The Home Depot Foundation - Social Media Focused Campaign

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Company: The Home Depot Foundation, Atlanta, GA, USA
Entry Submitted By: MSLGROUP
Company Description: The Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot, their 385,000-strong army of associate volunteers, work to improve the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families and aid communities affected by natural disasters. Through Team Depot, thousands of associates dedicate time and talents to these efforts in the communities where they live and work.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Social Media Focused

Nomination Title: Celebration of Service: Doing More for Veterans on Social

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since 1 January 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Veterans face challenges in the one place that should offer security: home. The Home Depot Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the world’s largest home improvement retailer, is focused on improving the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families. Team Depot, the company’s associate-led volunteer force, activates year-round, with a concentrated effort during Celebration of Service, a two-month volunteerism campaign focusing on veteran housing issues that culminates on Veterans Day.

In Celebration of Service’s sixth year, the bar was set higher than ever. The previous campaigns continually set records, surpassed key performance indicators, and most importantly created safe and accessible homes for thousands of veterans. In 2016, The Home Depot Foundation looked to create a broader understanding of its mission. Customers continued to ask for a way to directly and emotionally connect with Team Depot efforts. The Home Depot Foundation challenged MSLGROUP to implement a program that would continue to inspire The Home Depot’s workforce and better engage media, nonprofit partners and customers.

To execute this, MSLGROUP's team used the following strategies:

#ServiceSelfie Campaign: Reinvigorated and strengthened the #ServiceSelfie campaign to drive followers to take social action to help raise money for veteran causes. Participants were encouraged to celebrate service in their own communities by sharing a selfie of them volunteering or conducting a giving action. The Home Depot Foundation committed to donating $1, up to $500K, for each social media action whichincluded sharing a #ServiceSelfie on Twitter or Instagram or liking, commenting on or sharing one of Team Depot’s posts honoring nonprofit partners that serve veterans.

Influencer Outreach: Activated online influencers Ben Uyeda and Melissa Michaels to help bring service to life. Ben, a popular DIY blogger, attended a Team Depot project and documented the experience on his social channels. He created and donated a special custom-built table for a veteran family. Blogger Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room featured her own #ServiceSelfie with her family and discussed a local volunteer opportunity they were using to help military families. Both influencers encouraged followers to share their own #ServiceSelfie and get involved in their local communities.

Content Creation: Evolved the Team Depot content strategy to share veteran stories in a more impactful way that shifted the conversation from associates to customers. Featured stories were more emotional and packaged in a clean format to increase social consumption. A social media ambassador toolkit was created for associates, veterans and nonprofit partners to better bring to life the impact of Team Depot and source greater stories.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

-Donated $500,000 to veteran causes through 62,000 #ServiceSelfies – a 186% YOY increase in selfies alone – and 498,000 social actions
-Made 674,000 social media connections – a 995% increase over the average of 61,000 engagements in the same time period
-Increased Team Depot followers by 5.8K, an increase of 657% over the average of 766 followers gained in the same time period
-Reached 19.6MM through posts during the Celebration of Service campaign, a 236% increase over average reach
-Highlighted nonprofit partners through a series of creative content that garnered 404,000 social actions
-Drove 74,000 social connections and reached 2.6MM people by reaching out to popular influencers in the DIY and nonprofit spaces