Case Study

Public relations

Growing brand goodwill through community engagement



The Project:

Appealing to hearts and minds with a creative, integrated campaign to drive sales and build brand trust

Appealing to hearts and minds with a creative, integrated campaign to drive sales and build brand trust

The Challenge

Nationwide solar energy company solarZero wanted to re-enter the Wānaka market after not having much luck with previous sales efforts. This was no easy feat – but we helped rebuild brand trust and demonstrate goodwill through an incentives-based UGC competition, while repositioning solarZero as experts in their field through owned and earned content and a paid media partnership.

Our Approach

Our big idea was to give a free solar energy system – worth $45,000 – to a deserving community group, decided by public vote.

We designed and launched the six-week Solar Futures campaign, created to support Wānaka’s community groups that put so much energy into the growth of children and young people.

And instead of solarZero picking the group to receive free solar power, we created an online competition for locals to vote for their favourite group. Finalists were incentivised to do the talking for solaZero via social media and individual databases, and voters were eager to back their chosen group and spread the word further, all for a good cause.

Our implementation process involved a fully integrated approach:

  • Owned media to control the narrative (we wrote the website copy and thought leadership articles)
  • Earned media to provide endorsement
  • Paid media to amplify
  • Enabling the finalists to spread the word through social media
  • Creating activations and events to build relationships and reaffirm trust


  • 1322 people voted (no duplicates). St John Wānaka won, with 573 votes
  • 24 installs completed at voters’ properties
  • Sales conversion rates were 26% in Wanaka (national average 10%)
  • Finalists’ shared posts to their own social media platforms (total 3900 followers) but also on-shared by volunteers (rugby club supporters, etc)
  • Posters with QR code to encourage votes appeared in public spaces – clubrooms for the rugby club, Paper Plus (supporting St John)
  • 4x exclusive stories on the ‘energy security’ topic picked up by local media outlets
  • 1x thought leadership article also published by Aurora and shared to their customer database
  • Eight earned media mentions, cumulative potential reach of 83,000 (small Central Otago audience).
  • Not including radio 5x FOC interviews, averaging 4-5mins per slot.

“From St John’s point of view, we want to thank you sooo much for thinking to include us in the competition. It really will end up being a great asset for the community in the event of the AF8 or other significant local disaster where the ambulance station will be a real community hub.”  Dell Taylor, St John Wānaka chair


About Scope Media

Scope Media is a boutique marketing communications consultancy that specialises in digital PR. The consultancy helps brands gain visibility through the power of authentic storytelling, personal connections and digital insights. Scope Media offers strategic communications, crisis communications and reputation management, community engagement and stakeholder relations, digital PR, media relations and media releases, editorial and special publications, website copywriting for SEO and digital advertising.