How do you tell a compelling story on a limited budget? That
was the task put forth to Erin Campbell, director of communications for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives (IAEC), who developed a workable solution and earned a Gold Spotlight Award.

IAEC celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2017, and the association wanted to use that milestone as an opportunity to showcase the achievements of its member co-ops. “We needed to develop engaging, sharable
content that told the story of Iowa’s electric cooperatives,” remarked
Campbell. In the first phase of the 75th campaign, Campbell worked
with a local marketing agency to develop a booklet that contained seven spreads which detailed the legacy and impact of Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives. She then worked with the agency to have the illustrations converted into one-minute videos, intended to be shared on social media. “I had a tight budget to work with, so utilizing the illustrations from the booklet really helped us keep the video costs as low as possible,” said Campbell. She wrote the video scripts based on the booklet spreads and asked a co-op economic development colleague to provide voiceover talent.

The resulting seven infographic videos received a 2018 Gold Spotlight on Excellence Award for Most Innovative Use of Digital Communication.
The infographic video series illustrated the collective legacy and lasting
impact of Iowa’s electric cooperatives, detailing the cooperative principles, the cooperatives’ origin story, how co-ops empower rural communities, the enduring affordability of electricity and more. According to Campbell, the IAEC and its member co-ops used the videos and the booklet to share the compelling story of Iowa’s electric cooperatives with key stakeholders, including legislators, policymakers, community leaders, Iowa co-op members, students, electric co-op employees and directors.

The statewide association shared the video series on its Facebook Page (link:
and encouraged co-ops throughout Iowa to use these resources locally. Campbell added that she would be happy to share information with other statewide associations, G&Ts or distribution co-ops that would be interested in adapting the materials from this campaign for their own markets.

Check out the video series below:

Power to the People

Out of the Darkness


Enduring Affordability

Doing More with Less


Environmental Stewardship

Empowering Rural Communities


Click to view the campaign booklet: