PR Strategy: Timberland Earthkeepers Campaign


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This campaign was created as my PR strategy class project. I created this strategic evaluation of the Timberland Earthkeepers campaign to measure the campaign's effectiveness and connection to its target audience.

My role was to work with the team on all aspects of the project. We initially divided the work among the group, then swapped work with each other to make sure everything was covered in depth.

-There was a lot to learn about the Timberland Earthkeepers campaign. The Timberland reputation was highly regarded, which made the research for the campaign easier as more facts were available.
-We offered ways to extend the successful campaign by outlining their publics, creating evaluation techniques and building long-term relationships.

-It was difficult to find information about the target public, since there was a lot of positive media coverage about Timberland. The media and company focused on their success, rather than the customers affected.
-Some parts of the project were difficult to determine, such as the four Cs in communications effectiveness. We were unsure if the spokesperson should be a celebrity or the CEO, because of who Timberland was trying to reach. We chose the CEO since he has the most knowledge of the company and a clean reputation.

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PR Strategy: Timberland Earthkeepers Campaign

  1. 1. Earthkeepers campaign 2008 until nowDue: April 19, 2011Project Prepared By:Sarah ArrazolaRachel RaddatzChristy SioMichelle Tomao
  2. 2. 2Table of ContentsExecutive Summary…………………………………………………………………3Research……………………………………………………………………………….5Objectives……………………………………………………………………………..13Programming…………………………………………………………………………17Evaluation……………………………………………………………………………..25Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………….28Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………..30
  3. 3. 3Executive SummaryResearchTo advocate eco-friendly behavior and inspire real environmental changes amongpeople, the Timberland Company created the Earthkeepers campaign. According toTimberland, an Earthkeeper is someone who wants to protect and maintain the environment.Without Earthkeepers, many believe the planet will suffer and face serious long-termconsequences. With this notion, Timberland set out to make a good idea into a positive reality.By focusing on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and improving products andsustainability, the Earthkeepers campaign of 2008 is one that is still occurring today. Workingtoward complete transparency between itself and consumers, the company focuses on fourmain areas in terms of strategy: energy, product, workplaces and service. These four “pillars”set the ground work for Timberland’s research, and they will be discussed further in our report.("Timberlands four corporate")ObjectivesFor the purposes of this case study, we focused on three objectives. As an awarenessobjective, Timberland wanted to increase its corporate and brand reputation as anenvironmental leader to latent publics. For acceptance, the company wanted to recruit onemillion Earthkeepers to become part of an online network designed to inspire environmentalchange among aware audiences. Timberland also wanted to communicate with active publicsto strengthen communities by improving green spaces and access to outdoors.We revised the objectives and made them time committed and number specific. Wealso stated which groups of targeted audiences should be placed into specific levels ofawareness.
  4. 4. 4ProgrammingTimberland implemented the objectives through programming, specifically through itskey messages. To improve its reputation as an environmental leader, the company wanted todraw a link between purchasing products and being an active and educated individual. It alsowanted to meet this objective by being transparent and honest through the Earthkeepers blog,Facebook page and YouTube account. Through this type of programming, the acceptanceobjective was met. By implementing logos, ethos and pathos, the campaign used multi-facetedcommunication techniques to activate communities toward improving the environment. For allof its objectives, the Earthkeepers campaign relied heavily on two-way communication throughonline media tactics.EvaluationWe found this campaign to be very effective in terms of its research, objectives andprogramming. We felt suggestions to improve specific objectives, targeted audiences andformative research would have enhanced the success of the campaign. Reaching out tosponsored groups could have also enhanced the campaign in terms of programming.Our team rewrote each original objective into revised versions while keeping thetargeted audiences in mind. We also placed targeted audiences into specific groups based onlevels of awareness.Timberland could have improved its programming techniques by utilizing its sponsoredgroups to further its campaign. These five groups could have reached more audiences thanTimberland alone, therefore improving its success in accomplishing its objectives.
