PERC – Environmental Thought Leadership Campaign
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in the research and development of new propane-powered technologies.
The Challenge: Elevating Propane’s Environmental Advantages
With more than 600 proposals (legislation, resolutions, and ordinances) to limit or ban gas or force 100% electrification into future building codes across the U.S., PERC saw an urgent need to communicate environmental facts about propane to influential audiences. This challenge was made more difficult by the fact that a majority of Americans have limited knowledge of propane’s diverse uses beyond backyard grilling and camping.
PERC asked the Hahn Agency to develop and manage an environmental thought leadership campaign to:
- Elevate the fact that propane is a methane-free, ultra-low carbon energy source.
- Establish PERC’s CEO as a credible thought leader and industry expert.
- Position propane as an immediate clean energy replacement for high-carbon fuels.
- Engage influencers, national media, and social media users with solutions for decarbonization.
Hahn responded to the challenge by developing a three-pronged approach to the challenge:
Instead of targeting a broad demographic for this campaign, Hahn’s strategy focused on a slice of the professional world interested in climate change solutions. We refer to them as “Influential Insiders” (II’s) and through a six-month survey process, narrowed the audience to include architects, energy engineers, utility managers, facility managers, infrastructure consultants, commercial developers, city managers and construction executives.
These professional titles are affiliated with groups like the American Architects Association, Chambers of Commerce, Congress on New Urbanism, Urban Land Institute, and others.
In developing the Influential Insiders persona, our Strategy Team found, by using narrative analysis of media articles, that II’s are solutions-oriented, want to make the world a better place through their professional work, and are interested in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.
They are designers of physical spaces, structures, infrastructure, and even public policy that combine decarbonization and sustainability with aesthetically pleasing efficiency and resilient places and spaces.
Data-Driven Integrated Content
The Hahn creative, content, and web team designed, coded, and loaded a new digital newsroom with a variety of practical information and environmental science content about climate change, decarbonization and the role propane is playing today to reduce carbon emissions. To date, the team has authored more than 80 pieces of content, including a clean energy manifesto, myth buster articles, explainer videos and opinion editorials, for use in media relations and social media.
Launching a Podcast
Our team also produced and launched “Path to Zero,” a podcast about our world’s low-carbon future with the PERC CEO as its host.
The digital team planned and implemented a paid programmatic social ad campaign to lift PERC’s thought leadership content into the view of Influential Insiders. The campaign launched in June 2020 with native, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube ads driving key audiences to the new environmental digital newsroom on propane.com.
Much of the climate change narrative is shaped by Tier 1 media. Hahn established a national media relations strategy to engage with environmental and energy reporters through multiple touchpoints, including social media engagement, proactive pitching, rapid response communication and podcast invitations. Early successes in this space included earned placements in Forbes and the Houston Chronicle.
The campaign is effectively engaging the target audience and already changing behavior. One of the biggest metrics PERC hoped to see was more targeted users visiting the digital newsroom and engaging with content. In the first year of the program, and average of 27,200 new engaged users per month came to the PERC website. An engaged user is one who spends more than 90 seconds on the site, views at least 2 pages, and watches a video or listens to a Path to Zero podcast episode. The average session duration is over 4 minutes and 2.68 pages per session.
Nationally, according to Buzzsprout, an average podcast earns 141 downloads per month. The Path to Zero podcast averages 366 downloads per month putting it in the top 10% of performance for a podcasts.
Users who have spent more than 90 seconds on the site, viewed 2+ pages, and watched a video or listened to a podcast.
The average session duration is over 4 minutes and 2.68 pages per session.
The Path to Zero podcast averages 366 downloads per month putting it in the top 10% of performance for a podcasts.