Reboot is a nonprofit organization that developed the National Day of Unplugging (NDU) to encourage hyper-connected, frequently frantic people to take a tech detox from all things digital. During the NDU, Reboot asks participants to “unplug” by turning off all their gadgets for a full 24 hours, bringing balance back into their lives and allowing them to spend the time reconnecting with friends, family and community.
This year marked the fourth year of the NDU and, after receiving coverage from broadcast, national dailies and tech outlets in previous years, Reboot tasked Weber Shandwick with generating similar media attention with little ‘new’ news to share about the movement. The organization also wanted participants to actively pledge participation by filling out an “I Unplug To__” sign and posting a photo to the NDU website. The goals were to raise awareness for the fourth-annual NDU through website engagement and extend the unplugging movement message beyond the NDU.
Building off momentum and success from the 2012 NDU, which resulted in more than 161 million impressions, Weber Shandwick sought to spread the news coverage across more general consumer lifestyle publications. The team developed fresh story angles heavily based on recent research, media trends and studies that confirm there is a growing concern people are becoming addicted to technology and that they need to take a break from it. Additionally, following the strong social response on Twitter for the 2012 NDU, Weber Shandwick again turned to social media channels for grassroots outreach, crafting Reboot’s Facebook and Twitter to generate attention around the unplugging movement, encouraging the use of the hashtag #unplug and inviting people to share their “I Unplug To ___” photos on their own social channels.
As a result of Weber Shandwick’s strategic combination of social media and consumer lifestyle outreach, Reboot experienced greater participation than ever before and exceeded its engagement goals with more than 28,000 unique visitors to the NDU website. Strategic media outreach garnered 602,588,800 impressions with 269 online and 178 broadcast placements, a 275% increase from the previous year.
On Twitter, Reboot experienced 6,749 individual mentions reaching more than 19,000,000 combined followers, including tweets from key influencers such as Arianna Huffington, Damon Lindeloff, Pee Wee Herman and Joel Stein, as well as top-tier media outlets such as TIME Magazine, Harvard Business Review, Real Simple, The Huffington Post and Yahoo! News. Overall, the social media posts were positive with strong calls to action and incorporated the #unplug hashtag as well as links toNationalDayofUnplugging.com.
The key unplugging messages, supported by recent research, resonated with the media, with the majority of the coverage picking up on the importance of taking regular breaks from technology to reconnect with friends, family and the community, in addition to the one-day NDU event. Additionally, top-tier media continue to mention the NDU and the principles behind unplugging with outlets including NBC News, The New York Timesand Forbes including the NDU in coverage in the months following the initial event.