Turn Up The Love: AT&T & The Trevor Project
AT&T, one of the original corporate allies of the LGBTQ community, has been at the vanguard of promoting LGBTQ equality since 1975, when AT&T became one of the first American corporations to add protections for lesbian and gay employees to its nondiscrimination clause. This was the first step on a path of progressive support for equality, championing LGBTQ organizations and pro-LGBTQ policy for employees and customers alike. AT&T has consistently received a perfect score of 100% by the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. AT&T’s employee resource group (ERG), LEAGUE at AT&T, is recognized as the country’s first LGBTQ ERG.
Entering 2018, the AT&T Hello Lab, a marketing innovation center, with support from AT&T Corporate Social Responsibility, saw the opportunity to further elevate AT&T’s reputation by increasing awareness of AT&T’s pro-LGBTQ history via a new marketing platform, Turn Up the Love.
Drawing from prior LGBTQ campaigns that shared messages of advocacy and support for the LGBTQ community, Turn Up the Love was developed to create a deeper impact by including a charity partner that would benefit from the campaign’s significant reach and cause message.
AT&T selected The Trevor Project (the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people) as the campaign’s charity partner for Turn Up The Love, a charity the company had supported for over 10 years.
Although The Trevor Project had a 24/7 support phone line, it was time to upgrade their digital presence to include 24/7 chat and text services, which would require significant technology, financial, marketing and volunteer resources…all things that AT&T could help provide.
To improve Trevor’s technological infrastructure, AT&T provided invaluable technology support for the organization’s crisis services. AT&T’s products are a lifeline for many LGBTQ youth, helping them reach Trevor’s phone- and text message-based crisis services. Trevor incorporated AT&T’s products and expertise into new technological infrastructure, with AT&T donating $300,000 worth of products and services.
AT&T also made a historic $1 million cash investment, the biggest corporate contribution in Trevor’s 20 year history, enabling the organization to provide life-saving support to one of the most vulnerable populations.
To increase crisis counselor capacity, AT&T and Trevor launched an internal AT&T employee recruitment campaign, and an external cause marketing campaign to recruit volunteers. The co-branded “How to Save a Life” marketing campaign recruited applicants to become digital crisis counselors. A co-branded PSA featured artist and activist Jussie Smollett and drove viewers to a landing page where, with one click, they could express their interest in volunteering with Trevor. Both initiatives gave Trevor a strong pool of applicants to train as they expand to 24/7 service.
To increase awareness of Trevor’s services, Trevor & AT&T partnered on Turn Up The Love marketing activations throughout 2018. Turn Up The Love engages consumers with messages of love and acceptance for LGBTQ youth and encourages vocal allyship for the community. As two entertainment brands, Trevor and AT&T strategically use celebrities and influencers to reach their audiences.
From June – December 2018, Trevor and AT&T rolled out their partnership via a series of events, marketing campaigns, and employee engagement initiatives. The campaign utilized Trevor and AT&T PR and Social channels, and executed complex digital, broadcast TV, and experiential campaigns leveraging highly visible LGBTQ talent and a $1M+ paid media budget to drive awareness of both AT&T and Trevor’s initiatives.
As a result, the campaign received over a billion media impressions and provided a boost to AT&T’s brand reputation. Research shows that 72% of LGBTQ consumers believe AT&T has good reputation and 53% of LGBTQ consumers consider AT&T for products & services (both higher than general market).
Sixteen AT&T employees have been accepted as Trevor volunteers, making AT&T the first client of Trevor’s new corporate volunteer program. After being piloted by AT&T, this program now includes companies such as EY and HSBC, and has the potential to be a significant revenue source for Trevor.
The campaign drove 751 volunteer applications in 5 weeks, significantly outperforming the goal of 150 applicants, which will allow Trevor to reach the goal of 1,000 digital counselors.
With AT&T’s donation and technology support, Trevor launched a new, more
scalable, more secure, crisis services platform on Salesforce in September 2018 with plans to reach 24/7 chat/text service mid-2019.