  5. 5. 5ResearchIssueAs an American manufacturer and retailer of outdoors wear, Timberland Companychallenges and commits itself to being environmentally responsible, what it refers to asEarthkeeping. It’s the way Timberland makes its products. It uses revolutionary breakthroughslike Green Rubber compound to make 42 percent recycled rubber outsoles. Earthkeeping isthe way the company stands on issues that affect the environment, like climate change. OnJune 9, 2008, Timberland announced its Earthkeepers campaign. (“Timberland community”)The idea was to create a way to translate lots of passionate talk and ideas into positive,practical action. Studies showed that consumers’ concerns for the environment are at large,but they are confused about how to go about making a positive difference. About half of thosesurveyed said they would do more for the environment if they had the tools and the knowledgeon how to do so. Timberland launched the Earthkeepers campaign, reinforcing the importanceof ‘living green, while making it easy and fun for people to make simple, practical changes andshare ideas about how to lighten their environmental footprints.’ ("Corporate socialresponsibility," 2008)OrganizationMission“Timberland’s mission is to equip people to make a difference in their world. We do thisby creating outstanding products and by trying to make a difference in the communities wherewe live and work.” ("Timberland: about us")SizeAs of Dec. 31, 2009, The Timberland Company operated six specialty stores, 59 factoryoutlet stores and four footwear stores in the U.S. There were 44 company-owned specialtystores and shops and 16 factory outlet stores in Europe. There were also 67 company-owned
  6. 6. 6specialty stores and shops and 19 factory outlet stores in Asia. (Timberland company profile)LocationTimberland has locations throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Deutschland,Osterreich, Spain, France, Italy, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.HistoryIn 1952, Nathan Swartz bought a half interest in the Abington Shoe Company inAbington, Massachusetts. He bought the remaining half in 1955, when his sons joined thecompany, manufacturing private label shoes for leading brand manufacturers for about 10years. In 1965, the Swartz family introduced a revolutionary technology into the footwearindustry, producing waterproof boots and shoes. The Timberland brand name was developedin 1973, but it wasn’t until 1976 that the company launched its first advertising campaign. TheSwartz family changed the name of the company to The Timberland Company in 1978, thesame year that it manufactured its first hand sewn casual shoe.The 1980’s was a period of growth for The Timberland Company: it introduced its firstinternational market in Italy, began its first field-tests, opened its first store in Newport, RhodeIsland, became the first boot manufacturer to advertise on national TV and entered with themen’s and women’s clothing and accessories markets. Timberland partnered with City Year,Inc., the Boston-based youth “urban peace corps” and model for national youth service, tosupport community service. Timberlands relationship with City Year has since grown into a$10 support to expanding its service program to 13 cities around the United States. As one ofits first environmentally friendly efforts, Timberland introduced a lightweight hiking boot, with arubber lug sole designed to provide maximum traction without harming the trail.Timberland’s growth continued into the 1990’s, by opening its first European store inLondon. During this time, Timberland also introduced women’s apparel into its collection. In1992, Timberland developed what would later be known as The Path of Service program, a
  7. 7. 7progressive corporate policy that offers its employees 16 hours paid leave to delve intocommunity service. The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES)proposed a set of environmental ethics, which Timberland signed onto in 1993. Thesedocuments guide corporate conduct and enable corporate investors to make informeddecisions on environmental issues. The following year, Timberland launched its Model Peopleprint campaign, encouraging and honoring individuals who put on their boots and make adifference. Keeping up with its corporate social responsibilities, Timberland increased its paidemployee volunteer time benefit to 40 hours.The second campaign in Timberland’s history, its Beliefs print campaign, was verysimilar to the philosophy of its first “pulling on your boots and making a difference” campaign.For its 25th anniversary, Timberland held its first annual Serv-a-palooza on June 18 1998; thiswas the largest company-wide day of community service. The company had made a previouscommitment to serve 40,000 hours in communities by the year 2000, and had surpassed it by1998.In its 2004 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, the company focused on new levelsof transparency, including disclosure of the names and locations of contract factoriesworldwide. Its growth continued into 2005 when Timberland’s product line in the UK introducedThe Timberland Boot Company collection. Keeping its routine of community service duringHurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast region of the U.S., the company established a short-termservice sabbatical for employees wanting to help with disaster relief efforts.At the beginning of 2005, Timberland set new standards for its product transparencyand increased its efforts to minimize environmental impact. It did this by introducing new,more eco-conscious packaging to its footwear products and a “nutritional label”, a productinformation label that details aspects of the company’s environmental and community footprint.The company was recognized in 2008 as the first footwear manufacturer to commercialize
