Client: CEZ ROMANIA

Project: ENERGY LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND PEOPLE

Objectives

To meet the needs of the visually impaired community and also the business objectives of the company – to increase the number of new electronic billing subscriptions to at least 25,000 over a period of 5 months –communication objectives were to show how easily accessible electronic billing is and also engage its clients in the company’s initiative of providing 300 new audio fiction books to the visually impaired. Moreover, the campaign also targeted employees to become e-billing ambassadors.

Context

According to National Authority for the Disabled data, about 103,000 visually impaired people live today in Romania, of which 54,000 have severe visual impairment. About 17,100 people with various degrees of visual impairment (total or near total vision loss, severe, or moderate impairment) live just in those seven (7) Romanian counties that make up CEZ Vanzare’s home market (Arges, Dolj, Gorj, Mehedinti, Olt, Teleorman, and Valcea).

At the same time, before the campaign, Romania had an online audio library developed by the Association of the Visually Impaired, including mainly audiobooks recorded by volunteers, most of which are classic literature, while The National Library, based in Bucharest, had a more extended library available only in its reading rooms. Generally speaking, the visually impaired had limited access to cultural resources.

At the same time, the country has huge technology adoption potential: according to the National Statistical Institute, six out of ten Romanian households own a computer. In the region of southwestern Oltenia (where CEZ Vanzare is the main energy supplier), the percentage of computer-owning households approaches 60%.

CEZ Vanzare had been trying for several years to convince its clients to switch from paper to electronic billing, but by the end of last year, the total number of people who were using this modern service barely reached several hundred every month, out of a total of 1.4 million household consumers.

Concept

Under the „Turn paper into energy” (a rime in Romanian) slogan, CEZ launched the first „Energy Library”, a virtual room for the visually impaired that would facilitate their access to those „energy sources” enriching their life (books, audio reviews of works, podcasts about various cultural issues etc). The first step was stocking the library with the latest releases in national and foreign fiction. To do this, CEZ urged its subscribers to switch from paper to electronic billing. For each of the first 25,000 new subscribers to e-invoice, the company was to donate 1 RON to facilitate the access to culture of visually impaired Romanians. The new library had also a mobile version developed for Android and iOS. The whole campaign was organized in partnership with the Association of the Visually Impaired of Romania.

Implementation

The campaign launched online with the real story of how Mr. Vasile Tiucsan manages to pay his monthly bills, narrated in a video documentary (2:14).

The Customer Relationship Centers, one of the main touchpoints between the company and its customers, displayed campaign posters with messages written in Braille and located in places where the customers were able to touch them. The envelopes of the printed bills, reaching the 1,000,000 plus households of customers also carried messages written in Braille, urging the customers to „turn paper into energy” for the visually impaired.

An audio newsletter was distributed internally to involve the employees in the company’s initiative. The first audiobook uploaded to www.bibliotecadeenergie.ro, belonging to a famous Romanian writer – Cezar Paul-Badescu’s,  the novel „Luminita, mon amour”, was recorded by CEZ Group’s employees. More than 60 people from 7 different counties met the author during the locally organized events.

The story of the local hero, Vasile Tiucsan, and the campaign got instantly into national media and he was invited to speak about his everyday life and how he uses the electronic billing. Some of the top 10 Romanian bloggers got involved in the campaign and became the first „narrators” of the Energy Library, reading and posting on their blogs their favorite book paragraphs or novels (Vlad Petreanu, Printesa Urbana and bookblog.ro).

Results

A visual impaired person who become a national celebrity and a regular media guest for period of time, appearing on different TV news reports at some of the most visible national TV channels, such as  Realitatea TV, Digi24, and Prima TV, in feature stories of top print daily papers such as Evenimentul Zilei or Dilema and in over 30 stories in the online media or blogs, reaching more than 2,000,000 impressions. The video documentary presenting Mr Tiucsan life, passions and how he deals with technology and e-billing registered over 265,000 views on social platforms (Facebook and YouTube page).

Over 60 employees in all counties covered by CEZ involved in reading the first audiobook of the „Energy Library”, and hundreds of CEZ employees promoting the campaign in the Customer Relationship Centers. Hundreds of CE employees have set a first example by subscribing themselves to CEZ’s e-invoice.

The „Energy Library” was launched, with over 300 new audiobooks for the visually impaired and, after several years marked by unfruitful attempts to persuade the customers to register for e-invoice, in only 5 months of campaign, the company acquired more than 50,000 new subscribers.

Inspired by a touching, true story, the campaign portrayed the real problems faced by visually impaired people and highlighted at the same time, the dignified way they use modern technology, involving in this way a large group of people to get involved, raise a helping hand towards a special community and embrace new ways of doing old things.

Above all, the campaign also brought back something to Mr. Vasile Tiucsan and his greatest joy of reading – access to the newest book titles.

Mr. Vasile Tiucsan’s story: