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The Dow Chemical Company

ABA11 Winner / How to Enter

Company: The Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, TX
Company Description: Texas Operations is Dow's largest integrated site. The three major complexes — Plant A, Plant B and Oyster Creek — operate as an integrated unit serving all eight of Dow's Global Business Groups. Texas Operations manufactures 44 percent of Dow's products sold in the United States and more than 21 percent of Dow's products sold globally.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Community Relations

Nomination Title: Dow Texas Operations Honors the Greatest Generation

    Tell the story about this nominated campaign since January 1 2010 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

        The United States loses 1,000 World War II veterans every day. In 2004, The
Greatest Generation was honored with a memorial in Washington, D.C., but most
veterans have not visited it. Honor Flight, a non-profit organization that
transports veterans to memorials, is helping to change that.  We saw in Honor
Flight the opportunity to recognize Dow Texas Operations WWII veteran retirees
in a way that would also benefit our community relations efforts. 

        Dow Texas Operations first planted roots in Freeport, Texas, in 1940. Today,
Dow continues to have a significant presence there – as the largest integrated
chemical facility in the Western Hemisphere. We are the area’s largest employer
and have more than 6,000 Dow retirees as near neighbors. 

        Clearly, the first objective of the Honor Flight was to thank Dow retirees who
are WWII veterans for their honorable service. In addition, we established
these community relations goals:

        •     to strengthen outreach to Dow retirees in Brazoria County;
•     to increase the positive reputation of Dow Texas Operations in the
local community, especially among key influencers in local government.

        On September 27, 2010, 74 Dow WWII veterans – along with 43 Dow “Guardians” –
flew from Lake Jackson, Texas, to Washington, D.C.  By establishing a Facebook
page, we were able to engage thousands more in the experience. Throughout the
day, we posted more than 340 images to the page.  By week’s end, nearly 1,300
people “liked” the Facebook page (vs target of 500). Of those “likes,” more
than 50 percent lived within 50 miles of Texas Dow Operations.  There were
8,761 photo views on September 27, and 18,540 page views during September and
October. 

        At the end of the Honor Flight day, we hosted a “Welcome Home” party. As the
veterans were escorted down a red carpet, they were honored by more than 700
local elected officials, other Dow retirees, Brazoria County veteran groups and
family members, all waving flags or holding patriotic signs. 

        To remind local residents of Dow’s history in the community, we posted service
photos and personal war stories of the veterans to the Facebook page. We also
chronicled the role Dow played in WWII by posting newspaper articles from the
1940s about our efforts to mine seawater for magnesium as part of the war
effort.

        By any measure, the event was a grand success:

        •     Hundreds of positive comments were posted to the Facebook page
•     Dozens of expressions of gratitude were voiced in community forums,
including the Dow Community Advisory Panel, Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce
meetings.
•     A survey of community influentials conducted one month after the Honor
Flight indicated an 82.4 percent positive perception of Dow’s corporate
citizenship
•     The Brazosport Chamber of Commerce honored Dow Texas Operations with a
special award in recognition of outstanding community support for honoring WWII
veterans/Dow retirees.
•     The local newspaper, The Facts, carried extensive coverage of the trip,
including an ad-free special section, a first for the newspaper.

    List hyperlinks to any online work samples, news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:

        Dow Texas Operations Honor Flight Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/DowHonorFlight    

        Dow Honor Flight Celebrates Texas Retiree WWII Veterans (news release):
http://www.businesswire.com/news/dow/20100927005294/en

        Dow Texas Operations – A Day of Honor - Part 1 (video)
https://www.facebook.com/DowTexasOperations#!/video/video.php?v=10150441190170473&oid=159315704083137&comments

        Dow Texas Operations – A Day of Honor - Part 2 (video)
https://www.facebook.com/DowTexasOperations#!/video/video.php?v=10150441461600473

        Dow Texas Operations – A Day of Honor - Part 3 (video)
https://www.facebook.com/DowTexasOperations#!/video/video.php?v=10150442048565473

    Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the team that carried out this campaign:

        Gary Hockstra is the Vice President of Dow Texas Operations in Freeport, Texas.
He joined Dow in 1980 after earning a degree in Chemical Engineering from
Michigan State University. He was named to his current role in December 2007
after working in various manufacturing roles for the Company all over the
world. He considers the Dow Texas Operations Honor Flight one of the greatest
projects he has had the opportunity to work on during his Dow career.