Case Studies

Florida Transportation Builders’ Association

As the first week of the 2010 Legislative Session came to a close, initial budget allocations in the House of Representatives revealed leaders of the Transportation & Economic Development (TED) Appropriations Committee were working to severely cut transportation funding. Under the guidance of House Speaker Larry Cretul (R), Chairman Rep. Rich Glorioso (R) proposed the sweeping of more than $420 million from the State Transportation Trust Fund, significantly altering the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) five-year work program.

As originally proposed, the long-term effects of the proposed cuts would have undoubtedly had an impact on Florida’s road and bridge building workforce. With more than 70,000 direct and indirect jobs at stake, the Florida Transportation Builders’ Association (FTBA) was called to action to stop the proposed reductions in transportation spending. As the voice of the state’s transportation builders, FTBA hired CoreMessage to launch an earned media and grassroots campaign that would raise awareness of the issue and help keep the Transportation Trust Fund intact.

In order to proactively and efficiently communicate the many possible negative impacts of raiding the trust fund to key stakeholders, CoreMessage developed a rapid response plan to activate FTBA’s thousands of members and pique the media’s interest in the issue. As part of the association’s overarching legislative strategy, CoreMessage delivered a comprehensive communications strategy that included earned media, social media, internal communications and third-party partnership building.

As a result of the earned media and public relations campaign planned and executed by the CoreMessage team, the proposed $420 million Transportation Trust Fund raid was reduced down to $160 million with $40 million of that figure expected to be directed with Florida’s acceptance of federal grant funds.

Specific outcomes of the campaign include: e-mail Campaign received a combined 18,546 click-throughs; earned Media Campaign garnered more than 5.2 million media impressions in combined print, broadcast and Internet/electronic publicity in just two months time; the audience reach equated to a paid media campaign, or advertisement equivalency rate, of more than $114,000; media Events and FTBA Rally attracted more than 500 attendees including road builders, engineers and construction workers around the state; the events leading up to and following the 2010 FTBA “RALLY in TALLY” secured more than 1.3 million media impressions alone with nine bureaus of the Capital Press Corp in attendance; and Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed any raids to the State Transportation Trust Fund saving thousands of Florida jobs.

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