Valentine’s Day 2013 marked the two month anniversary of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Sandy Hook Promise - a Newtown organization bringing the issue of gun violence to the national stage - wanted to mark the moment in a way that would honor the victims and drive the conversation forward. Connections Media created the dynamic and engaging One Million Hearts for Newtown campaign to help this strong group of courageous individuals with an important cause.
Knowing Valentine’s Day had the potential to drive a high level of emotional engagement on social media, Connections Media and Sandy Hook Promise created a campaign to send virtual valentines to the Newtown community.
The One Million Hearts for Newtown campaign helped users express their support for the community with beautifully-designed virtual valentines and utilized a carefully coordinated social media strategy to amplify engagement. Users could also sign the Sandy Hook Promise to help prevent gun violence, ensuring the organization’s overarching goal was still a key component of a shorter-term campaign.
On the One Million Hearts for Newtown landing page, users had the option to share valentines through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. Connections Media crafted both the cards themselves and the text for sharing to each social network, helping ensure the viral nature of the campaign. Any users who shared a valentine also shared a link back to the One Million Hearts for Newtown website, and thus encouraged those in their social networks to do the same.
The social media strategy also enlisted the help of celebrities with large followings on Twitter, including Will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson, Joe Montana, and Tim McGraw.
The One Million Hearts for Newtown Valentine’s Day campaign was a tremendous success. The valentines struck a powerful chord on social media, where their message was seen more than 20 million times and tweeted by celebrities. The campaign was also featured on NBC’s Today Show and helped advance an important conversation in America.