The goal of our Public Relations initiatives in Nashville was to position our client, an architectural, engineering and planning firm, and its principals as thought leaders in the City’s infrastructure situation. Nashville was, and is, at a pivotal crossroads in terms of population growth and maintaining safe, operational city services for its residents and businesses. Nashville’s growth was exploding, averaging 100 people moving in daily and new construction was underway to keep up with the demand. The City’s water and sanitary sewer system was not ready or keeping up with this growth, the capacity not there to service these big buildings, and estimates putting Nashville’s infrastructure 20 to 30 years behind Detroit and Chicago.
At the same time, voters had just rejected by a 2-to-1 margin a multi-billion-dollar transportation plan, that would have brought Nashville into the 21st century in terms of transit and traffic, as its system was estimated to be 20 years behind current standards.
Our team’s strategy and tactics included writing a white paper on this topic, which also was the basis for an op-ed that we wrote and placed in The Tennessean, the prominent daily newspaper in Nashville. The white paper, written from interviews our team conducted with our client’s Nashville office leadership, posed the questions of what is the vision for Nashville, how does it retain its character, how does the city build out its infrastructure to keep up with growth and how does the city move forward from an architectural standpoint?
We also arranged a podcast interview for the Director with Institutional Real Estate, Inc. to discuss Nashville’s infrastructure needs.
As part of our media relations campaign, we also wrote and distributed a media source letter offering our local experts as SMEs on the above topics. In addition to The Tennessean, our outreach included, but was not limited to the Tennessee Tribune, Nashville Business Journal and local radio and TV stations, including NPR.
As part of our outreach, we coordinated a meeting for the Nashville Office Director with a reporter from the Nashville Business Journal who was covering the City’s infrastructure shortfall. This introduction led to the Director becoming a relied upon expert source for the reporter on future infrastructure stories.
Our team also made contact with applicable trade associations and publications, seeking to make strategic introductions, explore membership and determine editorial opportunities in their respective publications. These included Tennessee Road Builder, Tennessee Road Builders Association, Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Municipal Sewer & Water, Water Online, American Water Works Association and Engineering News-Record.