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WV Chapter Wins Sierra Club’s 2012 Communication Award
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2012

It has been a long time since the Chapter received a national Sierra Club Award, so kudos to all those involved in this effort!

The West Virginia Chapter has been selected to receive the Sierra Club’s 2012 Communication Award. This award honors the best use of communications (either print or electronic) by a Sierra Club group, chapter or other entity to further the Club’s mission.
 
The Chapter’s 2011 Marcellus Gas Campaign inspired this honor. The overall campaign, orchestrated by several dedicated volunteers and staff and partially funded by members’ generous donations, comprised an integrated set of media materials, ranging from bumper stickers and buttons to brochures, websites, and radio and Internet spot ads, that educated and informed a wide audience about the dangers of shale gas drilling.
 
A chapter representative will attend the annual Sierra Club Board meeting in August, where the Communication Award will be presented.
 
The awards committee was impressed by the following nomination submission:  After two years of an alarming gas rush swiftly beginning to engulf West Virginia, and the Chapter’s concerns growing, in 2011 we launched a comprehensive, cohesive, and organized Marcellus gas campaign.
 
The Logo
One of the first components of the campaign was selection of a logo. We conducted a design contest and chose the image below.



These six simple words summed up the crux of the Chapter’s issues and concerns. What’s more, the message is one no reasonable person could argue with.
This graphic became a unifying icon throughout our campaign.
• We used it on bumper stickers, of which a couple thousand were distributed.
• We used it on buttons, which became the badge of honor for our citizen lobbyists who were in the state legisla-ture nearly every day of both the regular 2011 session and the special session in which a Marcellus regulation bill was finally passed.
• And it was used as the “hook” on print materials and websites. A slip of paper with the logo prominently placed was handed to delegates and senators as they en-tered their chambers for a critical vote.
 
The Brochure
Our primary public information piece was a full-color, 3-fold brochure. The brochure is informative and also activist. It gives basic information, directs readers to sources, and calls them to action. Printing costs were shared with allies.
The brochure is in its second printing of 10,000 copies. Citizens all over the state use it. For copies of the brochure to distribute, you may con-tact: outreach@marcellus-wv.com .
 
The Website
We developed an outstanding Marcellus website, www.marcellus-wv.com , separate from our general chapter site. It is filled with basic information as well as issues, news, and much more.
 
Radio and Internet Ads 
As the Marcellus gas rush swept over West Virginia, we became concerned by the heavy advertising campaigns being mounted by industry. Misleading or downright untrue, the ads were disturbingly effective with the general public. Although the Chapter knew all too well that we “greens” could never match industry’s deep pockets, we decided to commit to a media ad campaign of our own.
 
Chapter Marcellus campaign leaders developed pa-rameters and concepts for both radio and Internet ads. Once our plans were set, we hired a media consultant to finalize and place the ads.
 
The ads are available at keepwvbeautiful.com, a website created for this ad campaign. Compliance rules mandate that we needed this extra step from a listener’s or viewer’s first click to their arrival at a call to action. Log in to play the ads. They are entertaining, as well as hard-hitting.

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