk about, this ofﬂine contact creates interesting discussions and it makes the participants think about and give sustainability more (personal) dimension.
Why is this campaign effective?
We suggest three reasons why this campaign is so effective:
- The ﬁrst, maybe obvious, reason is that the photographed person is tagged and their friends and family see the post.
- The other reason is that our brain is wired to pay attention to faces. A picture of someone can grab our attention better than a text or picture.
- The third reason is that the posts makes it personal. The campaign makes people feel involved with Green Office and the theme sustainability. And of course, involvement happens to be one of our main goals!
If you want to learn more about our campaign, please email the GO or visit our Facebook page.
Text by Xenia Tombrou working as student employee for Community and Projects at Green Office Hogeschool Utrecht (HU). Photos also by the GOHU.