Plant Life Balance. A Campaign Making Office Life Healthy and Happier.

15 Mar

Recently I saw a Facebook ad advertising a chance to have fun and improve the mood in your office. with a plant. I have had a plant in my office for months now and I love it so I thought it would be interesting to click the link to see what this fuss was all about.

Turns out there is a whole community of people registering, naming and loving their office plants. Sounds great! What’s even better is that you can win prizes and learn more about how to care for your plant and have reminders to water it. You can ask questions about your plants and get some helpful horticultural advice.

Did you know that a leafy office relieves stress and reduces negative mood states by up to 60% and just one plant is enough to make a positive difference in the workplace.

 In various locations around Australia the Plant Life Balance team  handed out thousands of plants to office workers for them to register  on the site and join in the fun whilst improving their happiness. You can find a plant that best suits your lifestyle and find your nearest nursery centre and download a discount coupon. So Even if you didn’t receive one at the generous hand out, you can still register an existing plant or a new one that you purchase.

Earning points is easy and you can earn them for tasks such as watering your plant, dressing your plant up for fun and taking a photo. At the end of the campaign you have a chance to win a trip to the amazing Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa. Wow!

To say the least I am very impressed by this campaign but wondered who was behind it all so I contacted Jacqui Gibbs, the mastermind behind this great campaign, and she kindly agreed to answer my questions.

Jacqui Gibbs

1.      Jacqui I am very impressed with the idea behind Plant Life Balance. This is the first week of the campaign in which you are encouraging people to make their office life healthier and happier by caring for a plant. I discovered Plant Life Balance through a Facebook ad and the campaign looks to have been very well planned. Can you please explain to me how the idea came about and what will happen in the coming weeks?

Everyone is familiar with the concept of how important it is to maintain a good work/life balance. Well, we’ve taken that thought a step further by developing the idea of Plant/Life Balance. The idea came about because as an industry we wanted Australians to know and understand the value of plants.  Our new marketing campaign is designed to create an ongoing community of plant lovers by showing people they can be happier, healthier and even wealthier by  Improving their Plant/Life Balance.

Dress up your plant for fun

Many people are aware that plants make offices, homes  and  communities look nice, but the value of plants is far more significant in terms of creating positive moods, reducing crime rates, reducing electricity consumption and cleaning the air.There is significant independent research around these claims, I have attached some research findings on the value of plants in the office for you.   A Newspoll survey of 397 office workers nationwide shows that two thirds would prefer to work in an office that has plants but more than half don’t have greenery in their own work area.

We kicked off the campaign March 2 by giving away 20,000+ plants and encouraged people to activate their plant through Facebook where they will be shown how to care for their plant while engaging in fun and entertaining activities.

2.      What are the goals of Plant Life Balance and who are the major stake holders? How will you measure your success?

The goals of Plant/Life Balance are to:

–      Increase the perceived value of plants across Australian society

–      Reinforce the positive environmental benefits of plants

–      Increase the sales of green life across all sectors

The major stakeholders are growers, garden retailers, allied trade suppliers such as potting mix, fertilisers, pots , etc and the Federal Government through Horticulture Australia Limited.

We will measure our success by the number of plants activated, the number of facebook fans we amass, pre- and post-campaign  research into the perceived value of plants, sales through retail outlets, demographics of engaged people and analysis of postings on our Facebook wall.

3. How long did the planning process take until implementation?

We first briefed in the campaign May 2010 and received approval July 2010 for execution March 2 2011.

4. Most people are concerned about internet privacy these days. I noticed that the Plant Life Balance Facebook app requires users to provide access to quite a bit of personal data. What is the purpose for allowing the application to view users photos and profile information?

Facebook laws are very stringent so we really only have access to their email which is for us to notify them of winning a prize.  We can access demographic information on the collective group but cannot access personal info.  People who post comments on the wall could be individually selected but if their settings do not allow access to photos etc we cannot see them.  The photos they post are for the competition only. Those who do not want to have their photos published can choose not to participate.

5. What will happen to Plant Life Balance once the campaign has ended in a few months time?

The Facebook application concludes with one person winning a trip to two to the Daintree. We will continue to be engaged  with the “fans” of Improve Your Plant/Life Balance with information, special offers, horticultural advice and ‘surprise and delight” spot giveaways.  We are also working on the next phase of Improve Your Plant/Life Balance for launch March 2012.

6. What is your media mix for the campaign? Has the Facebook advertising given you the numbers you were hoping for?

Post the 20,000+ plant giveaway around the country we have undertaken some advertising in press however the majority of the media has been Facebook advertising. We are very pleased with the number of fans we have accumulated in such a short period of time.  The number of activated plants through the app represents a 25% response rate.

Office Workers happy with their new plant friends

7. This is obviously a very involved campaign. How many people are involved full time in the direct running of the Plant Life Balance campaign?

Other than the agency we are working with, it has largely been just myself.  All staff within our office have supported the campaign in various capacities and times throughout the last six months however this has been in addition to their existing projects/roles.  A community manager (employed by the agency who works on a number of Facebook  Campaigns) and a part-time staff member (who started the week of the launch ) are responding to the posts and everyone is enjoying it so much they are willing to work into the night and over the weekend.

You must be thrilled to see so many eager and excited people joining in and participating on the Facebook page. You and your staff are very good at responding to posts and questions. Jacqui congratulations to you and your team on such a great idea and interactive campaign. All the best in the weeks ahead.

I give a big thumbs up to Jacqui and the Nursery & Garden Industry for this innovative campaign. I hope that everyone gets involved to make their office time that little bit more enjoyable with nice fresh air made by your friend the plant. To view the Plant Life Balance press release click here.

If you want to get involved in creating a healthy plant/life balance you can visit the Facebook page. Download discount coupons to buy plants , find the right plant for you and get involved in a fun plant loving community!

Note to self: Buy more plants  for my office so I feel like I’m working in a rainforest.

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