Posted by: Ian Ross | February 11, 2008

Earth Hour Building Buzz Quickly

Turn off your lights for one hour. That is the action. See how we can all work together to help the environment. That is the reason. March 28, 8 p.m. That is the date.

This is a PR campaign that is quickly building grassroots momentum. And the information is hitting me from every angle – friends, colleagues, politicans and local media.

It is all about Earth Hour – a PR campaign by the World Wildlife Fund to show how a simple task carried out by thousands (if not millions) of people and businesses can make a difference. Last year, 2.2 million people and 2,100 businesses in Sydney, Austrailia did it – and cut energy consumption by more than 10 per cent.

This year, they’ve expanded the campaign to a number of other cities. How do I know? Because the WWF’s campaign has built some big buzz in Toronto.

On Facebook, several of my friends invited me to ‘attend’ Earth Hour. Turns out, there are 6,500 of us who are confirmed guests so far and there is still 47 days to go.

At work, several colleagues have been talking up the event – great word-of-mouth marketing. And now I see Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is promising to only leave on emergency power in government offices. So I guess I won’t be working late that night.

In the Toronto Star (one of the event’s early supporters), editorial staff have been supporting the event with regular articles and a dedicated Earth Hour section on the paper’s website.

A quick Technorati search uncovers lots of blogging about the event, and a Google News search pulls up plenty of traditional media stories.

So it looks like the WWF’s PR campaign has been wildly successful so far. It will be interesting to see what the next month or two brings.

Here is the WWF’s video that I found quite inspiring.

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