  8. 8. 8Green Rubber technology. Partnering with the Green Rubber Inc. led it to launch newfootwear collections featuring outsoles made using recycled rubber from discarded tires.The Earthkeepers campaign launched globally in 2008 as a movement to recruit onemillion people to become part of an online network designed to inspire real environmentalbehavior change. By 2009 it shrunk the carbon footprint of all its U.S. stores by an additional11 percent by switching 70 percent of its North American stores to LED lighting. ("Corporatetimeline")Culture mission statement and valuesThe company is committed to reducing its environmental impact through the use ofmore renewable energy, more recycled/reusable materials, less waste, fewer chemicals andmore trees. Timberlands commitment to corporate social responsibility is grounded in thevalues that define our community: humanity, humility, integrity and excellence. The corporateresponsibility strategy is focused on four pillars:Energy: “Timberland has a target to become carbon neutral by 2010. In addition to thisgoal we are working on designing climate impacts out of our product and giving resources toour suppliers to shrink their carbon footprint.” (“Reduce our carbon”)Product: “Recyclable product is another way of saying designing product that has anafterlife. This aspirational goal leverages our outdoor heritage and environmental credentials ina competitive and green marketplace by providing durable products that meet our consumers’needs and exceed their environmental expectations.” (“Design recyclable product”)Workplaces: “When we manufacture in other people’s factories, we live by the samebeliefs we practice in our own. We know that we can make high-quality products in a way thatrespects the human rights of the craftspeople who work on the factory line.” (“Fair and safe”)Service: “At our core is a belief in the power of people to transform their communitiesand make a difference in the world. To give our employees an opportunity to make their
  9. 9. 9difference, we provide them with up to 40 paid community service hours per year through ourPath of Service employee volunteer program.” (“Community service greening”)Reputation Selected as one of 1998’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune Magazine in 1999. Recognized with the Community IMPACT! Corporate Leadership Award at the KennedyCenter in Washington, DC in 2000. For the fifth consecutive year, Timberland was placed on Fortune magazines “100 BestCompanies to Work For” list for the year 2001. Ranked on Fortune magazine’s “Platinum 400-The Best Big Companies in America” list for2001. Asked to be one of 19 founding members of Businesses Strengthening America, a WhiteHouse initiative focused on national corporate service, in 2002. Ranked No.5 in the apparel category on Fortune Magazine’s list of “Most Admired Companies”in 2003. Named to the list of “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” by Working Mother magazinein 2004. Named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune magazine for the 10thconsecutive year. U.S. Green Building Council awarded LED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)Gold certification for Timberland’s Peabody, MA retail store location and LED Silvercertification for its Salem, NH retail store location. Ranked No.8 among Top 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces. Fast Company magazine’s annual Most Innovative Companies issue honors Timberland asone of the world’s top businesses.
  10. 10. 10 Ranked No.4 in the Most Innovative Company for Fashion by Fast Company in 2010. Ranked No.6 in the Most Innovative Company for consumer products by Fast Company in2010. Ranked No.2 on Climate Counts’ list of companies making aggressive strides fighting climatechange. Named one of Outside Magazine’s “Best Places to Work.”All from (“Corporate timeline”)Notable PR Practices 1992 Give Racism the Boot awareness campaign supporting diversity and standing up againstoppression internationally. 1994 Model People Print Campaign, honoring individuals who pull on their boots and make adifference. Beliefs Print Campaign, which reflected the company’s philosophy of “pulling on your bootsand making a difference.”Why it MattersAs a company that is passionate about the outdoors, its responsibility to its stakeholdersdemanded they address what they considered to be the most important environmental issue in2008: global warming. Timberland wanted to become a solution by reducing its energy,procuring renewable energy and investing in renewable energy development through thepurchase of carbon offsets.The global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel hit a high in 2008 at 8.5 billion tons of carbon.Over the 10 previous years before 2008, global CO2 emissions rose by an average of 2.5percent a year, nearly four times as fast as in the 1990s. The accumulated carbon emissionsresulted in devastating temperature increases, melting ice sheets and rising sea levels. The
  11. 11. 11United States was the world’s top greenhouse gas polluter after China in 2008. U.S. emissionsin 2007 were estimated to have reached 16.7 percent above those in 1990. (Heinzerling, 2010)The year 2008 was one of the most devastating ever in terms of natural disasters. Theclimate change was suggested as the reason for the boost of destructive power of disasterslike hurricanes and flooding. It called for stricter curbs on emissions to prevent furtheruncontrollable weather scenarios. To put the effects of the disaster into perspective, more than220,000 people died in events like cyclones, earthquakes and flooding, the most since 2004.Of those interviewed, one said world leaders must put in place “effective and binding rules onCO2 emissions” to curb climate change and ensure that “future generations do not have to livewith weather scenarios that are difficult to control”. ("Huge year for," 2008)Similar SituationsIn 2007, Timberland introduced its Green Index Rating which gives consumers clearand easy-to-understand information about the impact their footwear choices have on theenvironment. The product-specific environmental information includes climate impact,chemicals used and resource consumption.Target PublicsThose AffectedThe health of the planet, people living on it and the economy are all affected by thecampaign. Recycling paper and plastic enables the public to reuse its limited resources andcut down on landfill accumulation. Carpooling helps reduce emissions and shopping locallyreduces fuel consumption and wasted shipping materials.Target PublicsThe Earthkeepers campaign targeted latent, aware and active publics. The companywas interested in using two-way communication with action-oriented messages to generateparticipation.
