The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) unites 2,200 companies within the consumer technology industry and its mission is to grow the consumer electronics industry. For CEA, the challenge was twofold:
- Correct negative misperceptions about the efforts of CEA members to pursue a sustainability agenda when it comes to manufacturing and disposal of consumer electronics products
- Work with state and national stakeholders to ensure passage of fair regulations governing the industry
Accomplishing these goals required a deft approach to communicating with a wide array of constituents in the consumer, media, government and thought leadership communities. For the first program Racepoint Group established a parallel dialogue to undercut what was, at that point, accepted conventional wisdom.
Rather than trying to move the opinions of doubters incrementally, Racepoint Group created a new set of supporters in the media and among key opinion leaders. Working with CEA, we developed research data illustrating the industry’s progressive approach to sustainability and merchandised it to and through a new set of media influencers. This approach, which included kindling relationships with new influencers at the Associated Press, the San Jose Mercury News and The New York Times, helped launch a new discussion that discredited the naysayers. We further bolstered these messages through a strategic social media program that included launching new ideas and releasing data through targeted digital media and also driving traffic to CEA’s sustainability web site, www.mygreeneelectronics.com.
For the second program, we pursued a multi-tiered strategy. Racepoint Group partnered with CEA’s lobbyists to create a set of data-backed messages that illustrated the negative impacts of proposed new regulations not only on the industry, but also on labor and the consumer. Simultaneously, we launched a targeted media relations campaign that included educational briefings with top-tier media and also leaking of research data disproving the opposition’s viewpoint in key social media channels and directly to stakeholders. This “one-two punch” was a powerful means of ensuring that the regulatory environment remained favorable to CEA’s members.