CAMPAIGNS: Public Affairs - Mining for some positive press

Client: A. Teichert & Son (Sacramento, CA)

Client: A. Teichert & Son (Sacramento, CA)

Client: A. Teichert & Son (Sacramento, CA)

PR Team: NCG Porter Novelli (Sacramento, CA)

Campaign: Opening of Cache Creek Nature Preserve

Time Frame: February to June 2000

Budget: dollars 24,000 (dollars 16,000 donated pro bono by NCG Porter


Mining companies have long had to tread fine lines among commerce, the

local community and the environment. This is especially true in

California, where sand and gravel extraction company A. Teichert & Son

has operated for 113 years.

Teichert has been working to change attitudes about aggregate


Part of that effort is the 130-acre Cache Creek Nature Preserve, created

on land the company donated and then restored as wetlands and a bird


When the preserve had its grand opening, Teichert turned to NCG Porter

Novelli to design and implement a campaign that touted not only the

event but also the company’s environmentally friendly policies.


The Sacramento office of Nelson Communications Group had represented

Teichert for the past six years, most recently as part of the merged NCG

Porter Novelli. Much of the earlier work was community-relations efforts

in areas where Teichert was mining or looking for approval to mine.

’When you’re talking about using the land, there are always concerns,’

says Steve Swatt, general manager of the agency’s Sacramento office.

’The public needs to be kept updated at every step and they need to

fully understand what’s being done and what’s at stake.’

The opening of the preserve presented an ideal opportunity to promote

Teichert as a good corporate citizen. The agency had previously

generated some positive local TV and newspaper coverage when Teichert

first donated the land in 1998. Other announcements, such as the

formation of the Cache Creek Conservancy to oversee the preserve, helped

keep the Woodland, CA land in the public eye during the restoration.


To kick off the campaign in early March, NCG Porter Novelli mailed out

200 media kits complete with backgrounders on both the preserve and


’We targeted travel, outdoor and environmental reporters as well as news

editors for magazines and newspapers in California and other parts of

the country,’ says account associate Mike Garcia. While most reporters

had only a general knowledge of the area, many of the environmental

reporters were well aware of the Cache Creek because of the agency’s

earlier efforts.

Garcia followed up with phone calls and e-mails to stress the preserve’s

importance to the area and the participation of the Audubon Society and

other nature groups. He also provided a list of dignitaries expected to

attend, including Richard Rominger, deputy secretary of the US

Department of Agriculture. The agency also ensured that many of these

officials were available for pre-event interviews.

’Because this was a grand opening, we knew a lot of news organizations

would want to do pre-stories,’ explains Swatt. ’We allowed TV stations

to come out in advance so they had pictures of the preserve without a

lot of people present.’ This not only ensured high-quality footage to

accompany event stories, but also resulted in the Los Angeles Times and

San Francisco Chronicle doing advance pieces.


The May 20 opening attracted a crowd of more than 400 and coverage in

local newspapers such as The Sacramento Bee and Davis Enterprise. The

local TV affiliates for CBS, Fox and PBS also did segments on the


In addition, trade and special-interest magazines including California

Farmer, Pit & Quarry and Aggregates Manager wrote about the


’We were actually very happily surprised by the interest it generated

throughout the state,’ says Randy Samer, Teichert’s manager of aggregate

resources and president of the conservancy. ’It was very important in

letting people know that we do other things for the community.’


NCG Porter Novelli continues to work with Teichert, promoting the

company’s efforts to convert a mine into a regional park at a lake near


It also does community relations as Teichert negotiates to open a new

mine in nearby Placer County.

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