  12. 12. 12Earthkeeper: Someone who cares about the environment and is willing to do his or herpart every day to preserve it for future generation. ("Council of public")Timberland’s decision to target all three publics was a good decision. By targeting thelatent public Timberland changed its reputation among all people, not just those who are awareand active with the company. In a survey it found one-third of respondents felt guilty in pastyears about not living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. This group was knowledgeableabout helping the environment more but had not taken the measures to do so, falling intoTimberland’s aware publics category. Three-quarters of Americans, the world’s largestpolluters, planned to be more environmentally responsible in 2008. That means that roughlythree-quarters of Americans fell into Timberland’s active target public category. ("Manyamericans aim," 2007)
  13. 13. 13ObjectivesIntroductionThrough the Earthkeepers campaign, Timberland wanted to highlight the importance ofliving green by making small changes and collaborating with others on how to beenvironmentally friendly. Our team analyzed three formal objectives for the campaign andrecommended three revised objectives..ObjectivesAwareness Objective: Recognizing Timberland as an Earth-Friendly BrandThe campaign’s awareness objective was one that could have used some fine tuning.Rather than breaking it into two individual awareness objectives, it was provided as oneobjective:To advance Timberland’s corporate and brand reputation as an environmentalleader. (“Council of public”)The targeted audience for this objective is considered a “latent public”. (Smith, 2009)The identified audience is considered latent because they share similar values with theTimberland company, but they may not recognize Timberland specifically as an Earth-friendlybrand. Considerably, the objective may also target “nonpublics,” since Timberland wanted tochange its reputation among all people, not just those who are interested in the company or itscause. Ultimately, the objective is to bring those who are unaware, the latent public, ofTimberland’s position on the environment to recognize them as a brand that is aware andrespectful of the environment.Though the campaign was named Earthkeepers, it does not necessarily mean thataudiences will immediately recognize or associate Timberland as being Earth-friendly. This
  14. 14. 14specific awareness objective, targeting the latent publics, was too broad in determining what itwas to accomplish. To form a clearer objective, the campaign could have focused on what itwanted to achieve and constructed an awareness objective such as the following:To increase awareness of Timberland as being an Earth-friendly brand by 45 percent ofNorth Americans by Aug. 2010.In public relations, practitioners must remember to avoid the “curse of knowledge” whilecreating a campaign. (Smith, 2009) What may be plain and obvious to one individual could bea completely new concept to another. With this type of objective, Timberland would have beenable to move the latent public to being an aware public. Many people who are loyal to theTimberland brand may not be thinking about the environment; it would have been a greatopportunity for Timberland to educate this audience.Acceptance Objective: Inspire Changed Attitues through Online NetworkingA second objective of the campaign was to recruit one million people to join an onlinenetwork in order to motivate each other toward real environmental change. Here, twoobjectives have been combined:To recruit one million Earthkeepers to become part of an online networkdesigned to inspire real environmental change. (“Council of public”)The targeted audience of this acceptance objective is the “aware” public. The awarepublic recognized Timberland as an Earth-friendly company, and the public is also educatedon environmental aspects. (Smith, 2009) The Earthkeepers campaign works to move thosewho are aware of the situation at hand to taking the next step, the acceptance stage, andbecoming part of a network of Earthkeepers. Though inspiring, this acceptance objective has afew flaws. First, it has too many ideas for an objective; not only does Timberland want torecruit one million people to join the network, but it also wants them to change their behaviors
  15. 15. 15toward the environment. To make a useful objective, it must have a clear and distinct goalinvolving quantitative subjects within a given timeframe.This objective either needs to be divided into two objectives or shortened to one. Thisexample would suffice:To change people’s attitudes toward bettering the environment by 30 percent by Dec.2009.By dividing the formal acceptance objective into this suggested objective, the campaignreceives more clarity in what it is trying to achieve. This allows for more specific tactics to beutilized rather than trying accomplishing a lot of things in a mediocre fashion.Our team created an additional objective under the said category:To increase customers’ confidence in Timberland’s ability to solve environmentalissues. We want to increase this number by 100,000 individuals by Sept. 2010.This objective would target the aware publics and move them into the acceptancecategory. By including current Timberland customers, the objective covers the customercategory of publics, including occasional, current, loyal, potential, former and regularcustomers. (Smith, 2009) Through this objective, the company is attempting to change theaware public’s beliefs toward the company.Action Objective: Increasing Volunteerism and Number of EarthkeepersTimberland’s action objective is as follows:Strengthen communities by improving green spaces and access to outdoors. (“Councilof public”)The targeted audience for this action objective was the “active” publics. This objectiverepresented a call to action by becoming involved in green projects, such as planting trees.To give a more definitive timeframe for accomplishing the objective, we rewrote theoriginal objective into two possible suggestions:
  16. 16. 16To strengthen communities by increasing the amount of volunteers by 25 percent byMay 2010.To recruit one million people from around the globe to join the EarthKeepers’ onlinenetwork by Nov. 2009.This established time gives a more realistic deadline for the objective, rather than simplyaccomplishing it at any given time during the year. This objective is effective in that manytactics can be put toward it. An objective would have two or three tactics implemented in orderto accomplish the objective. One instance is Timberland could strengthen communities andincrease volunteerism through community service groups, by word of mouth and other forms ofcommunication.A second action-level objective the company should have implemented is one thatinvolves other active publics. A specific category of publics that the Earthkeepers campaign didnot address were the enablers. Enabling publics include community leaders, professionals,businesses, government officials and opinion leaders. These leaders have the ability toinfluence potential customers and other audiences that can help Timberland succeed in itsobjectives. (Smith, 2009) This is an action objective targeted toward enablers:To gather opinion leaders (government officials, business owners, etc.) to donate$1 million collectively toward environmental groups by the end of 2009.Though this objective does not directly involve Timberland and improving its sales, itcontinues toward the goal of protecting the environment, a duty clearly implied when taking onthe role of Earthkeepers.
