Natural Gas Transporter Uses Geofencing to Share Safe Digging Message

AS A LEADING transporter of natural gas to America’s heartland, one of Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline’s passions is finding new and creative ways to promote public awareness across the company’s footprint, which stretches approximately 5,800 miles across multiple states in the Midwest and Mid-Continent regions. This past year, Southern Star utilized Geofencing to spread the important message of safe digging.

Geofencing is the practice of using GPS and/or RFID to reach audiences within a specific geographic boundary. Once a mobile device enters this boundary, triggers can be set for actions such as sending a text message, social media advertisement, or app notification.

Working closely with Enertech, a Public Awareness liaison, Southern Star implemented its first-ever Geofencing campaign. This campaign was directed at the company’s many stakeholders, including the affected public, public officials, emergency responders, excavators, and farmers.

Geofencing campaigns have many benefits:

• Targeted Deployment • Targeted Schedule • Quick Deployment • Multiple Touches with One Message • Analytics

Southern Star’s Geofencing outreach campaign focused on the importance of “Calling 811 Before You Dig,” which is required by law before starting any digging project in the targeted states of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. High school football stadiums near Southern Star’s pipeline were Geofenced and deployment was scheduled for Fall 2019 in the months of September, October, and November – months when the high school football season is at its peak.

“We felt that reaching out to individuals at local high school football stadiums would be a great opportunity to reach our stakeholders,” said Jonathan Tabor, Integrity Management & PHMSA Compliance Leader at Southern Star.

The deployment of this Geofencing campaign took approximately two weeks and Southern Star received campaign analytics each month to track performance. A visually appealing advertisement was used to grab the audience’s attention. When clicked, stakeholders were brought to Southern Star’s company website. This landing page contained several safety brochures that gave more information to each stakeholder group.

The analytics gathered during the campaign consisted of Impressions and Clicks for each Geofenced area. Impressions can be described as how many times the advertisement was served on a device. A Click is how many times the advertisement was clicked, which brought stakeholders to Southern Star’s landing page. Once this data is gathered, a CTR (Click Through Rate) is established. CTR is total Clicks divided by total Impressions. The national average is 0.07%.

The following analytics were gathered from Southern Star’s Geofencing Campaign:

SEPTEMBER – 123,000 Impressions – 146 Clicks – 0.12% CTR

OCTOBER – 120,000 Impressions – 116 Clicks – 0.10% CTR

NOVEMBER – 113,000 Impressions – 163 Clicks – 0.14% CTR

Southern Star had great success with it’s first-ever Geofencing campaign, which helped educate stakeholders on the importance of “Calling 811 Before You Dig.” This campaign, along with other Public Awareness Outreach programs, resulted in a dramatic decrease in near misses and damages across the Southern Star footprint. To continue emphasizing the importance of safe digging through its outreach efforts in the future, Southern Star hopes to implement a Geofencing campaign at home improvement stores near the pipeline’s footprint.

Casey Stempien is Integrity & PHMSA Compliance Analyst with Southern Star. She can be reached at Casey.stempien@southernstar. com or 270-315-0795.

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