Sprint came to Qorvis with the goal of being known as the leading U.S. wireless telecom organization in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Sprint was the first in the industry to set aggressive wireless recycling goals, and the company wanted to share its environmental efforts with current and prospective customers. Consumers were unaware of Sprint’s goals and unique recycling programs.
To gain ground quickly, it was vital to build awareness of Sprint’s visionary leadership and industry-first efforts to “green” the telecom industry. Sprint hired Qorvis to increase awareness of Sprint’s environmental efforts, help position Sprint ahead of competitors, and garner earned media for innovations in the environmental space.
To understand the overall landscape and determine the “white space” for Sprint, we performed an in-depth analysis of the wireless carrier’s primary competitors. This analysis examined ongoing CSR and environmental activities undertaken by Verizon and AT&T, news coverage of those efforts and the specific programs these organizations offered to consumers.
Qorvis examined, organized and prioritized Sprint’s upcoming product releases and environmental-goal announcements in light of pertinent news cycles, and Qorvis and Sprint developed timely, newsworthy releases. We also identified potential speaking opportunities for Sprint executives, “green” awards for which Sprint was eligible, and third-party alliances to build public awareness of Sprint’s CSR activities and accomplishments.
We worked with Sprint across traditional, interactive and social media platforms to increase awareness among the media and consumers of the “green side of Sprint.” Every outreach effort and news release utilized strict message discipline. Our goal was to clearly link our communications efforts to Sprint’s two overarching environmental goals.
Qorvis also gathered the content necessary to develop a clear, compelling and credible story of Sprint’s environmental efforts. The goal was to establish the baseline upon which Sprint’s environmental programs, practices, policies and activities could be mapped out against its competitors.
Disseminating the results of a Forrester study detailing an internal audit of Sprint’s IT operations proved most valuable to the campaign. The study found that Sprint’s approach to examining its IT infrastructure cut $20 million of operating costs and reduced the company’s overall IT carbon footprint by approximately 10,450 metric tons.
We were able to create a news hook that propelled the story beyond traditional industry publications, landing it in The New York Times and Washington Business Journal. As a result of our efforts, Sprint is now considered an environmental leader in the wireless telecom industry, and was ranked highest among all U.S. telecom companies and 15th overall in Newsweek’s Green Rankings. In addition, Sprint more than doubled its share of positive green media coverage from the second to third quarter of 2009. Through strategic planning, we built a communications system that Sprint can rely on to make sustainability an integrated principle within the corporation.