  17. 17. 17ProgrammingKey MessageThe key message Timberland conveyed to its public was in purchasing Timberlandkeepers products, the consumers were helping the environment and becoming a “hero”, thustheir slogan, “Nature needs more heroes.” (“Timberland community”) The products Timberlandmade were produced using recycled plastic (products) and renewable energy, while beingproduced in a manner that used less chemicals and waste. (“Timberland community”)Earthkeepers used engagement to bring consumers closer to the brand. Through thepurchase of an Earthkeepers product, the consumer was helping the environment, but alsobecoming an Earthkeeper.StrategiesTimberland used proactive methods in their newly created campaign. It wanted thepublic to become aware of the cause, attain acceptance and have them take action.The company aims to be transparent to its public to show trustworthiness and it is fullycommitted to lowering its carbon footprint.(“Timberland community”) The company beganpublishing annual reports, covering all of their environmental goals, accomplishments andcurrent statistics and being proactive through sponsored events in the community.The Earthkeepers campaign used two-way communication to communicate with itsaudience. The campaign was based almost completely off online media tactics. In oneinstance, through the Earthkeepers Facebook page, “friends” could respond to post put up bythe campaign, comment on the wall, ask questions and exchange information with others whoused the Timberland Earthkeepers page. The company used very interactive forms ofcommunication in order for the audience to make a connection with the company and thecampaign. Through the YouTube uploads, users could also comment on the post and read
  18. 18. 18others thoughts on the commercials posted by Earthkeepers. (“Youtube lost bottle,” fall ‘10campaign)Effective CommunicationThe Earthkeepers campaign effectively used ethos, pathos and logos tactics.Timberland holds characteristics for each of these points, giving it an edge over other brands.Timberland is a reputable brand, known not only for its high quality merchandise, butalso good corporate responsibility when it comes to the environment. (“Timberlandcommunity”) They also provide accurate and clear information, allowing their consumers tounderstand exactly what product they are purchasing as well as how their purchases have aneffect on the planet. Timberland used a “green scale” on each of the Earthkeeper products,which rated how that product would impact the earth. These scales made the consumer awareof how much their purchase could help change the planet. (“Timberland community”)The brand continually assured it was sharing achievements and shortcomings with itsconsumers. This transparency through annual reports, blogging and other means allowedconsumers to build a strong trust in the company.For ethos, the spokesman Jeffrey Swartz, Timberland CEO, is often the designatedcontributor to posting updates in regards to the company, making the information trustworthyand accurate, as well as giving the company a recognizable “face.” Swartz fills the three C’s ofeffective communication. He is credible because he knows the products, has input on how theyare made and has control over his audience. His involvement with other organizations andbusinesses has earned him respect for his knowledge. Although charisma was not his strongpoint, he is an easy going individual who uses sarcasm to keep situations light heartedly. Hepresents himself physically as being low maintenance and relatable with others.Logos was achieved by Timberland Earthkeepers using less waste, more renewableenergy, fewer chemicals and recycled or reusable items to make products ecologically-friendly.
