An Earth Day Flash Consulting Day of Service with Nielsen
As part of its commitment to sustainability, Nielsen celebrated its ninth annual Earth Day with a variety of activities and volunteer events to build a stronger and more resilient future for the planet and coming generations. The global leader in audience measurement, data, and analytics was intentional about creating volunteer experiences that would bring employees closer to the cause of climate justice, provide them with a deeper understanding of the disproportionate impact of environmental challenges on vulnerable communities, and expose them to solutions being developed and championed by the social sector. Nielsen leveraged Common Impact’s experience designing cause-based skilled volunteering programs to create a customized event in line with these goals. The result: a five-hour flash consulting day of service engaging 13 Nielsen volunteers and two nonprofits, the Climate Mobilization Project and the Environmental Justice Foundation.
Building Business Solutions for Leaders in Sustainability
Messaging guide: The Climate Mobilization Project (CMP) is a national environmental non-profit organization working toward large-scale political action to create an equitable, emission-negative, climate-stable world by supporting local campaigns and mobilizing a national climate justice network. CMP’s mission is to build power for an emergency-speed national transformation that rapidly restores a safe climate and creates a just and democratic society. As the organization’s work and more extensive conversations around climate change have evolved, CMP aims to be more inclusive of climate justice and the disproportionate impact that changes to the environment have on frontline communities and communities of color. The CMP team came to the Nielsen day of service with the goal to create a narrative that is compelling, clear, and adaptable to the many different audiences that are critical to their work, while also inspiring action amongst community advocates of environmental justice.
A team of Nielsen volunteers with expertise in marketing and communications, audience segmentation, and stakeholder engagement developed recommendations for a new messaging guide that will equip CMP to re-shape their storytelling across all platforms and meet CMP’s need to connect their narrative across audiences. “We really appreciated getting outside perspectives on how our organization can better communicate our work and impact to external audiences,” said a CMP staff member. “We left with some actionable recommendations, and it was great to have time and volunteer energy dedicated to working with us on this project… One of today’s volunteers offered to continue working with us, which is very exciting.”
Website visibility and engagement: UK-based Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) recognizes that it is the most vulnerable and marginalized communities that bear the brunt of climate change. EJF is working with and for those on the frontlines of environmental destruction to investigate, document, and expose environmental and human rights abuses and take local fights to governments and businesses across the world to secure lasting global change. Following a Google Analytics review of their website, EJF’s communications team set an objective to increase organic search traffic to grow their audience and decrease the amount they need to invest in paid ads. Additionally, they wanted to boost visitor engagement with core action pages, including their donation page.
To advance these goals of increasing organic traffic and audiences, a Nielsen volunteer team of technology, software engineering, and marketing and communications professionals assessed EJF’s website content, traffic, and action pages and developed recommendations for enhancing site visibility, search engine optimization (SEO), and engagement.
The Nielsen volunteer team lead shared that the process of creating solutions to enhance EJF’s search engine optimization involved research, brainstorming and collaboration: “Everyone I met here, it was the first time I ever worked with them, and we worked really well together like longtime friends.” The Nielsen team’s recommendations ranged from highlighting success stories on prominent landing pages, creating more inbound links, and developing a long-term content strategy. All of these recommendations provided EJF with valuable approaches to generate greater returns from this key communication hub. “It’s been really interesting to have so many insightful minds scrutinize our website,” an EJF staff member commented. “It’s really provided us such a nice action plan for what we can do going forward.”
A Day of Service, A Long-Term Impact
These capacity-building projects are priming CMP and EJF to enhance and accelerate their work to address climate change. The initial benefits to the nonprofits included new partnerships and innovative approaches to their work, time saved, and improved staff morale. “We were delighted with the broad range of skills from different [volunteer] team members, the extensive and thorough questions they had prepared, and the fantastic enthusiasm the volunteers brought to their project with us,” stated one nonprofit participant. Overall, CMP and EJF reported that:
- Staff improved their skills over the course of the day of service
- Volunteers successfully addressed the challenge at hand
- Skills-based volunteering is something they are very interested in doing again
In a follow-up survey, 100% of Nielsen volunteers agreed that participating in this event increased their interest in volunteering and improved their perception of Nielsen’s commitment to supporting under-resourced communities. 88% of volunteers reported that the day of service was a valuable professional development experience and, of those who saw improvement in their workplace skills, 100% saw improvement in adaptability/flexibility, creative thinking, customer focus, planning and organization, problem solving and decision making, and working in a cross-department environment.
In addition to the skills-based volunteer event, Common Impact was also happy to support Nielsen in the curation of a company-wide Earth Day Community Conversation exploring how audience behavior and storytelling can drive awareness and action on climate change. Nearly 500 employees tuned in live to hear the conversation with John Marshall, the Chairman and CEO of Potential Energy Coalition, Christina Lowery, CEO of Girl Rising, and Tia Kennedy, Future Rising Fellow from Girl Rising, which was moderated by Nielsen Chief Diversity Officer, Sandra Sims-Williams. The wide-ranging dialogue offered inspiration and education on how the media industry can serve as truth-tellers and audience-engagers to advance climate change solutions.
“Nielsen’s 2022 Earth Day celebrations—including our Earth Day Flash Consulting event and Community Conversation with Common Impact—provided an important opportunity to recognize how our choices and actions can help to build a better climate future for all people, and especially the role that media and technology companies can play for that better future,” said Andrea Bertels, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship. “We know this work requires more than a day or week of organizing, and are dedicated to our year-round commitments to reduce our environmental footprint and promote environmental and social justice.”