Strawless in Seattle – Case Study
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018
Plastic pollution is a growing crisis in our world that most people contribute to, whether they realize it or not. Take the plastic straw as an example. Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day. They are in our Starbucks iced coffees, fruity cocktails, and drive-thru sodas. While these miniscule products are seemingly harmless, their effects are dangerous and threaten the health of the ocean and its precious marine life. By 2050, scientists believe there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
So when client Aardvark paper straws teamed up with Lonely Whale and actor, filmmaker, and UN Environment Global Goodwill Ambassador, Adrian Grenier, to spearhead a campaign to #stopsucking plastic straws in Seattle, Dittoe PR was thrilled for the opportunity to work on something that would drive impactful change.
But where does one even begin with such a widespread issue?
We recognized we needed to get the word out to everyone about this first-ever citywide takeover of plastic straws. Rather than just homing in on local media, our team wanted to show other cities, and even countries, this huge step the city of Seattle was taking for our oceans, in hopes that other regions would join the strawless movement.
Dittoe PR planned and organized the official press conference for Strawless in Seattle, which took place in September 2017, and invited local, regional, and national media to attend. Knowing we needed influential keynote speakers to drive media to the event, we worked with the Seattle mayor, the Seattle Seahawks, the Port of Seattle’s commissioner, and more, to create an informative and exciting event.
Another challenge we faced was getting our client, Aardvark paper straws, in news stories about the campaign when they were competing with celebrity activists, athletes, and city officials. But because Aardvark played a crucial role in Strawless in Seattle, as all 150 establishments and restaurants participating in the campaign switched from plastic to Aardvark paper straws, we made it a priority to get their name in the news.
In less than one month, Dittoe PR worked tirelessly to make sure Strawless in Seattle was a success for Aardvark, Lonely Whale, and our oceans.
In September alone, 2.3 million single-use plastic straws were permanently removed from Seattle.
Dittoe PR had nearly every local Seattle media outlet at the press conference, in addition to regional, national, and environmental publications. Strawless in Seattle’s story was shared in more than 100 markets, including Texas, California, and Pennsylvania, in addition to top tier magazines you can see outlined above. (share logos above this section)
In one month, we secured what can often be a year’s worth of client media coverage, media impressions, and media value equivalency for Lonely Whale and Aardvark. Most of the stories included Aardvark paper straws as the chosen sustainable alternative to plastic straws by Seattle businesses, and nine months later, The Seattle Times’ story about the campaign – which was secured by Dittoe PR – remains a top referral source to Aardvark’s website. Additionally, we’re still finding stories that have been picked up from our outreach on behalf of the Strawless in Seattle campaign today.
Strawless in Seattle is easily one of Dittoe PR’s most successful campaigns, as we came out of the month-long event with 248 media hits, 290,946,957 media impressions, and a total publicity value of $2,896,547!
Not only did the campaign make a lasting impression on the media, but the city of Seattle is officially banning plastic straws in July 2018. Other cities and international restaurants are following Seattle’s footsteps to eliminate plastic straws.