Division A - Public Relations Programs
Category 4 - Public Information
Florida reBuilds Campaign
Moore Consulting Group; Agency for Workforce Innovation

Award of Distinction

Research/Situation Analysis: Florida has faced a shortage of trained construction workers due to unprecedented growth and the 2005 hurricane season. According to a study by the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI), there were more than 13,000 construction job vacancies in Florida and many areas faced delays with construction and repair projects due to hurricane damages caused in 2005. After Hurricane Katrina, many Florida-based construction companies moved their operations to the Gulf Coast region because of the abundance of work and the amount of emergency funds available for rebuilding efforts. Concerned about the negative impact such a job shortage could have on Florida's growth, Florida’s legislators and Governor Jeb Bush and Lt. Governor Toni Jennings addressed methods for alleviating this lack of trained workers. During the 2006 Legislative Session, the Florida Legislature allocated $12 million to study and address the shortage. AWI was tasked with creating and overseeing a program that would raise awareness about the crisis, educate job seekers about opportunities available in construction trades and train individuals in careers in the construction industry. Lt. Governor Jennings recommended that AWI call this new program Florida reBuilds. AWI hired Moore Consulting Group (MCG) to conduct a comprehensive marketing campaign, including media relations, public relations and partner-recruitment efforts. MCG conducted a media scan, including a Lexis/Nexis search of related Florida media coverage, and researched articles related to damages that remained from the 2005 hurricanes due to the worker shortage. Finally, MCG, in conjunction with AWI’s statistics and survey department, conducted an analysis of information collected by AWI in 2005. AWI leadership accelerated the original August 2006 - July 2007 timeline to complete project objectives by December 31, 2006, due to an immediate need for workers. Primary target audiences for this project included: individuals interested in construction careers, trade associations, educational institutions, construction companies, statewide media and Florida’s general public.

Objectives: 1) Raise awareness about the opportunities available in the construction trades among Florida residents and encourage them to participate in the training program, as measured by recruiting at least 4,000 individuals to the program. 2) Conduct a successful media relations campaign, as measured by 50 stories (electronic and print) in Florida. 3) Raise awareness in the construction industry, as measured by recruiting 48 partners.

Implementation: Objective 1) First, MCG developed a logo and tag line for the project and ensured that these tools resonated with the target audience by conducting three focus groups that selected “Training Today. Building Tomorrow.” MCG developed support materials, including a backgrounder, fact sheet, Top 50 Job Vacancies in the State one-pager and Job Vacancies and Salary Statistics for Florida. MCG also created collateral materials for the program, including flyers in three languages for job seekers, builders, educational institutions and trade associations, which were customizable to allow for the inclusion of pertinent information from participating partners. MCG developed a multi-purpose brochure for job seekers and construction company owners/contractors and created posters, web banners and promotional items (golf balls, koosies and coolers) to raise awareness about the program. These materials were included in a kit personalized for each partner and distributed statewide at partner meetings, trade shows, via mail and at the Workforce One-Stop Centers, the local employment resource centers. MCG also developed a tradeshow booth and tabletop display for use at industry events. Finally, MCG developed a fully integrated advertising campaign, which included producing TV and radio spots (:20 and :30 versions in Spanish and English), partnering with the Florida Association of Broadcasters to make the best use of advertising dollars, and creating and placing print ads in strategic markets. 2) Only five weeks after receiving the contract, MCG held a one-day kick-off media event to launch the campaign in Miami, Tampa and Orlando to provide statewide reporters information about the program and to emphasize the shortage of trained workers. Additionally, MCG created a template media kit for distribution to Florida's 24 Workforce Development Boards to enable them to announce the program's launch in their markets. To further the media outreach, MCG held editorial meetings with eight key daily newspapers and trained AWI representatives, training partners and program participants to meet with the editorial staff. 3) MCG created a recruitment kit that provided information about the crisis and targeted educational institutions, vocational technical institutions, trade associations, workforce/employment centers, construction companies and home improvement companies to enlist their support for the program. The kit contained promotional materials, a backgrounder, statistics on Florida’s construction trades, a fact sheet, brochures and other information. To meet the need to have localized training capabilities, the first groups targeted were the Workforce Development Boards, community colleges and technical institutes. MCG also developed a template program that would enable the partners, particularly Workforce Development Boards, to conduct events to help secure local participation. These “Build-A-Job” events were used to raise awareness about the program and to recruit local participation.

Evaluation: The program exceeded its goals for each objective: Objective 1) Due to an aggressive integrated communications program, more than 7,400 job seekers were recruited for Florida reBuilds training. 2) Media relations efforts generated more than 150 stories, including eight favorable editorials and resulting in more than 58 million impressions. 3) As a result of partnership recruitment efforts, more than 100 organizations partnered with Florida reBuilds, including Lowes, Workforce Florida, Caterpillar, Florida Home Builders Association, Florida’s 24 Workforce Development Boards and Florida’s Community College Network. By meeting these objectives, the campaign succeeded in providing targeted Floridians with the skills for a rewarding career and bringing skilled workers to an understaffed industry.

Budget: Research (including Lexis/Nexis): $400; media kit creation: $261; partnership kits: $500; printing: $36,300; signage: $165; staff time for qualitative research, writing and media pitching: included in retainer; advertising: $125,000; travel: $7,400; promotional items: $2,500 and media clips: $41. Total: $172,567—$77,433 under budget.