2014 PR News Agency Elite Awards: Cause Marketing

Winner: Cone Communications – Designing for Social, Brand and Business Return

Cone Communications paired with Johnson & Johnson to attack the unique challenge of promoting sustainability in the healthcare industry—a sector that generates nearly 6 million tons of waste per year and spends almost $8 billion on energy. To reverse this trend, Cone got to work driving internal engagement in environmental responsibility campaigns such as the J&J Earthwards program, which helps Johnson & Johnson’s products team assess the social and environmental impacts of their products.

Cone used two key campaigns to build awareness for Earthwards and encourage J&J’s internal brand marketers and product developers to incorporate sustainability into new products. Collaboration with CSRwire produced a six-part editorial series about Earthwards and ongoing media outreach to showcase the program, and a weeklong internal campaign provided J&J employees with the opportunity to learn more. The campaigns doubled employee-aided awareness for Earthwards while garnering 19+ million media impressions with key healthcare, CSR and sustainability publications. Product teams made significant sustainability improvements to 20 products in 2013, bringing the Earthwards portfolio to 55 products.

Cone also worked with Northwestern Mutual on their Childhood Cancer program, leading the charge toward a cure for childhood cancer through consumer and employee engagement, social media campaigns and compelling storytelling. Cone helped Northwestern Mutual join forces with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the Starlight Children’s Foundation to deliver programming. More than 10,000 financial representatives from Northwestern Mutual’s network were propelled to help with local efforts and consumer-facing initiatives.

Through this, Cone and Northwestern Mutual earned 160 million media impressions in 2013 and secured more than 55 million media impressions for fundraising activities led by finiancial representatives across the country. The efforts resulted in over $3.78 million in donations toward childhood cancer, funding 18,165 hours of research and supporting more than 1,800 children and families.

Honorable Mentions:

  • HAVAS PR North America
  • Nebo – Eames House 250