Earth Hour – a global movement organized by World Wildlife Fund – encourages people around the world to do something simple: turn off their lights. Every year, towards the end of March, Earth Hour asks people and organizations to join together for one lightless hour as a symbol of their commitment to the environment. As UN Secretary Ban-Ki Moon said in 2015, in the fight against climate change, “no individual action is too small. No collective action is too big.”
This year’s Earth Hour, held on March 19, marked the event’s tenth anniversary. Moreover, for the first time in the fight against climate change, Earth Hour had momentum on its side. Less than three few months before, leaders from 196 nations had signed a historic agreement in Paris to take collective action on climate change.
WWF wanted to make sure that advocates around the country were inspired to participate in the hour, and armed with the information to know the stakes.
Engaging Advocates Over Social Media, Email and SMS
The week before Earth Hour, WWF sent an email to their advocates to inform them that Earth Hour was coming soon, and to encourage them to sign up for text message updates and reminders.
During the week of Earth Hour, WWF launched an SMS climate change quiz, to get people to sign up for their mobile list, and to educate them on some of the common misconceptions about climate change. In addition to sending the quiz to their existing SMS subscribers, they also invited people to join and play via their social media channels.
The quiz asked users some facts about climate change – from the hottest years on record to the true scope of climate change.
After building an engaged mobile community, WWF then sent thousands of reminders on Earth Hour itself, to ensure that people remembered to participate in the historic moment.
On March 19, millions of people from a record-breaking 178 countries and territories united for climate action by turning off their lights for Earth Hour. It was the most far-reaching Earth Hour to date.
Earth Hour saw heavy media coverage across multiple social media channels, print and online news outlets, and radio stations. Additionally, a great number of celebrities, WWF-US corporate partners, and major landmarks participated in Earth Hour.
The symbolic gesture showed that when people act together, they truly can change the world. Check out Earth Hour’s 2016 video, which is a great reminder of the stakes we’re all fighting for.