University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) has a long history of studying the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The Center’s team of marine biologists, science students, and social scientists publishes its research as part of an annual report card on the Chesapeake Bay watershed every June.
For the last 12 years, GreenSmith PR, led by CEO Mike Smith, worked with the Center to publicize its research to the communities in six states and the District of Columbia. Reorganized as MSBD/Greensmith PR, our team set a goal of matching or exceeding the reach of previous years for the Center’s press conference announcing the report card.
MSBD/GreenSmith PR began work on an aggressive media relations campaign, leveraging UMCES’ new social science research and highlighting the disparities found in tributaries bordering low-income and rural areas throughout the watershed. In addition to emphasizing the most recent and newsworthy aspect of UMCES’ research, we also optimized the press event by scouting a location to encourage coverage by TV and visual media drawn to opportunities for interesting outdoor backdrops for stand-ups, interviews, and b-roll.
Together, MSBD/GreenSmith PR and UMCES crafted a media advisory and PR campaign plan that would maximize coverage and impressions of the report card announcement. Tactics included media pitching to key wire services and broadcast media assignment desks, environmental online publications, and elected and appointed officials outreach and scheduling coordination for jurisdictions that bordered the press event venue in Alexandria, Virginia—the Washington Sailing Marina. MSBD/GreenSmith PR also provided all event participants a run-of-show scheduling and logistics document prior to the event and coordinated all outdoor event equipment and catering vendors.
Accentuated by perfect weather, the press conference garnered over 350 million global media impressions, an increase of more than 100 million over the previous year. As a result of MSBD/GreenSmith PR’s strategic media relations program, UMCES benefited from media coverage as far away as Australia.
Sample outlets included:
The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, WRC-TV, WTTG-TV, WJLA-TV, WJZ-TV, WMAR-TV, WBAL-TV, WBFF-TV National Public Radio All Things Considered, WTOP Radio News, WBAL Radio News, WAMU-FM, The Bay Journal, Maryland Matters, and The Virginian-Pilot.