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Nearly 1,700 Companies Withdraw from North Carolina Events in Response to HB2 Standing for Inclusion, B Corps Relocate Series of October Events

Through the power of unity, advocacy and storytelling, Yulu had a small hand in the fight to repeal the HB2 “bathroom bill” in North Carolina in April 2016. The bill limits anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community and forces transgender individuals to use bathrooms that do not correspond with their gender identities. The conversation that took shape after was a strong affirmation for us that doing good is good business, and not being on this wagon poses severe penalties.

CAMPAIGN OVERVIEW

On April 5, 1,600 B Corps received an email asking for our input, as a member of the B Corporation community, on the decision to relocate the annual B Corps Champion Retreat from North Carolina, in the wake of the HB2 “bathroom bill” coming into effect. We (Yulu PR) knew we were looking at a big story ahead of us and flagged this to B Lab (the nonprofit that represents the 1,600+ businesses in the community) as an opportunity to influence change among businesses by speaking openly with the press on why they came to the decision to relocate.

Yulu and B Lab collaborated on a strategy which changed rapidfire as new developments took the story to trending status. North Carolina was losing money fast, as influential players like Deutsche Bank and PayPal froze business operations and Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams cancelled their concerts in North Carolina. Governor McCrory announced the day after we sent out the initial story parts of the bill would be changed, but the most important parts of the bill would not be repealed.

 

RESULTS & IMPACT

Hours after our initial pitch to the press, paired with a massive joint effort from other businesses who were against the bill, the story began to shift. The state governor announced a partial repeal of the bill, bringing into question whether B Lab would reinstate the retreat with the state. B Lab felt it wasn’t enough, and we agreed so we sent out an updated statement in short order to reporters on the beat. We had Reuters, Associated Press and Wall Street Journal checking in with us a couple times a day with the desire to be kept updated on the story, as B Lab took local B Corps to meet with legislators.

This was a story on the political will of 1,600+ purpose-driven businesses. And with a $1 million price tag attached to the retreat, it was our way into top-tier business publications. The impact was twofold, in line with B Lab’s goals: first, it sent a strong message to the mainstream business community on the impact of being values-driven, while also affirming the identity and alignment of values with B Corp members. Social impact’s economic force in a political decision cuts through three trendy topics. That was clear. We secured a headline piece in Fortune, a significant inclusion in Buzzfeed, as well as quality coverage in Mashable, the Atlantic and the Associated Press, which was in turn picked up by dozens of other news outlets. Media coverage’s effects were tangible as we saw the Fortune piece shared on the B Hive and newsletter, to much excitement and buzz about B Lab’s commitment to values and community.

 

TESTIMONIAL

“Yulu demonstrated the critical thinking, energy and adaptability necessary to keep B Corporation’s story relevant with the highly controversial and important political conversation around North Carolina’s “bathroom bill.” With limited resources, little advance notice, and during a time where the news and story was changing by the day, Yulu took our story and targeted top international outlets, exercising smart judgment in short order again and again. They are an intelligent team of storytellers who understand how to use PR as a force for good.”
Jay Coen Gilbert, B Lab Co-Founder