CONSOL Energy kicks off social media contest

PITTSBURGH – CONSOL Energy has kicked off its social media-driven PowerUp challenge in which one Pennsylvania school and one Ohio school will each win $10,000.

Avella, Burgettstown and Fort Cherry high schools are all participating in the challenge, and those interested in voting for their favorite high school can do so by visiting The school with the greatest number of votes when the contest ends in May will receive the $10,000 prize to use in whatever manner best benefits the school. A valid e-mail address is required to vote.

Fort Cherry is currently ranked fifth in votes. Those voting in the contest can keep track of how their favorite school is doing by visiting the website and checking the leader board.

The school districts included in the competition are in CONSOL’s coverage area.

“CONSOL Energy has supported schools within our operating area for many years,” said Laural Ziemba, CONSOL Energy director of community relations. “The PowerUp challenge is an extension of that commitment. Through this new initiative, which has a substantial social media component, we hope to establish new channels of communication with students, their families and educators, while at the same time supplying two hard-working schools with a deserving financial boost.”

Educators, parents and students are encouraged to share information and links to the contest through social media, but the program also incorporates monthly social media contests open to people throughout the country.

“Over the next six to seven months, we’re going to have ongoing social media contests,” said Ziemba.

Each month’s prize and challenge will be different, and prizes may include concert and event tickets and Pittsburgh Penguins merchandise. Ziemba noted contest updates are available on the company’s Facebook page at and on the company’s Twitter feed at @CONSOL_Energy.

“If they want to ‘like’ or follow us, we update our feed with contest information regularly,” she said.

This month’s contest is for a signed Marc-Andre Fleury jersey, and those wanting to enter can “like” the CONSOL Facebook page, take a photo of themselves in Penguins gear, at a Penguins game or with Penguins merchandise, then post it on social media with the hashtag #CONSOLPowerUp. Photos will be posted to the company’s Facebook wall and Facebook users will be asked to vote on their favorite photo. The contest ends Nov. 15.

“It’s open to everyone,” said Ziemba. “The reason we decided to do that is because there are a lot of schools who aren’t in our operational area who won’t qualify to win the $10,000.”

The contests also will be advertised at Penguins home games through Jumbotron videos and IceTime magazine advertisements, which will have a QR code that can be scanned with a smart phone.

“We want to make it really accessible to fans,” Ziemba said.

She added the program includes an educational component – the website also will educate visitors about coal and natural gas.

“It’s who we are and what we do, and it’s very important to the area,” said Ziemba.

She added the company frequently receives requests for information from students working on school projects, especially those on environmental safety and coal and natural gas. The Power Up micro-site is part of the company’s larger website, and students can find educational information on the site, including the company’s sustainability report, which has been published on the website for the past two years.

“Because the website is within our overall website, it’s very comprehensive,” said Ziemba, noting those visiting the website also can visit the career section.

(Wallace-Minger can be contacted at