Success Story

People’s Climate March

SMS campaign gained them more than 20,000 subscribers in just three months.

September of 2014 marked the occurrence of the New York City People’s Climate March, a mega march that aimed to raise awareness on climate change during the United Nation’s Climate Summit.

People’s Climate March needed a flexible communication platform to support the campaign leading up to, during, and after the march. They decided to use text messaging to communicate with interested participants to achieve their five primary goals:

    • Connect with influential figureheads in the entertainment industry in order to publicize the event and build their list.
    • Send information to interested participants about preparing for the march.
    • Allow interested participants to share the event and invite their friends to join.
    • Manage and direct the crowds in real-time on the day of the march.
    • Thank all the participants for their support and ask for their email to stay in touch after the march ended.

In order to start building their mobile list, People’s Climate March sought support from its influential friends in the music and film industries. Neutral Milk Hotel – who had just embarked upon their highly anticipated reunion tour – broadcasted People’s Climate March call to action at all of their shows by having people holding up signs on stage asking the audience to text in to join the campaign. People’s Climate March also received publicity from screenings of Disruption, a film that explored the ramifications of climate change.


In addition to these publicity endeavors, People’s Climate March promoted their call to action anywhere that people might see it – on social media, posters, subway ads – and added mobile web forms to every page they had. These efforts gained them more than 20,000 subscribers in just three months!

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With a large mobile list on hand, People’s Climate March went on to segment users based upon their geographical location. Subscribers who lived in New York City received information on how they could contribute to the march, while visitors from out of town received text messages to help them make a plan for getting to the march via car pools.

People’s Climate March also used the Upland Mobile Messaging Tell-a-Friend feature to make it easy for people to share the event with their friends. Mobile subscribers could text in the phone numbers of friends who might be interested in the march to send them a personal invitation to join People’s Climate March’s mobile list. 30% of the referrals accepted the offer – which ended up accounting for 2.5% of all subscribers!

On the day of the march, participants received real-time directions on their phone on where to go as the march proceeded. People’s Climate March also used text messaging to organize a mass moment of silence. For one full minute, the crowd fell silent as everyone stood in solidarity to show politicians that they cared about the environment and climate change policy.

pcm phone screen shot

Overall, the march was a huge success! Over 400,000 people attended – the largest march of its kind to date. People’s Climate March was able to reach participants after the march ended via text message and thank each of them personally for their support. They also asked participants for their email address in order to continue communicating with them after the event with more ways they could help promote climate change policy.

By integrating text messaging into the entire campaign and using it as the primary form of communication, People’s Climate March was able to reach hundreds of thousands of people and engage them in a critical conversation about the environment. From promoting their call to action through various media outlets, to segmenting their list to send targeted messages to interested participants, to sending real-time updates during the march itself, text messaging helped the 2014 People’s Climate March stand as a monumental statement about the need for climate change policy.

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