When Vitamin® first partnered with the Business Network for Offshore Wind, the offshore wind industry was at a crucial decision-making moment. The industry needed a central hub in the United States to develop a domestic supply chain, and Maryland had the opportunity to become that hub and obtain thousands of jobs for the state.
The Maryland Public Service Commission was in the process of deciding whether to award a $1.9 billion Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credit (OREC) to one or more developers with intent to build a large-scale offshore wind farm off the coast of Maryland. As the only nonprofit dedicated to the growth of the offshore wind industry in the United States, the Network was committed to raising awareness around the benefits of offshore wind and influencing a positive OREC decision. So, the organization brought Vitamin® in to generate buzz and awareness around OREC, and to position the Network as a thought leader in the offshore wind industry.
To kick off the campaign, Vitamin® put together an aggressive media relations strategy around the Network’s “Meet the Developers” event, inviting media to attend and hear directly from the two developers vying for OREC funding. We set up on-site interviews with the two developers and executives from the Network about the benefits of offshore wind, the importance of the Public Service Commission supporting offshore wind, and what it would mean for the state of Maryland if OREC did not pass. This event became a catalyst for subsequent media coverage and the media’s full understanding of OREC.
Vitamin® also handled media relations for the Network’s annual International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum (IPF), a major industry conference that drew hundreds of attendees from around the world. We handled pre-event pitching, day-of-event pitching, and post-event pitching to drive registrations, encourage media attendance, and continue the conversation around the benefits of offshore wind. Through the IPF, we provided the media with expert perspectives from around the world on how to successfully develop an offshore wind industry in the U.S. and how the industry would impact Maryland and the country at large.
Following the IPF conference, Vitamin® focused on thought leadership and positioned the Network as an expert in offshore wind. We pitched the organization’s executive director to local media and trade publications for print, online, and broadcast interviews; bylined articles; and op-eds.
Vitamin® secured nearly 20 hits in 60 days for the Network in key local and trade press, including the Baltimore Business Journal, The Baltimore Sun, North American Windpower, US News & World Report, Windpower Engineering & Development, and more. Additionally, the 2017 IPF sold out prior to the conference and drew in hundreds of attendees from around the world. It was the Network’s largest IPF conference to date.
Most importantly, on May 11, 2017, the Public Service Commission awarded OREC funding to both offshore wind developers who will each build a large-scale offshore wind farm off the coast of Maryland. This decision made Maryland the central hub of this new industry in the United States and is expected to bring tens of thousands of jobs and enormous health and environmental benefits to the state.
Vitamin® is proud to have been a part of bringing this new industry to Maryland and we look forward to seeing how it develops and shapes our state.
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