June 2015
West Warwick Going Off the Grid

Taxpayers in West Warwick, R.I. have decided not to pay the town's electricity bill anymore - and we helped them do it.  Here's how -

During the spring we ran a bond referendum campaign asking voters in the Town to buy three wind turbines to power all town buildings, including schools.  Seventy five percent of the voters said "Yes."  Now, West Warwick will be the first community in Rhode Island to go completely green.

Taxpayers will make an initial investment of $18 million to purchase the turbines, but that investment will be tens of millions of dollars less than their electricity bill would be over 25 years.

It was exciting for our firm to be part of such an important "First."  Now, we'll be interested to see how many other communities follow West Warwick's lead and "Go Green to Save Green."


In Other News
More Communications Lessons
from West Warwick...

Introducing the Counter-NIMBY

Based on our long (and successful) experience with the myopic phenomenon of "Not in My Backyard", or NIMBY, we know it's one of the main reasons why it can be so hard to get Rhode Island's economy to grow.
However, in the West Warwick campaign we ran into another phenomenon - the Counter-NIMBY.

Here's what happened:  It would have been hard - and very distracting to the campaign - to site three wind turbines in a small community like West Warwick.  That wasn't the case here, though, as the turbines will be built in a remote section of an adjacent town. 

The response?  A great deal of discussion on the campaign's social media about how placing the turbines somewhere else was somehow detrimental to the Town, and the project - a discussion that we found simply amazing.

Amplifying the News with Social Media

  • On Thursday, we helped drive voter turnout in West Warwick with the Facebook page;
  • On Friday, we sent out a press release highlighting the win;
  • On Saturday, the story was widely reported, including on the front page of the Providence Journal;
  • Later on Saturday, we used social media to amplify the coverage we secured about the big win
Nice Ink! - Introducing Barbara Fields

Barbara Fields,
Executive Director at Rhode Island Housing
Recently, Barbara Fields assumed the role of Executive Director at Rhode Island Housing - the state's housing finance agency. After leading the agency in an interim capacity since January, Barbara was officially named to her post in April.
Since then, we have worked with Barbara to share her vision for the agency and highlight her expertise on local and national housing issues with a statewide audience.

Barbara landed in the Providence Journal with a profile on her background and immediate priorities for the agency. She made an appearance on WPRI's Executive Suite with Ted Nesi to discuss Rhode Island Housing's role in supporting the economic recovery. ConvergenceRI published a piece headlined 'Building a Bridge to the Middle Class,' exploring Barbara's views on the agency's mission.

She also spoke with the Providence Business News about signs of strength in the state's housing market and appeared on Rhode Island Public Radio to discuss Rhode Island Housing's efforts to improve access to affordable housing.

And her introduction to Rhode Islanders continues. Barbara recently appeared on NBC10's Business Lunch with Frank Coletta where she weighed in on the benefits of Governor Raimondo's proposal for a $3 million Affordable Housing Fund that made it into this year's state budget.
We look forward to working with Barbara and Rhode Island Housing to tell their story as the agency builds on its track record of making our state a better place to live, work and raise a family.

United Way of Rhode Island Offers an 
Easy Way to Help our Community

I'm on the board of the United Way of Rhode Island so I'm obviously biased, but they are onto a good idea - having local agencies that are seeking funding engage in a competitive process to secure it.  The process just simply makes everyone better, but it also engages the larger community by having volunteers actually review the grant proposals.

This is where you come in - if you have some time over the next year why not join the Volunteer Grant Review Committee?  Volunteers will learn about community issues and receive unique training. If you are interested in reviewing proposals for the United Way's next grant cycle, you can find more information and apply online, here: http://www.uwri.org/volunteer/grant-reviewers

The deadline for applications is next Friday, July 3rd.

Save Alexander Hamilton!

There's no shortage of bad ideas out there, and the decision to remove Alexander Hamilton from the $10 bill is just the latest one.  I certainly agree that it's about time we saw a heroic American woman on our Nation's currency, but it would be more appropriate to remove Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill to make that happen.  Click here to read a blog post from a while back about why Hamilton's such a unique American story, and his key role as one of America's Founding Fathers.
In This Issue
Our Team on Twitter

Past Issues
That Time James Met Harry Truman
- You Would Look Good in a Video
- Nick Ink!
- Here's Our Final Four Bracket

Delete Me
- NHG on TV and Radio
- Nice Ink!
- One Last Thing

What Just Happened?
- It's Epilepsy Awareness Month
- Are You Ready?
- Nice Ink!

The Little Miracle Department
- Welcome Meaghan
- Communicating in a Crisis
- Nice Ink!

Are You an Expert?
- 21st Century Now Underway
- You're an Expert? Get Published!
- A Rhode Island Success Story

 Where is Everybody
- Michaela can!
- Good Deeds Make Good News
- Nice Ink!

Today's Pundits Cover the Gettysburg Address
- Cub Scout 8, Saves the Day
- Nice Ink!

The Patriots Were Ready
- The Patriots: Good, Bad and Worse
- The Latest

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