TO CELEBRATE 8/11 DAY, CenterPoint Energy partnered with Kona Ice trucks in select cities across their eight-state territory to deliver ice cream treats to local community members. Twelve different trucks decorated with 811 messaging were escorted by CenterPoint Energy employees. Before digging into their treats, patrons were reminded to contact 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects.
“Since we couldn’t gather people together for natural gas safety outreach as we have in previous years, we wanted to bring the fun to our fellow community members on an individual basis,” said Ashley Babcock, CenterPoint Energy’s director of damage prevention and public awareness. “The Kona Ice trucks were an excellent way to create a memorable moment around natural gas safety.”
The Kona Ice trucks were escorted along pre-planned routes to engagee community members at hardware stores, in areas with heavy construction activities and in densely populated residential neighborhoods. The effort even caught the attention of media outlets in some states.
In addition to the ice cream trucks, CenterPoint Energy promoted 8/11 Day through radio advertising, earned media and delivering pre-packaged, 811-themed cookies to local news outlets, emergency responders, excavation companies and government officials. This effort led to a blitz of social media posts from these influential stakeholders promoting natural gas safety with their audiences.
“I’m blown away by the amount of traffic we saw on social media and through the news related to our efforts. I’m proud of the team for working through some unique challenges to make this year’s 8/11 Day a success, and I’m ecstatic about building on these efforts to make next year even better,” said Babcock.