The public relations and communications goals for the Detroit office of a national architectural, engineering and planning firm were to generate awareness for the critical status of the City and State’s infrastructure and offer solutions.

One of their largest municipal clients for the A/E firm was the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD). Our client’s role was to provide a third-party assessment of the City’s water pipes and infrastructure, which in many locations was more than 100 years old. They also served as an advisor to the City in the creation of an Asset Management Plan. This led to a media relations campaign about the need for municipalities to have an Asset Management Plan in place. Our strategy included writing and sending source letters to targeted media, offering our client as an SME on the topic.

Our team also secured Editorial Board meetings for our client with the two major daily newspapers in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News. Marx Layne prepared our client with talking points and prep sessions, forwarded background information to the editorial boards on our client and the current statistics of Michigan’s infrastructure, and we attended these meetings and facilitated discussion. These meetings led to two op-eds being published, and our client regularly called upon for expert commentary on the subject of infrastructure. We also coordinated a strategic introduction for our client with the editor of DBusiness magazine, a Detroit-area business publication. This led to a feature article, with the company President becoming a trusted source for expert commentary on future infrastructure stories.

We also wrote and secured an op-ed in Detroit’s other prominent business publication, Crain’s Detroit Business, focusing on Michigan’s urgent need for 21st Century infrastructure, both above and below ground.

Our team assisted in the coordination and staffing of an open house for the Detroit office. We researched and created a detailed database for invitations, which included targeted members of the media, including Detroit Bureau Chiefs of global media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, representatives from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), as well other City and County officials, along with Mayors and representatives from nearby cities in Southeast Michigan.

We also wrote and distributed a media advisory and news release on the open house. The event was well attended, and we remained in contact with attendees, sending reprints of future media placements we secured on behalf of our client, keeping their name top of mind with these key decision-makers.

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