  19. 19. 19Making such a change in their production and products aligned the company with having goodcorporate-social responsibility and created Earthkeepers campaign.Pathos was reached by appealing to guilt. They made the consumer believe that it wasin their own hands to make a change in the environment. A consumer was making a choice onhow they were going to affect the environment every time they made a purchase. Theconsumer who bought a shoe was making a larger negative impact on the earth in comparisonto the consumer who took the time and effort to buy a product that was beneficial to theenvironment.The company let its audience know that although it is an American company and haveplanned on expanding environmental efforts across the world. This idea demonstrated toTimberland customers that the company was also responsible in making this move happen. Bybeing involved in the initiative here in America, it was helping in making it grow and reach othernations around the world.Verbal and Nonverbal CommunicationVerbal communication is used effectively throughout the Earthkeepers campaign. Theirslogan, “Nature Needs More Heroes,” sends a positive message although implying the needfor more people to reduce their carbon footprint. The slogan mentions nothing about negativeissues in the environment, yet is effective because it calls for its audience to step up and dotheir part. The four words, “Nature Needs More Heroes,” are effective, strong and clear:Timberland Earthkeepers is calling for its consumers to be heroes by being aware of theirenvironmental impact and taking action to lessen their carbon footprint. The language issimple enough to be understood by a large audience, allowing it to make a farther reach.Its Earthkeepers website was a good example of non-verbal communication in thecampaign, using very subtle touches to get the environmental feel of the campaign to theviewer. The color green throughout, vegetation all over, music and the website’s choice of
  20. 20. 20photography make the viewer understand the beauty of nature. (“Timberland community”)Each piece has a description of what it is composed and explains what makes it better for theenvironment. Their website contains videos, summaries and links to help the viewer betterunderstand their products, how they are made and how it is related to the impact on theenvironment.Media TacticsTimberland Earthkeepers used a variety of different media tactics to reach its targetaudience.One of the more interactive and appealing methods was the interpersonalcommunication tactic. In 2008, Timberland partnered up with, a networksite which allows social and environmental innovators to get connected with sponsors whowish to help them. (“Timberland community”) This partnership helped Earthkeepers spreadawareness to the public about the problems the environment was having and ways in whichthey could help. Through, Timberland Earthkeepers sponsored fivegroups and individuals on projects that went to helping the earth. These sponsored groupsoffered one-on-one interaction with the public audience who although may not have seen theTimberland brand logo posted all over, were still receiving the same message Earthkeeperswas trying to put out. These sponsored groups and individuals were a very persuasive form ofcommunication, especially since they fulfilled the three C’s for effective communication. Thesegroups made more of an impact on the public than if the company would have sent someoneof its own office to use their name and logo to raise awareness of environmental problems.Using unbiased sponsor groups, or third parties, made the issue of the environment morebelievable and relatable to the public.Annual reports began to be shown to the public in an effort to demonstrate Timberlandunderstands that as a corporate company, they had a responsibility to lessen their carbon
  21. 21. 21footprint. This form of organizational media was a good tool for achieving transparency. Theannual reports demonstrated what Timberland was doing to keep up with its Earthkeepersproject and their promise to better the environment. Hard data provided by the reports arepersuasive in that it provided numbers that could not be manipulated. These reports werestraightforward and provided exactly what was going on with the company.While group sponsorships and annual reports were both very important tactics, thecampaign mostly consisted of online media communication tactics. Timberland Earthkeepers’Facebook page/virtual forest, the Earthkeepers blog and YouTube videos allowed for a wideaudience to see the campaign and share their thoughts.The Earthkeepers virtual forest allowed the campaign to spread awareness and actionthrough Facebook by asking its users to send the link to five people in order to plant a tree inthe virtual forest. For each tree successfully planted in the Earthkeepers virtual forest, a realone would be planted on Earth. This application on Facebook not only spread word of theEarthkeepers campaign, but forced users to take action by actually spreading the word toothers.The YouTube commercials also allowed commentary, but mostly portrayed what beingan Earthkeeper meant. In one commercial, we see a mid-aged male go to extreme lengths tokeep waste from littering the earth. The male consistently chases the waste down until he isable to throw it into a recycling bin. These commercials portrayed what an Earthkeeper wasand what the lifestyle really consisted of: doing what it takes to better the environment.(YouTube lost bottle fall ’10 campaign)The Earthkeepers blog was a good way of giving more detailed information and updatesto those interested. This form of communication focuses more on active publics that isinterested in receiving Timberlands information. The blog discussed anything from changesgoing on in the company all the way down to how Timberland Earthkeepers would be
  22. 22. 22celebrating Earth Day. Since the blog always had a writer sign off their name, it gave thereader a sense of reliability in knowing that the entry was done by a real person sitting in frontof the computer.Effectiveness of Communication TacticsThe communication tactics used were effective in meeting the Earthkeepers campaign’sobjectives.The awareness objective of the company, to advance Timberland’s corporate and brandreputation as an environment leader, was reached using environmentally-friendly tactics.These tactics included encouraging its employees to find alternatives to flying for corporatemeetings, installing LED light in stores across the nation as well as their offices and usingrecyclable materials to produce their products. Most importantly Timberland began publishingannual reports covering their contributions to helping the earth and the reduction, or change, inits carbon footprint. These reports were available to the general public.Timberland used online sources of media to accomplish acceptance amongst itsaudience. The acceptance objective of recruiting one million Earthkeepers to become part ofan online network was reached in April 2009. The Facebook forest was very well liked and apopular application. Although the one million Earthkeepers that joined cannot be considered acompletely accurate number of people who accepted Timberland as an environmentallyfriendly company, it does demonstrate the audience’s awareness and tentative acceptance ofjoining the efforts.The company reached its action objective of strengthening communities and improvinggreen spaces and access to outdoors by using their company planned service events. Inaddition, the company involved company employees to make an impact in the world by usingtheir “Path To Service” hours in the local community. Through sponsored events and
  23. 23. 23employees’ initiatives to make changes, it was able to excite customers and local communitiesto get involved in the movement as well.Campaign SpokesmanJeffrey Swartz, Timberland CEO, was also the representative for both the campaign andthe company. He successfully met all three of the effective communication characteristics.CredibilitySwartz is the CEO of Timberland. (“Timberland community”) He is well known in thebusiness field and participates in a handful of different organizations. He makes himselftransparent through his blog updates and involvement in the community.ControlThrough Swartz’s position, he ultimately is able to make the major decisions. Swartzhas the ability to implement new tactics or alter old ones. His control is the ultimate in thiscampaign, being that he is the head of the company.CharismaAs seen in interviews and through his blog, Swartz is very candid. His choice ofwording is relatable and understandable to the general public. (“Timberland bootmakers blog”)His sarcasm is comforting and enjoyable. Swartz is not uptight and rigid like manybusinessmen are portrayed to be. The ease Swartz provides allows him to be a relatable yetreliable source to take information from.
