The challenge was to position City CarShare, the largest nonprofit carsharing provider in North America, as a company that “practices what it preaches.” LCI wanted to show that the employees of City CarShare not only talk about green lifestyle habits, they live them through adopting green habits (i.e. walking to work and taking public transit).
LCI’s strategy was to create City CarShare news to leverage for Earth Day, which traditionally can be a hard day on which to secure coverage due to competing news stories and activities. LCI crafted a survey for City CarShare employees to obtain information about their normal commuting habits and discovered that every staff member either walks, bikes or takes public transportation to work, which directly supports the nonprofit’s mission.
LCI found these results newsworthy and pitched the San Francisco Examiner’s transportation reporter to write a feature story for Earth Day. Originally, the reporter was not planning to publish an article related to Earth Day, but LCI provided interesting story elements, a spokesperson and supporting ideas, which helped the reporter successfully sell the story concept to her own editor. LCI arranged interviews for the reporter with City CarShare employees as well as the organization’s CEO. Each staff member was asked to discuss their commuting habits and how it ties in to City CarShare’s mission.
The feature story by the transportation reporter appeared in the San Francisco Examiner (circulation: 80,939; unique visitors monthly: 115,374) on Earth Day, April 22, 2014. The print and online article led with City CarShare as a company that lives its mission and included a photo of CEO Rick Hutchinson exiting the Montgomery Bart station on his way to work. City CarShare was very pleased with the results and leveraged the article across its social media channels as its primary Earth Day story.