In February, the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) received the Public Affairs Council’s 2015 Grassroots Innovation Award for Social Media Innovation for its “I Am Licensed” campaign. “We are so honored to be given this award,” says Bridget Sharpe, PBA’s manager of government affairs. “Our goal through the ‘I Am Licensed’ campaign is to provide an outlet for beauty professionals to speak out against deregulation and arm them with facts to fight against deregulation legislation in their states.”
PBA was honored for its unique approach to engaging, empowering, and activating their grassroots advocates. Licensed cosmetologists, hairstylists, barbers, estheticians, and nail technicians make up a large portion of PBA’s membership, and these professionals have not traditionally been politically engaged. In response to threats of deregulation within the professional beauty industry, PBA created a visual grassroots plan to appeal to its unique audience. At the cornerstone of the campaign was the “probeautyiam” Instagram account and the #IAMLICENSED hashtag. PBA encouraged its members and social media followers to post photos of themselves or other “I Am Licensed” collateral using the hashtag.
The “I Am Licensed” campaign aims to build a stronger, more united front of licensed professionals, and arm them with information to share with their clients on why licensing is important to protect the public from potential harm and the spread of communicable diseases.