Results are everything. Here are a few examples of how we've helped clients reach their communications goals.
Project: The Protection of Port Gamble Bay
Client: Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe
For over two millennia, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe (PGST) have lived on the shores of Port Gamble Bay, where, even today, Tribal members practice their right to fish and harvest shellfish as guaranteed by the Treaty of Point No Point.
Quinn Brein was hired to communicate the need to protect and restore Port Gamble Bay, which is a Usual & Accustomed fishing and harvesting area for the Tribe. The Bay suffered from the operation of a sawmill at the town of Port Gamble for close to 150 years. While the sawmill had closed in 1994, over a decade later, little movement had been made in cleaning the Bay up. In addition to stressing the importance of a cleanup effort, the Tribe wanted to tell the story of its history with the area and how that had influenced its culture.
To help the Tribe achieve its communication goals, we:
Brought together the tribal and non-tribal communities to educate on the importance of cleaning up the Bay and protecting it for future generations. This was done early on with a series of public events and town hall meetings. Face-to-face contact was essential as many non-tribal community members knew little about the Tribe’s history or culture and/or, at the time, had a neutral or negative view of putting resources towards conservation.
Engaged local and regional press to tell the PGST story and the complex relationship they have with Port Gamble Bay and the owners of the town of Port Gamble, where the Tribe once had an ancestral village. Coverage included KUOW, The Seattle Times, Kitsap Sun, High Country News, and Indian Country Today, among others.
Created and implemented an internal communications plan to ensure all relevant Tribal departments and the Tribal community-at-large were engaged and informed on current developments. This information was also used to advise PGST’s governing body.
Ongoing outreach to all stakeholders on the Tribe’s positions related to threats to the Bay’s health, including proposals for a marina and commercial/housing developments.
Engaged with local and state politicians and agencies. This included a day-long retreat to the reservation where state representatives and regional agency directors learned about PGST culture and its connection to the Bay through historical activities such as pulling (rowing) a canoe and a traditional clambake. In 2013, the State budget earmarked $9 million to go towards Port Gamble Bay protection efforts.
Helped in the creation of a community coalition to protect the Bay and surrounding lands. This, eventually, became the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project, which is a highly successful, unprecedented partnership between Kitsap County, PGST, the Suquamish Tribe, environmental groups, and community leaders to conserve 1.5 miles of shoreline and 6,000+ acres adjacent to the Bay.
In 2015, after decades of negotiation, the cleanup of Port Gamble Bay began. Our group still actively works with the Tribe, including on messaging related to its relationship with Port Gamble Bay. These efforts, have not only increased support for local conservation efforts related to the Bay, but have also garnered additional awareness and understanding of treaty rights issues, PGST culture, and the Tribe’s historical importance in Kitsap County.
Project: An American Icon
Client: The Old Farmer's Almanac
Since 1992, Quinn Brein has handled PR and marketing activities for The Old Farmer's Almanac. You read that right. 1992. This relationship is older than some members of our staff.
The Old Farmer's Almanac is North America's oldest continuously published periodical. It releases an annual edition each fall (out every year since 1792!) and offers several companion publications, including The Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids,The Garden Guide, as well as a series of cookbooks. With a doubt, the Almanac is a unique brand with a long-storied history, but, while it's difficult to find someone to say an unkind word about the Almanac, unfortunately, the words "old" and "farmer" in the title can cause people to make certain assumptions.
Quinn Brein's original mandate was pretty straight-forward: help increase sales through product promotion, while cutting through marketplace confusion brought on by too many copycat almanacs.
Our approach was simple: stay true to the publication's roots. The Old Farmer's Almanac has lasted for as long as it has because there's power in what it is and the information it shares. (Almost) everyone cares about the weather or gardening or food or annual trends. Our job is to find new ways to tell the story of The Old Farmer's Almanac as an American Icon; one that is, as the Almanac's founder once said, "useful, with a pleasant degree of humor."
Over the years this strategy has taken many forms: North American media tours, media relations, product placement (our favorite: the Almanac as Dwight Schrute's favorite book), third party tie-ins, licensing partnerships, and general marketing strategies. With our help The Old Farmer's Almanac has been featured on and in The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business News, Breakfast Television, Global News Canada, USA Today, Washington Post, Toronto Sun, and Topic, to name just a few.
As the years have passed, we have, of course, have had to evolve our strategies. Today, we help to manage their Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest channels, and have produced a series of food videos for social and their website, Almanac.com. In 2017, we began a ongoing project for them: food photography for the recipes on Almanac.com. You can see some of this work in our photography section. In 2018, we helped them launch a social media influencer program featuring Lisa Steele of Fresh Eggs Daily.
Today, the Almanac is stronger than ever. They annually sell millions of copies with more and more new readers finding advice and good humor in the Almanac's pages. As they say, an icon never goes out of style.
Project: Harbor Square Condominiums
Client: OPUS Northwest
When the Harbor Square complex was first proposed, the area around Winslow on Bainbridge Island in Washington State had few housing options. Understandably, Bainbridge Island residents, who enjoyed their serene Island lives, were concerned that this new development, which is across from the Winslow ferry terminal, would change their community—not only in landscape, but with an influx of new neighbors and businesses.
Quinn Brein was tasked with assuaging these fears while positively promoting the project. Our activities included:
Facilitation of pre-groundbreaking events designed to educate on the real impacts of the development, while communicating the long-term social and economic good it could have on the downtown Winslow area and Bainbridge Island.
Creating mechanisms to enable an ongoing dialog between project managers and community members. This was used to immediately address concerns and squash negative rumors.
Building the Harbor Square community by connecting early owners through social events, such as barbecues and intimate concerts.
Engaging local businesses, organizations, and community members whenever possible in efforts to integrate new Harbor Square residents. This was done through meet-and-greets, community promotions, and more.
Interfacing with local press to provide information and updates. Coverage came from The Kitsap Sun, Bainbridge Island Review, and the real estate section of The Seattle Times, among others.
Proving its need, Harbor Square sold out long before it was ready for its first residents to move in. Today, Harbor Square is home to many families and businesses who are proud and active members of the Bainbridge community.