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Clorox implements text-to-vote program to drive engagement

Clorox is using SMS as part of its Power a Bright Future campaign that helps keep families healthier inside and outside the home.

SMS will be a prominent component in this year?s voting phase. By using SMS, Clorox is able to reach a broader audience and engage them on the device that is most personal to them.

?Power A Bright Future was created as part of Clorox?s ongoing commitment to teachers, parents and schools and reinforces Clorox?s mission to help keep families healthier inside and outside the home,? said Rita Gorenberg, manager of public relations at The Clorox Co.

?Clorox recognizes the way we communicate with each other has changed in today?s digital age, and that?s why we work to reach our audience online and offline in each phase of the program ? and of course this includes mobile phones,? she said. ?Since anyone 18 and over can nominate a school and anyone 13 and over can vote daily, we have a broad audience.

?To ensure we reach as many people as possible our strategy is to cast a wide net with a variety of activations ? online and offline. We also continue to talk to our core audiences ? teachers, parents and teens, to learn from them where they are get information and how they share it. Based on their feedback we continue to tailor our outreach approach to make sure we are in the right place for them to see our program information.? 

Clorox manufactures and markets consumer products with 8,400 employees and fiscal year 2012 revenues of $5.5 billion.

Vibes is powering the SMS component.

Clorox is integrating a variety of tactics and initiatives, including leveraging the power of mobile to help activate teachers, parents and students in its Power A Bright Future K-12 school grant program.

To inspire a grassroots effort, the company is conducting outreach to media in local communities across the country to help spread the word.

Clorox is also using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to help get the word out about the campaign.

Additionally this year the company created special images for nominators, bloggers and communities to share on Pinterest. 

?Not only is Pinterest one of the major ways our target audience shares content, but it is especially big for teachers these days,? Ms. Gorenberg said.

?This summer, we held an interactive teacher focus group session to learn how we can best connect with key audiences and encourage participation in Power a Bright Future,? she said. ?As a result of our teacher focus group, we learned that the best way to reach teachers was to have a presence on Edmodo, a social learning network for teachers, students and parents.

?Teachers told us that several school focused social platforms, like Edmodo, allows them to create social networks exclusively for students and potentially parents in both Spanish and English. So based on their feedback this year we?ll be working with Edmodo to encourage participation in the program among teachers.?

Key channel
Clorox chose SMS because it is the primary way that teens communicate nowadays.

Last year there were more than two million votes via SMS, and this year Clorox expects the mobile component will be even more popular, especially among teens.

?According to Pew Research, text messaging has become the primary way that teens communicate, with half sending more than 50 texts a day, so it?s integral that this is part of the program?s voting phase,? Ms. Gorenberg said. ?Teens are important to the program, we want to encourage them to get involved and vote for programs that directly make a difference to them.

?We also want to activate teens to spread the word and encourage their friends to vote, by sharing information at school and through their social networks,? she said.

?Overall our focus is to help make parents lives easier and mobile is a great tool to help us do just that because of the convenience and immediate action it allows busy moms and dads.?

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York