Orkin helps 'Fight the Bite' with mosquito net program

For several years, Orkin has worked with public health companies that tie with its messaging and make a difference in people's lives.

For several years, Orkin has worked with public health companies that tie with its messaging and make a difference in people's lives.

The company came across Nothing But Nets (NBN), an organization that delivers mosquito nets to malaria-ravaged areas in Africa. Immediately it knew that this was an organization to partner with, says Martha Craft, assistant VP of PR and corporate communications.

It pledged that $10 from every season mosquito service sold by Orkin would go to the cause and called upon Jackson Spalding (JS) to help spread the word.

Strategy
The company had the ultimate objective to raise and donate at least $100,000 to NBN, as well as build more awareness of the Orkin brand, says Whitney Miller, account lead at JS. The team used a three-pronged approach of employee, consumer, and customer engagement. Miller says the team worked to first promote with employees to build a solid base, and then moved to consumer and customer awareness.

Tactics
To engage employees, the team created a variety of videos for Orkin's satellite TV broadcast channel, which goes to all of its branches, Miller says. It also created a toolkit with various items, like merchandise, letters, and phone lists, for Orkin workers so they could pass on information to friends and family, she adds.

To get consumers' attention, the team took advantage of events like World Malaria Day and pitched the media around that time. For customers that wanted to donate more or find a way to get involved, it created a Web site, nets.orkin.com, so they could learn about the effort and donate money, Craft says.

Results
The effort raised more than $135,000 for NBN, exceeding expectations, Miller says. Additionally, Orkin sales rose 33% from the prior year. “We were overwhelmed with the response from our employees,” Craft adds.

Future
The 2009 effort kicked off February 18, with Craft announcing it live on Orkin's satellite TV channel.

PR Team: Orkin and Jackson Spalding (both Atlanta)

Campaign: Fight the Bite

Duration: April 1-August 31, 2008

Budget: $175,000

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