When Adria Media Group, one of the largest media companies in the Balkans, wanted to raise awareness about the sustainability issues facing the country, it did more than just explain the problem through stories and videos. The company took that education one step farther and started a movement.
Partnering with the online giant DM Drogerie Markt, Adria proposed a bold programme to reduce air pollution and improve the environment in Serbia by planting 50,000 trees — in a single day.
The campaign, called Zasadi Drvo (Plant a Tree), launched in July 2019 with three distinct objectives:
- Raise awareness of the general public on the topic of sustainability.
- Engage the community to take action and participate in the one-day event.
- Raise the profile of the media brand.
However, regardless of how successful the company was at meeting those objectives, it had the overarching goal of inspiring people to take an active role in creating a better, healthier future.
Laying the groundwork
The campaign kicked off in July by creating awareness about its objectives and educating the audience about the issues of sustainability. Using written stories, podcast episodes, and producing educational videos on various critical sustainability topics, Adria provided a wealth of resources that it shared across all its digital publishing platforms.
The following month, Adria launched a series of workshops and competitions to promote the campaign and encourage people to sign up and join the massive one-day planting event. The workshops continued through the end of October. During the three-month drive, Adria was able to attract support from celebrities and influencers, which in turn led to greater interest from the community. Volunteers could apply online, and by the time registration ended, some 989 people had signed up to help plant the trees.
The big day arrived on November 17, and Adria kept the interest alive by covering the event live on media and social media. Hourly reports from correspondents in the field kept track of the progress as volunteers worked to reach the goal of planting 50,000 trees.
A growing initiative
By the end of the day, volunteers had planted more than 51,000 trees in 34 locations. Adria Media Group had provided a rich library of environmental resources with more than 200 published articles, podcasts, and interviews across all of the company's media platforms. The campaign reached more than 3 million viewers through television appearances and more than 400,000 through earned social media reach.
Social media reach for Zasadi Drvo via Instagram and Facebook resulted in 19,000 likes, 9,000 followers, and 900,000 video views. In all, more than 3.5 million people were reached by the social media posts.
Despite the success of the campaign, Adria Media Group knew there was still so much more to be done to offset the pollution, so it decided to turn the initiative into a five-year campaign. In October and November of 2020, despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Zasadi Drvo initiative added 81,905 seedlings in 65 locations. Planting resumed in January 2021 and by the end of March, trees will be planted in a total of 100 locations.