Southwest Airlines’ “Free Hobby” Campaign Wins Grassroots Innovation Award

  Southwest Airlines’ “Free Hobby” Campaign Wins Grassroots Innovation Award

    SevenTwenty Strategies congratulates partner in award-winning campaign

Business Wire

WASHINGTON -- February 11, 2013

The Public Affairs Council recognized Southwest Airlines with its 2013
Grassroots Innovation Award for the “Free Hobby” campaign. Presented at the
36^th Annual National Grassroots Conference in Key West, the award recognizes
the nation’s leading grassroots innovators.

“We are thrilled to congratulate our long-term and valued partner in Southwest
Airlines,” said Pam Fielding, President of SevenTwenty Strategies, a partner
in the “Free Hobby” campaign. “This is just the latest recognition in our
award-winning, decade-long partnership.”

Citing the region’s dynamic economy, expected population growth and large
Hispanic community, Southwest sought to expand services in Houston to include
international air service to Latin America. Although Southwest offered to fund
the expansion, the proposal drew significant opposition from major industry
players.

To secure approval from the City of Houston and combat opposition messages,
Southwest worked with strategic partners, SevenTwenty Strategies and GSD&M, to
develop the “Free Hobby” campaign. The coordinated grassroots effort drove
supporters to FreeHobbyAirport.com to communicate with policymakers and media
about the expansion’s economic importance to the region in terms of jobs, tax
revenue, lower airfare and increased travel options.

“Free Hobby” was able to generate over 33,000 signatures from a vast array of
stakeholders and ultimately persuaded the Houston City Council to approve the
measure by a vote of 16-1, making it the largest grassroots campaign many
Members had seen.

“Southwest is a grassroots innovator for their relentless creativity and
willingness to turn a norm on its head,” said PAC’s Rikki Amos in presenting
the award to Monica del Rio, Southwest’s Community Affairs & Grassroots
Specialist.

“'Free Hobby' was truly a team effort for the Southwest family, pulling
together employees, customers and the local business community to make sure
our voice was heard at City Hall,” said del Rio. “We’re thrilled — not only
for winning this award, but also for delivering greater competition and
increased consumer options to Houston.”

About SevenTwenty Strategies

SevenTwenty Strategies is an integrated public affairs and public relations
agency specializing in helping America’s top brands listen to, engage and
interact with their most important stakeholders — online and off. Using a
savvy integrated mix of digital marketing, social media advocacy, earned
media, grassroots and issues management, SevenTwenty supports the public
affairs, PAC and grassroots programs of some of the nation’s most dynamic
Fortune 500 companies and trade associations.

Contact:

SevenTwenty Strategies
Jeff Oldham, Managing Director
202-962-3955
Jeff.Oldham@720Strategies.com
 
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