2015 Agency Elite Awards: Public Affairs

Winner: Davies Public Affairs

When one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy came to Davies with a very sticky problem, the firm jumped to action. For 20 months a major national energy project to export clean American natural gas went quietly through the stringent government review process with very little public attention. Since these initial stages went by so quietly, there had been very little preliminary discussion surrounding the Dominion Cove Point project, and when activist opponents came to town to fight the project they exploited this lack of public debate with misinformation and scare tactics in an attempt to define the project in the public’s eye. Project supporters became intimidated, local opponents emboldened and the undecided public didn’t know what to think. Support was rapidly dwindling and sentiment was moving toward the opposition.

Davies Public Affairs’ objective was to retake control of the story through research, compelling messaging and outstanding collateral. They needed to dig up the roots of opposition, address and assuage them and articulate reasons for support of the project. The collateral and associated grassroots effort had an overwhelmingly positive public response. As a result of the initial mailing, they garnered 2500 active community supporters that reshaped the public debate and gave the client the ability to dominate all public hearings. Subsequent campaign impact testing showed that they beat the opposition by a margin of 5 to 1 in shaping public opinion.

Honorable Mentions

  • Kreps DeMaria - Miami Seaport Alliance
  • Purple Strategies - Communities In Schools
  • TogoRun - Lilly Oncology: Hope & PACE