2015 Asia-Pacific Gold Winner - Stephen Gill Associates
Company: Stephen Gill Associates, Derby, Derbyshire, United Kingdom and Singapore
Category: Communications/PR - Campaign: Low Budget
Entry Title: Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning (RAC) industry awareness
Let me share with an amazing story that started as a simple idea and grew into an industry multi-award winning marketing campaign.
This is an innovative marketing initiative that is different, in fact it is extraordinary. It was the cooling industry marketing sensation of 2014. A very simple concept that became a global phenomenon.
But first, some questions:
Is it possible to for a person to promote their industry rather than their organisation or themselves?
Is it possible for someone without any marketing or PR training to produce a campaign using the most basic of software?
Is it possible for someone with a budget of $Zero to start a campaign that will be viewed by over half a million people around the world?
Can an individual make a difference and really be heard in this busy social media world?
These were not questions that I had in mind when in September 2013 I started posting ‘awareness and information’ updates/posters on the professional networking site ‘LinkedIn’, but I now know the answer to the questions is ‘yes’.
I own an engineering consultancy business in the Refrigeration industry. With a budget of $0, but with plenty of enthusiasm and energy, I prepared a simple poster explaining an aspect of what my industry does. The purpose was not to promote my organisation or any particular product or service; it was to raise awareness of how the refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) industry touches our modern lives in so many different ways.
I have no PR or marketing training, and I used simple MS paint to prepare the posters. I issued one each week for a whole year on the LinkedIn site. There are 52 posters in total.
The target audience was fellow professionals working in the RAC industry. The aim was to raise their awareness of what this industry does, and to help them share this information with others.
The LinkedIn poster updates where greeted with viewing figures beyond anyone’s expectations. Over the course of the year, from September 2013 to September 2014, they reviewed over 500,000 views, over 10,000 ‘likes’, and close to 2,000 comments.
The campaign won industry awards:
RAC Cooling Industry Awards – London
“The judges were adamant that this remarkable campaign would have risen above any size field. The campaign has been phenomenally successful; as social media goes, it has become the cooling industry's version of piano-playing cats.
The judges raved about the potential impact of this campaign "Demonstrates a message that is vital and a world away from shifting products".
ACR News Awards – London
National ACR Awards – Birmingham
“Judges' remarks: "an innovative approach to a problem which industry has been discussing for some years now"
Climate Control Awards – Dubai
“The judges were impressed with Stephen's efforts and praised the unique approach adopted in promoting the HVACR industry for its contribution to the society. They felt the entry deserving of the ‘Honourable Mention’, based on the quality and compelling nature of the presentation.”
The posters proved to be a success around the globe, and have been translated into Korean, Chinese, Thai, Malay, Russian, and Japanese.
To answer to the questions I asked at the head of this essay: Yes, it is possible for an individual with $0 budget, with no software skills, and no marketing or PR training to promote a worthy cause through social media. What is more, the result is seen as ‘remarkable’ by many of the leading industry experts around the world.
On a personal note, my own business has grown and there is no doubt that our profile was raised by the success of the campaign.
Further to that, I have been elected as the next President of the Institute of Refrigeration.
A remarkable success achievement.