the sally sisson blog


June 19, 2012

Content marketing + cause marketing: Public relations with a purpose

content marketing for SUBWAY

Copywriting + corporate clients

Around this time last summer, I was busily dealing with my own child’s end-of-school activities while developing a year’s worth of content for SUBWAY Kids™ (via the Boston office of ad agency Jack Morton Worldwide).

For the Random Acts of Fitness for Kids™ project, developed to promote physical fitness and healthy habits in elementary schools throughout the U.S., I devised 365 “random” content snippets, 52 weekly activities, 12 mini field day activities and a culminating field day program. I also wrote copy for a teacher’s guide, teacher calendar and planner, classroom poster, and collateral for teachers and parents. All in about two weeks while trying to leave on my own summer vacation. Phew.

Cause marketing + bonus branding

content marketing for Subway KidsSUBWAY® Restaurants has had a successful string of win-win partnerships with select organizations and government institutions, and is now widely known for its commitment to the fight against childhood obesity.

For the Random Acts of Fitness and related campaigns, SUBWAY Kids™ partnered with We Can!™ (a National Institutes of Health (NIH) program), the American Heart Association and Little League® Baseball and Softball.

For another campaign on conservation, it partnered with The Nature Conservancy to provide reusable lunch bags and educate kids about the importance of recycling, reusing and reducing waste. [See my blog post: Earth Day interactives: Copywriting with a conscience for corporate clients.]

The SUBWAY restaurant chain is now the largest in the world. According to the Wall Street Journal it surpassed McDonald’s last year as the world’s largest chain, in units sold. Not that it can be attributed to savvy cause marketing, but heck, they must be doing something right in the brand department.

Useful content for a range of constituents

June is field day season in American elementary schools, and also a time when restless kids get summer fever. The “Random Acts” guide also features quick exercises and activities that kids can do in the classroom to get their bodies moving and minds re-focused.

It also extends into the summer months, with ideas for at-home activities and seasonal recipes right through the last days of August, when kids are bored and restless once again, waiting for school to begin…

Happy summer!

(This year, I’m outa here!)

 

 

 

 

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April 22, 2012

Earth Day interactives: Copywriting with a conscience for corporate clients

I’ve worked on a few copywriting and content development projects for SUBWAY® Restaurants and their SUBWAYkids.com group over the past year (via the Boston office of ad agency Jack Morton Worldwide).

My latest project, an interactive game and content for a campaign developed with The Nature Conservancy, the world’s leading conservation organization, is now live on the site. This spring, every SUBWAY Fresh Fit for Kids Meal comes in a reusable meal bag with a special code to unlock the interactive game and bonus eco-facts and video clips.

“With your help, we can work to reduce, recycle and reuse—and clean up the planet.”

Kids play the “Eco-Quest” by picking up pieces of trash along their journey through habitats on three levels: land, air and sea. With each clean-up or successful answer to a question, users are rewarded with an ec0-fact or a downloadable Nature Conservancy feature on an endangered or at-risk animal whose habitat is threatened by pollution. Check it out at www.subwaykids.com.

Pretty basic, as it’s designed for younger users, but kind of fun. And it was definitely fun to work on. Kudos to big corporations like SUBWAY for catching on, cutting down on waste and encouraging the use of reusables.

Speaking of Earth Day and jumping on the green bandwagon…

The Earth Day content I wrote a couple years ago for the Think Green website, developed for Discovery Education in partnership with Waste Management, is still live on their site. Check it out if you’re looking for creative activities for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 or 9-12. The content is evergreen because, as they say, every day is Earth Day.

By the way, Waste Management, the largest recycler in North America, is offering discounts on battery recycling kits for business as a special Earth Day promotion this year. Find out more about this and other features, like recycle-by-mail programs, at www.wm.com.

ThinkGreen.com: Earth Day Ideas

 

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February 1, 2011

Extreme Content: How is web writing like extreme winter weather?

Ready Classroom 2

A: You’ve got to be prepared for both.

When a client needs web content, sometimes it’s just a home page or a few headlines. Sometimes it’s the whole thing – 1st, 2nd and 3rd level pages plus links and special features.

Light to moderate to heavy

For the Ready Classroom website, Discovery Education needed the whole package: research and writing for a dozen categories of extreme weather and natural disasters, customized content for each of the 50 states, copy to cross-reference it all, and creative standards-based lesson plans for different grades ranges for K-12.

On top of that there were different strands for three different audiences. All content had to be run through Discovery Education as well as the Ad Council and FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), their partners for this particular project.

blizzardsatful

Stock up. Hunker down.

Web writing involves a range of skills: research, writing (both copywriting and long-form content), editing, organization, planning, critical thinking. It also takes time, especially a job of this size. It can be enjoyable to dive deep into a topic and stay holed up for a while. The key is to be be prepared (clear your schedule, line up childcare), stock up on supplies (decent snacks, decent coffee, case of coffee filters), and prepare for a couple all-nighters. Note that it’s good to come up for air every once in a while, whatever the weather.

Toolkits, checklists and survival skills.

We’re getting pretty hard hit with winter weather this year, some parts of the country worse than others. Just this morning I consulted Ready Classroom to check my own family’s state of preparedness for this week’s monster storm. According to FEMA, the Red Cross and my own trusty tips, we still have another trip or two to the hardware store before ticking all the boxes on our Disaster Preparedness Checklist.

Check out the site and see how you stack up. Are YOU prepared?

The calm after the storm

Judging by the broken flashlight and half-empty box of kitchen matches by my side, I would not win many Girl Scout badges for preparedness. However, the content I developed did score some points: Ready Classroom won a 2010 BESSIE (Best Educational Software Award), which made those days and nights in my underground bunker all the more worthwhile. Read more here.

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