Earth Hour: Being a Part of the Action
Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.
In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. - http://earthhour.org
The World Wildlife Fund's initiative of Earth Hour was not only a global call to action, but also a study in how this awesome .ORG community member used the power of the Internet and their web address to rally a growth of approximately 45,500% in two years. I wanted to do a quick case study on the myriad ways that one could get involved and feel a part of the “Earth Hour Movement” this year. I think all .ORGs, large and small, can take away key practices for involving members and constituents from Earth Hour’s initiative to engage diverse audiences in all parts of the globe.
Social Community: Direct from Earthhour.org, an individual or organization could feel a part of the action and get updates, tips, and tools as part of the global social community.
There are many tools and resources for .ORGs to create their own internal communities. From KickApps to HiveLive with the use of your own branded name and domain, to hosted solutions such as NING, LinkedIn, or Facebook, there are a multitude of avenues for a .ORG to create a sense of community around their cause, idea, or mission. After all, a sense of community is what binds the global .ORG community together.
Social Media Tools: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Technorati, YouTube, blogs, wikis, and so on and so on! Earth Hour has tapped into almost every avenue to get their message to the masses. They continue to also use traditional routes such as television advertising, press releases, and print ads for the not as Internet savvy. However, I truly believe it is the prolific use of online social media tools that has brought their cause from Down Under to a global effort.
They want to hear from the individuals and organizations that want to make a difference in climate change. However you choose to express yourself, that’s how Earth Hour wanted to hear the message. You can still submit video, you can write a blog, you can connect to other supporters and ultimately get involved.
They were able to create a rallying cry around “Bringing the World Together to Fight Climate Change”:
- They created a deadline (March 28),
- A sense of urgency (the countdown clock on their website),
- And a keen sense of community with other members through the use of social media, networking, and video.
I am definitely able to take away a thing or two from their efforts. Thank you Earth Hour for being an Extraordinary .ORG for March and teaching us a few lessons in persuasive communications to gain the mindshare of a global community.
Do you have a story or case study to share with the .ORG community? Send it to us at orgbuzz (at) pir (dot) org. We want to hear from you!