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Special Project

Special Project
From the 3rd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Engineering a Shorter Walk to Water

Finalist in Business-NGO


The main objective of the "Engineering a Shorter Walk to Water" initiative was to apply United Technologies' (UTC) employees' engineering skills to solve critical water access needs in Nepal, freeing up at least six hours a day for the women in the village to create handicrafts that would generate income for their families.

The initiative also sought to:

Strategy and Execution

In conjunction with National Volunteer Week in the United States, the UTC social media, CSR, marketing, video studio and global internal communications teams collaborated to develop a robust content campaign to celebrate our #UnitedTech Volunteers. Our #UnitedTech Volunteers campaign was designed to bring our volunteer story to life with images, infographics and one highly impactful video distributed across our social platforms and related channels.

After identifying a select group of volunteer initiatives, our cross-functional team built an editorial calendar to sustain the #UnitedTech Volunteers campaign over much of April and May 2018. Major collaborations with Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics as well as two UTC-developed initiatives, Green Shoots in Asia and Mover in Brazil, were chosen as compelling storylines to underpin the social impact narrative of our marquee investment in Engineers Without Borders (EWB-USA).

One of our most robust partnerships that utilizes UTC employees' skills through volunteerism is with Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA). The mission of EWB-USA is to build a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs and to equip leaders to solve the world's most pressing challenges. UTC has supported EWB-USA since 2010. Over that time, UTC employees have supported 85 EWB projects in 37 developing countries. EWB-USA requires a five-year commitment to each project, with regular in-country visits to conduct customer needs assessments, social surveys, and monitoring. UTC gives the employee volunteers paid time off to go out in the field.

To achieve maximum engagement from our target audience, we conceived a high-impact video utilizing b-roll from an especially impactful EWB-USA project in a remote Nepalese village, interviews with participating UTC employee volunteers and affirming testimony from Pratt & Whitney's engineering leadership.

Our employee volunteers took photos and videos with their phones on the ground in Nepal. A fellow volunteer took drone footage to document the landscape of the Nepalese village and the their work to develop a solar powered water system that would transport water from a stream source at the base of the mountain, up 1,000 vertical feet to the community center. We combined the on-camera interviews with the in-the-field footage to develop a two-minute video to highlight the impact that UTC volunteers made in this community.

We broadcasted this video on social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. On Facebook and Twitter, we edited the videos down to 45-60 seconds and opened with compelling visuals to hook viewers in that two-four second window before they scroll away. We did not pay for additional promotion of the content. This video laddered back to the #UnitedTech Volunteers campaign, which had buy-in from our Chairman & CEO, Gregory Hayes, who kicked off the campaign on his LinkedIn page.


By the end of our #UnitedTech Volunteers campaign, we had amassed a potential reach of more than 160,000 people, with more than 1,300 engagements (likes, comments & shares). It is important to note that these results all came from organic content that had no paid social advertising behind them. We were pleased to see that our CSR content could generate such positive engagements without paid amplification.

More specifically, the "Engineering a Shorter Walk to Water" video was clearly the star of the campaign. Accounting for nearly half of the engagements and reach. The video post is now our most shared corporate social responsibility-related posts on LinkedIn, ever.

While we were certainly very happy with the video, it was even better to see it resonated with our target audience. We saw comments from employees saying, "Just awesome! Thank you for going the extra mile to make Pratt & Whitney great!" Also, people in industry also left comments like, "I hope this will inspire others to reach out globally and domestically."

Overall, these results demonstrated that we are effectively delivering on key strategic initiatives for 2018. The fact that the video did extremely well on LinkedIn supports our larger 2018 social media strategy that outlines LinkedIn as one of our key platforms for the year. We also received praise for the fact that the initiative was global in nature, which means that we are doing a better join of telling our story globally, another key point in our 2018 social media strategy.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

United Technologies Corporation


Entry Credits