2017 is a big year for Elmore Public Relations—we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary! For the past 25 years, our agency has been working with numerous clients to help them achieve their goals, or as we say – connecting strategy, expertise and results. Each week we’re highlighting a year of Elmore PR.
Thanks for joining us again! In case you missed last week’s post, we welcomed longtime friend and Executive Director of The Periwinkle Foundation, Doug Suggitt, for a special Q+A session. This week, we’re recapping our history and work with the Harris County Flood Control District.
One of the rewarding aspects of the public relations field is the opportunity to be strategic and creative in our work, but also to work with experts in various fields and specialties. In addition to being planners, writers, communicators, and campaigners, we get a lesson in everything from interior design and ballet to adoption and architecture.
For more than a decade, we have learned quite a bit about the incredible team work, engineering expertise and coordination (not to mention the nitty gritty details of surveys, proposals and plans) that it takes to tackle the challenges of mitigating flooding across our flat, bayou-laced city.
Elmore PR has partnered with the Harris County Flood Control District on many flood damage reduction projects – helping to craft concise and consistent messages to share with the many stakeholders affected by flood control projects. Public officials, city leaders, environmental groups, and residents all have strong positions and different notions of success when it comes to planning and implementing these projects. What will the project look like? What it will cost? How long it will take to complete? How it will affect my property and the natural environment? All valid and important questions to consider during the planning process.
In 2003, Elmore PR joined the team to connect with communities about the Vogel Creek Conveyance Improvements Project. The project in northeast Houston was proposed for an area that repeatedly flooded and there was a strong need to find a solution that was balanced the needs of the community, environmental concerns but also moved forward quickly. Initially, the project called for a concrete drainage channel on an existing district-owned property, however environmental concerns pressed for a different solution. At the same time, a nearby voluntary home buyout program resulted in the land opportunity for a more environmentally friendly, grass-lined channel – complete with plans for native tree planting.
The communications team was tasked with soliciting input from and educating and updating numerous audiences. While environmental groups were looking—and willing to wait—for a plan that met their standards, residents in the area were growing impatient with the delays in effective flood control and the risk of damage to their homes from heavy storms in the meantime. Elmore Public Relations set into motion a communications campaign that endeavored to address the concerns of each group involved. The team joined HOA and civic club meetings, regularly scheduled briefings with elected officials, sent direct mail at specific milestones, conducted surveys, sent regular email updates to HOA presidents to share with constituents, and a created a project-specific web page on the district’s website. In addition, Elmore PR worked with the local media to help facilitate accurate coverage of the project’s progress through a series of placements in the Houston Chronicle, including “Flood relief set for Vogel Creek” and “Vogel Creek widening on track.” The culmination of the effort was a ribbon cutting breakfast at the completion of the project in with members of the community.
Teaming with Harris County Flood Control District and gaining an understanding of how they and their project partners tackle the issue of flood control, we have a deep appreciation of the work they do. As we continue our partnership with the Harris County Flood Control District communications team, we learn more each day about their industry. Join us next week as we dive into the arts and take an in-depth look into work with our stellar performing arts clients.