Touchstone Energy is preparing to launch its second #WhoPowersYou contest. (Photo By: Touchstone Energy)
"This contest is designed to focus on people in our co-op communities who are making a difference," said Mary Ann Cristiano, director of marketing, advertising and digital at
Members and employees of Touchstone Energy co-ops are eligible to nominate someone, using the #WhoPowersYou website. The contest opens Oct. 2. Nominees don't have to be co-op members, but staffers are ineligible.
Along with spotlighting folks doing worthwhile things, there's another good reason why your co-op should promote #WhoPowersYou.
"It really increases visibility and engagement with your members," said Ruben Musca, Touchstone Energy's creative director. "This is a great way of showing how you interact directly with your member-owners."
Musca said co-ops can generate earned media with the contest. "A great example is a local radio station picking up the story after someone in your community has been nominated," he said, adding that last year's contest even generated some local TV news coverage.
Co-ops are being encouraged to promote #WhoPowersYou through a number of methods, including emails to not only the members, but to staff.
"The best submissions we got [last year], the most compelling ones, were for the most part from co-op employees nominating people they knew," said Musca. "You're in your communities. You know people there. You know who's doing cool stuff, who's making a difference."
For example, a co-op's vice president of member services nominated a couple who began a foundation to build a new home for a family whose daughter is confined to a wheelchair. The couple was among the 2016 #WhoPowersYou winners.
Everything your co-op needs to promote the contest—from ads to emails to social media posts—is available in a special section on cooperative.com. The materials are also customizable. The contest will run through Nov. 4. A panel of judges will select the winners, who will be announced in December.
Cristiano said the contest has a grand prize for $5,000; second prize for $2,000; third prize for $1,500; and an honorable mention for $500.