By Katherine Olstein
Ben & Jerry’s Head of PR Sean Greenwood captivated early arrivals at the 2018 PRSA Tri-State Conference with a fact-filled, fun and eye-catching keynote and PowerPoint deck. The theme was Social Good.
His message? “Getting involved is as important as the product.” You can watch his full presentation on our YouTube Channel.
“Being a values-led business, we choose the issue first, then we try to bring our fans along.” It’s not about brand-building or personal politics, Greenwood said.
Blending business and social action – 3 strategies and paradigmatic tactics
- Invent on-ramps for getting involved in high-import issues
In meetings with NGO leaders known for civil rights activism in North Carolina, Ben & Jerry’s asked, “How can we be helpful?”
- Back grass roots community service programs
Ben and Jerry’s buys the brownies made by apprentices at Grayson’s Bakery in Yonkers, NY, a reentry retraining program that also provides housing and childcare.
- Join forces with high- and low-profile influencers and bloggers, to spread the word
For Willie Nelson, the company created “Peach Cobbler”; for Dave Matthews, “Magic Brownies,” to celebrate and raise awareness of racial-equality activism.
As an “Inside Scoop” event, Ben and Jerry’s brought bloggers into its factory for a two-day, all-expense-paid ice cream eat-in. “They could write whatever they wanted.” He marveled, “We’ve produced 50,000 pieces of content over the last two years.”
On September 3, 2019, Ben & Jerry’s launched a new flavor called “Justice ReMix’d” to raise awareness about “structural racism and a broken criminal justice system.”
The theme for the 2019 PRSA Tri-State Conference is Plugging Into Social Good. Check out this year’s line-up here.