Energy Company Partnership Brings Warmth to Children in Need

How do you deliver warmth? From Operation Warm the gift of warmth is delivered in a brand new winter coat to a child in need. And, if you’re an energy company you’re providing warmth to thousands of people 24 hours a day.

Energy companies are a growing partner for Operation Warm.

The reason is obvious, there is an authentic alignment. We’re both delivering the gift of warmth.

Energy companies – both retailers and utilities – have created innovative multichannel campaigns around their donations to Operation Warm. One of our new partnerships during winter ’16-‘17 was with Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, a NiSource company.

“The Operation Warm campaign delivered increased interest in [our service]. We saw gains in website visitation and social media following, especially among women,” said Elizabeth Cellucci, Director of Energy Efficiency Programs at Columbia Gas of Massachusetts.

Columbia Gas’ Energy Efficiency programs sponsored local advertising that urged customers to request a home energy assessment in October. For each home energy assessment, Columbia Gas donated a brand new coat to children in Head Start programs administered by local fuel assistance agencies. The Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts matched the donation. Together, Columbia Gas and local firefighters delivered more than a coat to hundreds of children – they delivered a boost in self-esteem, a sense of community, warmth, hope and joy.

Campaign Objectives:

  • Met business goals such as increased interest in energy efficiency programs, increased bundling of services, and increased employee engagement
  • Build energy brands, in an authentic way, use marketing campaigns with Operation Warm to remind consumers that the utilities are more than just an energy provider but are organizations of people that provide a service, but are also our neighbors and care about the communities they serve.

Campaign Accomplishments:

  • 648 children received a brand new winter coat
  • More than sixty Firefighters and Columbia Gas employees handed the coats out in person
  • Three positive community events in Brockton, Lawrence and Springfield Mass.

The power of authentic partnerships, can’t be understated when brand building. Catalist recently released a report about using partnerships to build brand authenticity:

“At its heart, authenticity is about practicing what you preach; being totally clear about who you are and what you do best. This is why corporate brands are partnering with social causes more and more to reinvigorate their authenticity and further engage their consumers around something real.”

What is your energy company doing to connect with your consumers and employees? Do you want to do even more while also helping children in need in your communities? We’d love to hear from you: gsica@operationwarm.org

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