PR News 2016 CSR Awards: Stakeholder Engagement

Winner: Pacific Gas and Electric Company - 811 Call Before You Dig

The objective of PG&E’s 811 Call Before You Dig campaign is to increase customer awareness of the 811 service, thus increasing public safety by reducing third-party dig-ins to PG&E’s gas and electric system.

PG&E’s successful strategy included a number of different initiatives to catch its customers’ attention. During National Safe Digging Month (NSDM) in April, PG&E collaborated in several mural partnerships in Oakland, providing local artists the canvas of a substation wall to help combat graffiti.

The art included an “811” message and there was a mural unveiling. With respect to Arbor Day, PG&E hosted a series of events on the importance of planting the right tree in the right place and calling 811 before digging. Each tree planted included an “811” tree wrap.

PG&E also partnered with local chalk artists to create 3-D art to simulate what underground pipes look like. The artwork was featured in a prominent location at PG&E’s headquarters for both employees and those walking by in San Francisco’s Financial District. PG&E also used its social media accounts and created employee hand-outs, with easy to understand life hacks for outdoor projects. And local PG&E leaders successfully submitted Letters to the Editor of their local papers.

In addition, PG&E partnered with Home Depot to display 811/PG&E signage in all 99 Home Depot stores in PG&E’s service area. The signage was prominently displayed near shovels and in the garden section to increase awareness to customers intending to engage in digging activities.

PG&E’s efforts have paid off, as last year (through September 2015) there were 20 percent more calls to 811 by PG&E customers than the same time in 2014.

Honorable Mentions:
• Cambia Health Solutions - 2015 Employee Giving Campaign: Can you dig it?
• Fiserv - National Walking Day
• Viacom - Talent for Good