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Horizon Communications Group - Hey Tosser! Campaign

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 International Business Awards

Company: Horizon Communication Group, Sydney, Australia
Company Description: Horizon Communication Group was founded in Sydney in 1992 by Liz McLaughlin, a former President of the Public Relations Institute of Australia. Since then we have helped over 250 local and international organisations – large and small - to grow, protect and sustain their organisations, by developing and implementing bespoke strategic communication programs.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Environmental

Nomination Title: Hey Tosser! Re-energising an existing campaign with an innovative world first

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is the primary environmental regulator for New South Wales. Among its many campaigns is 'Hey Tosser!', aninitiative designed to assist in the delivery of the NSW Premier’s Priority Target to reduce the volume of litter in NSW by 40% by 2020. In 2017, the EPA engaged Horizon to develop aPR strategy to increase public engagement and generate peer-to-peer discussions that would encourage positive changes in behaviours and attitudes to littering in NSW.

The brief provided by the EPA stated that a high priority audience was the 18-24-year old age bracket, as research demonstrated this age group’s awareness and care for litter prevention was the lowest. This information assisted in defining what approach and which stakeholders and media outlets to target to reach this demographic. Additionally, whilst brand recall for the Hey Tosser! campaign was strong, public engagement was waning, demonstrating the need for a fresh and creative approach.

To re-energise the Hey Tosser! campaign,Horizon concepted a world-first, whereby 40 GPS-fitted water bottles were released into waterways across NSW. This Litter Tracking Study illustrated the impact litter has in and around waterways and was launched by the NSW Minister for the Environment. The concept provided localised, ongoing, and real-time data and created connections with NSW residents who care about their “backyard”.

We provided audiences the ability to monitor the journey of each bottle - some as far as the Pacific Ocean -by posting engaging and shareable updates on social media. This approach aimed to capitalise on 18-24 year olds' use of social media while alsogeneratingvaluable discussions keeping the issue in the public eye beyond the five-week campaign.

Following the bottle launch, social media, media relations and intermediary outreach campaigns commenced and played a pivotal role in encouraging peer-to-peer conversations about littering. The journey of the bottles was widely reported and continued to generate coverage in the media past the duration of the campaign.

Highlights included a Channel 9 News segment covering the launch, several radio pieces and an animated video that tracked the bottles’ journeyson news.com.au.

To ensure the bottles would not contribute to the litter problem, each bottle was clearly branded and contained an express post bag, information sheet and instructions for safe return, so members of the public who found them would understand the pilot and be encouraged to return the bottle. Using an online interface, Horizon was able to monitor the daily movements of the bottles and provided the EPA with regular updates on the location, battery power and GPS signal strength.

In total, the campaign achieved a reach of 18,320,782 which included 62 online & print media outlets, 125 broadcast media conglomerates and 25 verified social media pages, exceeding KPIs.

During aone-month period, the Facebook campaign generated 8.8 million impressions and likes improved by 3,450, a 20% increase. With a total reach of 442,000, each day we reached an averageof 736 people.

Throughout the campaign we generated 814 comments, 7,435 likes and 1,102 shares. The average engagement rate was 5%, with the most engaging post receiving an engagement rate of 12%. While it is difficult to provide a benchmark for engagement rates as the average will vary significantly between different pages, an average engagement rate of 5% is generally considered to be very good. Each post reached an average of 8,188 people.

Most importantly, these achievements led to improvements against the EPA's benchmarking criteria. Campaign recall increased to 80% from 72% in 2016 and is now at the highest level since the entire Hey Tosser! campaign commenced. In addition, reports of littering increased by 44% in total, while there was a big increase in the likelihood of 18-24 year olds filing reports, from 18% to 38%.

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 2017 (up to 150 words).

-Re-energised the EPA's existing anti-litterHey Tosser!campaign, Horizon concepted a world-first, whereby 40 GPS-fitted water bottles were released into waterways to demonstrate the effect litter has on the environment.

-Campaign recall – up to 80% from 72% in 2016. Now at the highest level since campaign commencement.

-Increase in people who believe they are likely to get caught and fined for littering – 22% up from 20%. This indicator has increased 1% every year since 2014 – a 2% increase is significant.

-Increased understanding of litter reporting from vehicles - 39% up from 18%.

-Increased litter reports – up 44%, equating to 30,000 new reports by the community, from 24,000 registered litter reporters. 19,000 fines were issued as a result.

-Increased likelihood of 18-24 year olds reporting littering from vehicles – up 38% from 18%.

-200+ media stories and 18+ million people reached nationally.