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Green Business Program City of San Francisco

The Challenge

WSC partner Amber Bieg led a green business campaign for the City of San Francisco. The goal of this project was to set up and promote a series of six workshops in four key San Francisco districts that would walk businesses through the process of becoming San Francisco Green Businesses. Amber’s team sought to get 120 businesses interested in becoming certified green businesses to attend one of these workshops.

The Solution

A direct contact outreach approach was taken, focusing on telephone-based interaction and targeting those businesses deemed ‘most likely’ to participate in the Green Business Certification program. Phone, email, and mail invitations were sent out to potential participants for the outreach focus shifting from paper mail to email as the project progressed. This prompted a dramatic increase in response rate. The team also bolstered the outreach strategy by adding outreach to merchant’s associations in order to get them to co-sponsor the green business events in their districts. After spending five months on this campaign, five events were hosted with a total of 72 attendees, meeting 60 percent of the campaign goal. Many attendees expressed considerable interest in the subject matter of the workshops and in follow up. The Green Business Program was also provided with the following recommendations.

  1. Develop a public awareness campaign in coordination with a highly targeted neighborhood focused business campaign, working closely with the local merchant association.
  2. Stay focused on the big goal or ultimate outcome of the campaign, which is more businesses joining or continuing to participate in the program
  3. Create an ‘outreach toolkit’ which includes: 1) Key messages, talking points and sample scripts, 2) All graphics, logos, fonts, letterhead templates, etc. 3) Case studies, 4) Electronic versions of the brochure and other printed materials
  4. Implement a CRM and a lead conversion workflow, as well as staff training in its use.