  24. 24. 24EvaluationRecommended Evaluative TechniquesBecause the campaign is continuous, we can only evaluate up to this point in time.Recommended revisions of the campaign include: Analyze content Include a focus group and conduct interviews Create surveys to measure objectivesAwareness ObjectiveThe targeted publics’ opinion of Timberland as an earth-friendly company.We want to know what the targeted public feels about the company and how things canbe changed. Also including what the public wants to see changed and how much they knowabout how Timberland has been performing.Questions to Measure Objective Effectiveness Have you heard about the Timberland Earthkeepers campaign? What is your perception of Timberland’s community involvement and CSR? What is one way Timberland produces eco-friendly products?EvaluationIn evaluating the awareness objective, we suggested using after-only since the targetedpublic is all North Americans. Before the company implemented the campaign, the employeeswere the only ones aware of the environmentally-friendly objectives.Acceptance ObjectiveCurrent attitudes of Earthkeepers toward the company and how Timberland isperceived/received in the community.
  25. 25. 25This content will be used to compare previous attitudes with present attitudes that mayaffect future consumers.Questions to Measure Objective Effectiveness What is your attitude about Timberland’s Earthkeepers campaign? Has Timberland changed your attitude about being environmentally friendly? Has Timberland convinced you to become more concerned for the environment?EvaluationWith acceptance objectives, inspiring real attitudinal change should be evaluatedbefore-after to see the change in those participating. This should be measured qualitativelysince it is not a numerical value but emotion.Action ObjectiveRetain the number of past volunteers or members of the Earthkeepers online networkand recruit more consumers.Using this objective to increase involvement in Earthkeeping activities would benefitTimberland and the earth.Questions to Measure Objective Effectiveness How many trees have you planted? How many more environmentally friendly Timberland products do you purchase peryear? How many friends and family have you recruited to be an Earthkeeper?EvaluationThe action objective should be evaluated quantitatively and should be controlled before-after to see specific changes and provide a comparison.Focus Groups and Interviews for All Objectives
  26. 26. 26Our team proposes Timberland conducts focus groups and interviews to fine-tune thecampaign. Since it is continuous, the company can conduct them now for improved results inthe next few months to a year.The proposal is to include no less than 100 people, since the company reaches somany people both nationally and internationally. It can also conduct interviews to have a betterunderstanding of what the consumers saw as beneficial to the campaign and what they wouldlike to see in a future campaign.Interviews should be conducted similarly to focus groups, but use two-waycommunication instead of one-way. The focus groups will be recorded as answers from thegroups and interviews will be more interactive.Both techniques would result qualitatively. We would inquire about importance ofchange (who to target), how to change the publics’ perspective, what the consumer feelswould increase involvement and any other concerns they have that would help the campaignand company as a whole.Surveys to Measure ObjectivesContact all Facebook fans, YouTube subscribers and anyone involved for theirfeedback on the campaign. The questions should include: how they found out about thecampaign, how their life has changed, how Timberland can reach more consumers and otherrelevant questions on how to improve the campaign.Evaluation of Message StrategyTimberland used ethos and pathos when it would have been more effective to focus itstime and efforts on logos.The most used and most beneficial message strategy was logos was theenvironmentally-friendly logic utilized and showed the consumers the transparency of thecampaign and company as well. It helps to achieve the mission of equipping people to make a
  27. 27. 27difference in their world through outstanding products and trying to make a difference in thecommunities. (“Timberland: about us) The company created the Green Rating Index and alsoallowed consumers to post their testimonies on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and its blog.StewardshipTimberland used the four R’s model for stewardship. (“Timberland community”)Timberland achieved reporting through being open to interviews regarding their campaign andpublishing annual reports. Relationship nurturing was conducted by constantly listening tofollowers’ comments and allowing them to be involved. Reciprocity was met by thankingfollowers for their efforts every time a goal or objective was met with the help of thecommunity. This was often achieved through Facebook posts or posting on the company blog.Responsibility was clear through its promise to match up to one million trees planted on theEarthkeepers forest application. Through CSR and company transparency the campaign wasestablished. It raised awareness and allowed people to get involved by taking action.(“Corporate social responsibility”)
