When Congress began work on an economic recovery plan in late 2020, BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of the nation’s largest labor unions and environmental watchdogs, launched a national campaign to ensure good, clean manufacturing job creation was a priority in any recovery plan.
Blue State partnered with the coalition in early 2021 to help demonstrate to Congress what was at stake for workers, their families, and their livelihoods if clean manufacturing jobs weren’t prioritized in this new recovery plan. Through an authentic and compelling campaign, we created a series of paid ads with local and national placement, personalized video to accompany a creative and acquisition campaign, strong messaging to build and establish media relationships, and new compelling creative that would draw a cohesive thread through all BlueGreen Alliance touchpoints.
There was an opportunity for America to prioritize its climate goals while revolutionizing the American workforce, and BlueGreen Alliance was eager to lead that conversation.
Cutting through the crowd
BlueGreen Alliance had never taken on a campaign of this magnitude or scope before. And in this case, a slew of other environmental coalitions had already thrown their hat into the ring earlier in the year to engage the Administration with the issues most pressing to them and their organizations. To start, BlueGreen Alliance wanted to achieve the following:
Lift up manufacturing as an important part of any recovery package.
Use research to support the overall message.
Create and disseminate compelling stories to move the needle on the importance of retooling and rebuilding American manufacturing.
Now, it was time to get to work.
For America, By America
Through creative collaboration with the client, we crafted a campaign that would tell the personal stories of BlueGreen families struggling to make ends meet, waiting on good jobs that were promised but never came. The campaign – “For America, By America” – would showcase how communities forgotten after deindustrialization needed Congress to take action and make a once-in-a-generation investment in their industry.
To emotionally connect with our audience through this campaign, it was imperative to uplift the real stories and voices of union workers across the country. It was their fight – and they needed to be front and center. By connecting seemingly distant policy debates happening in Washington to lived experiences on the ground, we invigorated both policymaker and constituent audiences alike in the fight for building a clean economy.
The above creative was utilized for owned and paid media, the coalition’s campaign landing page, and the start of their email mobilization campaign.
Taking it to the next level
To hone in on the storytelling component that was already a cornerstone of “For America, By America,” we utilized video to humanize what was at stake in the policy debate, putting the real experience of workers in manufacturing at the forefront. And because we have an in-house video team, the video work could seamlessly and quickly integrate into the larger campaign strategy.
Our overarching goal was to build a media library for BGA that could be used in a variety of assets. We began production on one :30s ad for paid media, as well as two more documentary-style profiles of factory workers that would require new production. By the end of the campaign, we produced a total of six videos for BlueGreen Alliance, with a paid media spend of nearly $1 million supporting the creative.
Blue State served as both a thought partner and hands-on production crew for the video process. We developed the concepts and distribution strategies for the videos, and served as partners on the ground to ensure strong creative execution.
We collaborated closely with the United Steelworkers (USW) union to identify interviewees from factories in Iowa, West Virginia, and Ohio and shoot new footage at factories across the country.
All about the follow through
In most cases, a launch is a launch – it’s a one time thing. But to ensure we could get an impactful press hit and maximize impact on the infrastructure bill discussion, we took an iterative approach. By staggering the launch of the paid media, press, and video launches, it ensured a comprehensive rollout that generated over 2,700 petition signatures and key stories in The Hill and The Guardian.
Reaching policymakers and their staff in the call for bold manufacturing and infrastructure would be critical for our earned media approach, going beyond just the “For America, By America” campaign launch. We needed a continued thread of elevating the voices of workers in key battleground states to build support for robust investments in clean energy jobs, and tactical relationship building to ensure story placement at publications that hit the mark.
That’s why our strategic communications team targeted outlets like The Hill, The Guardian, and Roll Call – publications that could deliver strong reporting and play to the intersection of the political and business worlds. We worked to develop BGA’s voice at these publications, whether it was around negotiations on the infrastructure bill, letters from BGA to the Administration urging them to think bigger, or new survey data that supported BGA’s call to action.
Every clip secured helped build a throughline of urgency for the Administration to act. BGA’s priorities made it into the final Build Back Better bill language. Now, our partnership continues as we amplify the message of how American manufacturing should be rebuilt — in the words of those who built America.