Responsibility.org is a national not-for-profit organization leading the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking. At the core of our mission is encouraging a lifetime of conversations between parents and their children about alcohol responsibility and modeling healthy lifestyle choices. Before it became a standard practice of a skilled marketing and communications department, we recognized the value in partnering with online influencers. In 2012, we sponsored the inaugural Listen to Your Mother DC show, connecting with local bloggers, and we began attending blogging conferences. By August 2013, we launched our first educational program designed specifically for blogger outreach called #TalkEarly. The mission of #TalkEarly is simple: encourage parents to begin conversations about alcohol with kids as young as 6-9 years old, and reach those parents through bloggers. Recognizing that authentic story-telling was rooted in our program's goals, we realized the key to #TalkEarly's success lied in partnerships with online influencers who have young children of their own. At the time, there were no other similar program like ours, in the alcohol and education awareness arenas.
In 2015, we conducted the second full year of #TalkEarly and established benchmarks to measure the future success of the program. We fine-tuned our skill set in identifying the right combination of bloggers, experimented with editorial calendar topics and analyzed which topics resonated based on past program success. We began 2015 with a goal of reaching five million parents.
Finding the right combination of bloggers was a critical ingredient to #TalkEarly's success. We partnered with nine bloggers from across the country - from a neuroscientist to a children's book author/Instagram sensation.
Next, we conducted social media-specific research, partnered with a statistics professor from Northwestern University, to measure parents' attitudes toward alcohol, gauge if they are talking with their children about alcohol and learn if bloggers are consider trusted sources for advice.
We structures the 2015 editorial calendar around six key times of the year. In order to back-up our messaging on the sometimes sensitive topic of alcohol consumption, we committed to providing expert content and research to supplement the blog posts.
We invited the 2015 blogging team to our Washington, DC offices in January for a one-day summit to set the expectations and tone of the program for the year. Our first summit speaker, Gabrielle Glaser, author of Her Best Kept Secret and award-winning journalist, spoke to trends on women and drinking, addiction and how the media influences the national discussion on consumption. Our second speaker, parenting coach and Washington Post columnist Meghan Leahy, spoke about childhood development and the importance of setting an early foundation for open conversations with your kids.
Here's a monthly look at the 2015 #TalkEarly program:
January: Washington, DC Summit
February: Prepare infographic and expert content for April and May blog post
March: Promotion of #TalkEarly survey
April: Promote Alcohol Responsibility Month; incorporate content from Gabrielle Glaser's talk
May: Mothers' Day, challenge readers to #RefreshYourFunny and refrain from sharing memes that suggest kids are the reason mommy drinks
June: Incorporate content from Meghan Leahy talk, including tips on laying a strong foundation of trust and active listening with kids from a young age
In June came our BlogU presentation and sponsorship, including launching a #RefreshYourFunny writing contest.
July: Announce 3 BlogU winners; create infographic content for fall blog posts
August: Back to School, messaging around the challenge of and tips for getting kids to share their days and worries
September: Promote #TalkEarly survey
October: Create November and December infographic and expert content
November: Present latest data on kids and sipping, encouraging readers to consider before the holidays, if they will allow their child to sip alcohol
December: Support Responsibility.org messaging around alcohol consumption and stress during the holidays
Did we successfully build a diverse team with varying strengths across social channels? Did we improve our engagement and reach the five million parents we set out to reach?
2015 Total Impressions: 18.1 million
Bloggers & Monthly Readership
Social Engagement Highlights
Most commented post: Sipping
Most shared on Facebook: Refresh Your Funny
Most shared on Twitter: Back-to-School Conversations
Overall, we exceeded our reach and engagement goals and successfully built an online influencer program that engages, educates and empowers parents across the country.
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