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Challenge

As the Centennial anniversary of Washington State Parks (WSP) approached, millions of acres of publicly accessible recreation lands distinctly unique to this state faced a budget deficit and required funding and support from Washington residents to stay open, safe and well-cared for. WSP previously developed the Discover pass, an annual park access pass, but sales were lagging far behind the projections set forth in July 2011 and parks and additional public lands now faced unprecedented hardships due to lack of funds.

As a result, WSP approved a multi-year strategic communications plan to accomplish the following:

  • Create a long-term focused online storytelling platform
  • Educate Washington residents about the value of WSP and the need for the Discover Pass (instead of a straight sell)

Solution

Building on the need for an educational and informational portal, Weber Shandwick helped Washington State Parks launch a new website – AdventureAwaits.com. To support the site, we executed an online advertising program (Google, Facebook and Outbrain), developed engaging blog content and implemented site activations to increase traffic and user engagement on AdventureAwaits.com. Combined, these tactics created the Adventure Awaits brand foundation and served as core components to increase awareness and ultimately encourage purchases of the Discover Pass.

To increase the reach of the site and bolster Discover Pass education, the following site activations were also launched:

    • Infographic – Utilized to bolster Discover Pass 101 page and be shared by partners to support Pass sales
    • Video Campaign – I Heart State Parks – Developed five videos for a series on why ‘I Heart State Parks’
    • Video Prezi – Developed the educational video below to engage community and partners

Key Results

  • From the launch in May 2012 through May 2013, the site has received close to 300,000 unique views, with close to 25,000 views per month
  • Our video Prezi has received close to 3,000 views
  • Our work with Washington State Parks has won 9 awards to date, including Communicator: Award of Excellence and Award of Distinction, Mercury Award: Gold, Marcom Award: Platinum, Telly Award: Bronze

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