Urban Land Institute/District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment
The District of Columbia faces several challenges when it comes to stormwater management. Runoff pollutes local waterways, erodes streambanks, causes flooding, and can even overwhelm the sewer system, with these negative impacts all eventually flowing into the sensitive Chesapeake Bay.
In response, the District created two innovative programs that work in tandem to promote the development of green solutions to stormwater management – a first-in-the-nation market-based stormwater credit and trading program, and a related initiative that allows property owners greater flexibility for ongoing inspection and maintenance of their stormwater retention facilities. To increase uptake of the programs across the city, the District awarded a grant to the Urban Land Institute, which turned to Fifth Estate to design and activate a communications plan to move audiences to action.
Decisions about stormwater management come at numerous points in the development process, and are made by many and varied professionals along the way – from civil engineers to architects to facilities managers to developers to the private landowners who generate credits. These many audiences each require wholly distinct messaging, and traditional stakeholder outreach attempts had not proven fully effective.
To meet these challenges, Fifth Estate developed a series of micro-targeted communications packages that told the story of the programs from each audience’s unique perspective. Based on that approach, we developed complementary case studies, blog posts, content for professional organization websites, targeted emails, social media posts, and earned media pitches. In addition to promotion through ULI and District of Columbia channels, this array of materials enabled champions from each industry to use the right tool, at the right time, to directly target the right audience.