  28. 28. 28ConclusionAfter researching the campaign, we found it to be effective, have producedrecommendations and review how Timberland performed.Effectiveness of CampaignThe campaign was effective because, according to their objective, they wanted to reachone million people by 2009 and they made 109,862,099 impressions on Facebook and hadmore than 950,000 trees planted. More than 150,000 people have registered on theTimberland website since the June 2008 campaign launch. (Timberland)Evaluation RecommendationsResearchThe company needed to provide an explanation for why the targeted publics should bea part of the campaign by giving benefits and explaining the campaign further. Timberland’sreport, the Green Rating Index, was very informative but was a long document that shouldhave been summarized and given to the public in a shorter explanation to increaseeffectiveness.Timberland’s research was effective in the sense that the CSR reports and GreenRating Index were a good source of information for internal and external publics, but only ifthey were inclined to read a lot of in-depth, detailed material. On the other hand, thecompany’s research conducted to decipher which publics to target was very minimal andlooked into the problem at large more than what an individual consumer needs.ObjectivesEach original objective should be revised according to timeliness and concretenumbers. Our group has revised the objectives to make them time-committed and number-driven.
  29. 29. 29Our team stated which level of awareness consumers belong to (aware, latent,apathetic, active and nonpublic) which the company should use to better engage its publics.The objectives Timberland formed were not effective since they did not have a soliddeadline, but instead a general idea of what they would like to accomplish. It didn’t state adeadline to reach or how many people it wanted to affect. This was detrimental because theteam could not evaluate whether or not the objectives were achieved.ProgrammingTimberland based everything off of online media, but rarely referenced the five sponsorsthey provide money to through These five sponsors could have reacheddifferent publics that Timberland was unable to reach. If the company continues to sponsorthese groups, it should make the relationships more transparent.The programming conducted was effective in reaching the aware, active and latentpublics. The company could have been more effective by using the sponsored groups to reach more publics and further the campaign. Overall, programmingwasn’t effective and needed fine-tuning to make the campaign a larger success. Communitieswere involved and changed, but more across the nation and possibly the world could havebeen part of Timberland.Building Long-Term RelationshipsTimberland built long-term relationships with consumers since they continue topurchase Timberland products, still plant trees and promote on social media websites.Because of the relationship with target publics, the company introduced a moreambitious campaign in 2010 called Yéle Vert in Haiti to plant five million trees in the next fiveyears. The Earthkeepers campaign successfully planted more than one million trees in lessthan two years to help prevent erosion, green urban areas, protect wildlife habitats andimprove air quality.
  30. 30. 30How to Continue the CampaignThe campaign does not have an end date and Timberland has produced anothercampaign off the success of the Earthkeepers campaign. The company is international, fromits work with Haiti in the new campaign as well as work done with the Earthkeepers campaign.From social media use, the company and its objectives can be viewed worldwide. Asuggestion is to remove privacy settings on the social media sites to allow anyone access tothe information without requirement of adding the applications or create accounts.
  31. 31. 31BibliographyBruno, M. (2009). These boots were made for cutting carbon. Grist MagazineIncorporated, Retrieved from service greening campaign. (n.d.). Retrieved from social responsibility press release. (2008). The Corporate SocialResponsibility Newswire, Retrieved from timeline. (n.d.). Retrieved from of public relations firms. (n.d.). Retrieved from recycable product. (n.d.). Retrieved from forest. (n.d.). Retrieved from, safe and non-discriminatory workplaces. (n.d.). Retrieved from, A. (2010). Carbon emissions. Retrieved from year for natural disasters. (2008). Retrieved from
  32. 32. 32Many americans aim to go "green" in 2008: survey. (2007). Environmental NewsNetwork, Retrieved from our carbon footprint. (n.d.). Retrieved from, R.D. (2009). Strategic planning for public relations third edition. NY,NY:Routledge.Timberland: about us. (n.d.). Retrieved from bootmakers blog. (n.d.). Retrieved from community. (n.d.). Retrieved from company profile. (n.d.). Retrieved from four corporate social responsibility pillars. (n.d.). Retrieved from lost bottle fall ‘10 campaign. (9, 2 2010). Retrieved from