Litter is spreading vermin, bacteria, and toxins into the Potomac Watershed, which provides drinking water for 80% of the DC metro area. The Alice Ferguson Foundation, a nonprofit focused on environmental education, hired Ruder Finn in 2009 to create and launch an ongoing effort to help change behavior and free the watershed of trash by 2013.
"A great local campaign that produced results," said one judge. "Motivating and impactful."
The agency conducted internal and external communications audits and analyzed similar successful social marketing, litter prevention, and environmental campaigns. The tagline "Clean Land, Safe Water, Healthy Lives" became the campaign platform.
Elected officials, Congresspeople, local government agencies, community leaders, local businesses, and residents were targeted. The foundation's existing programs were leveraged, while new tactics, including traditional and social media and grassroots outreach, were incorporated. The team coordinated with community leaders to disseminate messaging with existing tools.
"Excellent campaign plan that showed comprehensive research and target analysis," said one judge. "Very effective."
The campaign kicked off with outreach around two events, the River Cleanup and Trash Summit. Facebook and Twitter accounts were revamped, and local partner groups help spread posts. The team also developed a toolkit that includes guidelines, tips, and template materials for communities.
"Big impact on a small budget," noted another judge.
More than 425 groups and partners joined the 2010 clean-up, removing 251.9 tons of trash. Volunteers increased from 13,516 to 16,066, and cleanup sites increased from 250 to 511.
In the first four weeks of the campaign, Twitter followers increased five-fold and Facebook fans quadrupled. The campaign also saw more than 1.8 million media impressions in numerous outlets, including The Washington Post, Fox News, and CBS News.
Honorable Mention: Porter Novelli and Hoag Hospital Irvine: Hoag Hospital Irvine - Bringing 21st Century High-Quality Healthcare to the Community
Hoag hired Porter Novelli to build community support after it decided to keep a newly acquired Irvine hospital closed for an 18-month renovation. The agency's tactics included briefings and hard-hat tours for elected officials and media, a speakers' bureau, classes, and forums. "Excellent dissection of local communities," said one judge. "Very targeted and successful." Results included reaching more than 70,000 people directly at 123 events; open house attendance of 6,500 (5,500 more than expected); 451 media placements (nearly 300 above goal); and no public outcry.
The Award Recognizes outstanding achievement in local projects or ongoing local community programs in areas such as the environment, education, enterprise, health, the arts, law and order, and equal opportunity.
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