Restaurants remain in a precarious financial position during Covid-19 and shuttering their doors permanently could bankrupt owners, put thousands of employees out of work indefinitely and leave a gaping financial hole in cities. Audible mobilized a citywide response to this in our hometown of Newark, NJ, and in April launched Newark Working Kitchens (NWK). We asked BerlinRosen to create an online campaign for the initiative to help raise awareness and the support needed to keep restaurants open.
At Audible, we believe that companies can have hearts and missions that transcend financial success and we moved our headquarters to Newark in 2007 to become part of the city’s renaissance. As the city’s fastest-growing private employer, we recruit and cultivate local talent as well as drive forward a wide range of community initiatives with a focus on returning Newark to its roots as an innovation hub.
We launched NWK to help keep local restaurants afloat by providing tens of thousands of meals to residents in need. In just five months, working with chef Marcus Samuelson and World Central Kitchen and with the support of city government, Newark-based companies, and Newark natives like actor Michael B. Jordan, twenty-five participating restaurants have delivered over 400,000 meals to more than 10,000 residents. To provide additional support to Newark businesses we launched the Newark Small Business Guidance Program in collaboration with Newark Venture Partners and Invest Newark to offer free support to small businesses as they navigate federal and state relief funding and adapt their businesses.
While encouraging user donations is a critical component of the Newark Working Kitchens social media campaign, the primary focus across all of our channels is to tell the stories of the participating restaurants and organizations. Posts and Instagram Stories highlight the words of owners and employees at treasured Newark establishments, like McGovern’s which has been open in downtown Newark since 1936, as well as brand new restaurants that were just starting to find their footing before Covid-19 hit. These posts shine a spotlight on all of the people involved in keeping the program running—the hardworking cooks making up hundreds of meals each day, the delivery and outreach team, and our neighbors in need—to show what’s at stake for Newark businesses and restaurants and to highlight the hope that NWK has brought back to the community.
These posts include:
Actor and Newark native Michael B. Jordan was one of the first people to support this initiative. In addition to donating to NWK, he has been actively engaged with, and inspired by, the NWK content and sharing it on Instagram to help garner support.
Since our mid-May 2020 social media launch, our content has garnered over 204,000 impressions and 8,800 engagements through organic traffic and paid promotions.
We’ve received 650+ clicks on social post links to NWK’s donation page and have raised over $16,000 online and $6 million total, including Audible’s $1.5 million contribution, as of end of August.
Celebrities like Michael B. Jordan (13.8M followers) and Marcus Samuelsson (497K followers) have shared Instagram Stories highlighting the initiative.
We also garnered earned media stories across numerous publications and media outlets, including: