How EDF Energy Uses Social Listening to Inspire Diversity

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Executive summary

EDF Energy is the UK’s largest supplier of low-carbon electricity, and recently, with the help of Khoros and Brandwatch technology, they were able to raise their intake of female engineering grads. As a technology- and science-focused company, EDF Energy recognizes their dependence on STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — and in recent years they’ve aimed to raise awareness of STEM, particularly among underrepresented groups. Their Pretty Curious programme aims to inspire teenage girls to imagine a future where they use STEM to help make a difference and to encourage girls to pursue STEM subjects at school and beyond. Globally, only 1 in 4 core STEM roles was filled by women as of 2017, and EDF Energy is striving to change the perception of STEM subjects using educational programmes, specialized events, and social conversations.

This mission extends to social media with their #PrettyCurious conversations. They wanted to make people stop and think about low female representation in STEM, and to achieve this, they’ve been building their #PrettyCurious campaign for the last three years.

In the first year, EDF Energy focused on building a conversation around STEM. The name worked as planned and sparked quite a bit of debate, at first, as people expressed outrage over the “pretty” stereotype. EDF Energy was able to manage the conversation using social media listening tools powered by Khoros and Brandwatch. As social volumes soared to 10 times normal levels, and moderators were able to keep up with the conversation and educate the public on the true goal of disproving stereotypes. 

In years two and three, EDF Energy broadened the campaign to include social media influencers and media partnerships, driving, even more, non-brand centered conversations and making the Brandwatch & Khoros partnership even more valuable as Brandwatch used social listening to uncover non-branded conversations that EDF Energy could have missed otherwise. Year two marked the release of and partnership with Hidden Figures, a film about female mathematicians at NASA, and this past year they partnered with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which features two strong female leads and was one of the most anticipated films of the year.

How they made it work

  • Multi 210


    Brandwatch queries to search for all #PrettyCurious conversations, regardless of whether they mention the brand or not.

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    Excess conversations spurred by the annual #PrettyCurious campaign in Khoros.

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    Brandwatch to Khoros to bring those queries into the Khoros Inbox so moderators could keep up with the broader conversation.

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    To relevant comments using social listening and redirected to additional resources to keep the conversation going.

“Khoros helped us build a conversation around increasing the number of women in STEM.”
— John Hunter
Brand Digital & Social Media Manager EDF Energy


EDF Energy has grown their campaign reach over the first three years of the campaign by expertly managing the conversation around #PrettyCurious and expanding to a high-profile partnership and influencer strategy. In year three, they even managed to secure at-the-time unseen footage of Rose, the previously unknown female engineer for the Jedi resistance.

EDF Energy has also seen an uptick in female hires in engineering roles over the past few years. They reached their goal to raise intake of female grads from 18% to 30% by 2020 two years early, and women now make up 35% of new grad hires.

  • 66%

    Increase in female hires

  • 2-YR

    Margin by which they beat hiring goal

  • 3.5M

    Views of #PrettyCurious social content