Civil engineers of Maryland take pride in displaying report card

The American Society of Civil Engineers Maryland Section wanted its first Infrastructure Report Card to reach key decision-makers and the public.

Client: American Society of Civil Engineers MD Section (Baltimore)
PR agency: Howard Consulting Group (Washington, DC)
Campaign: 2011 Maryland Infrastructure Report Card Release
Duration: January-February 2011
Budget: $10,000

The American Society of Civil Engineers Maryland Section wanted its first Infrastructure Report Card to reach key decision-makers and the public. The objective was to create an event to draw the attention of those who could facilitate change to the state's infrastructure policy.

Strategy

A press conference was coordinated on February 8 in Annapolis, MD, but "we wanted to reach the general public as well, since they are the people that use the roads and the Metro," says Frank Howard, president of Howard Consulting Group.

The report card presented the information on the state's roads, bridges, transit systems, dams, and storm-water management in an easy-to-understand format.

State Senate Majority Leader Robert Garagiola and Delegate Jon Cardin were on hand to explain the findings.

Tactics

In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama mentioned the national society's 2009 report card.

"His speech validated our efforts," says Frank Kaul, American Society of Civil Engineers Maryland Section president.

The speech was used as leverage for media outreach. Content was also posted on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Results

The press conference was covered by outlets including The Baltimore Sun, Maryland Daily Record, and Maryland Reporter.com. State lawmakers and staff members attended the event. News of the report card reached 45,000-plus Twitter followers.

"We've been invited to Annapolis to testify to several committees," adds Kaul. "People as far as England have contacted us about the report card."

Future

Other society chapters are looking to replicate the event.

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