Pittsburgh Works

Advocacy/Coalition Building

The Challenge

Manufacturing is in the DNA of southwestern Pennsylvania. Generations of blue-collar workers have called western Pennsylvania home. The coal mined from its hills and the steel forged in its mills literally built this nation. The wages earned from that work helped to sustain families and built strong communities for many years. As manufacturing moved offshore the economic fortunes of the Pittsburgh region seemed bleak. However, after a 30-year absence, manufacturing in western Pennsylvania is rebounding due to the advent of shale gas and the emerging petrochemical industry. These industries are producing low-cost energy and creating family-sustaining jobs.

However, left-wing so-called environmental groups are leading the fight to kill energy and steel jobs in southwestern Pennsylvania. They have been aided by liberal politicians seeking to curry favor with their party’s base voters at the expense of long-time allies in the building trades. Choosing to embrace the extreme ends of their own party, Democrat leaders have abandoned blue-collar workers. Worst of all, these leaders omit the energy and manufacturing industries from their future economic vision of their region. Simply put, they were under attack and no one was there to defend them.

The Solution

Facing annihilation, nontraditional allies saw the need to work together. Recognizing they had no organization advocating for their interests, members of industry and the building trades turned to ColdSpark to help chart the path forward.

ColdSpark was engaged to help form a new entity.  Our award-winning design team developed the name, branding and all collateral materials associated with the creation of Pittsburgh Works Together.

Our goals were to galvanize public support by educating the public and combating misinformation in public discourse, to become a fact-based resource for information, and to serve as an aggressive voice framing the debate.

  1. Move public sentiment in favor of development, economic growth and legacy industries. This must be done in the face of an ongoing denigration of these objectives by “new economy” adherents.
  2. Provide support to political allies.
  3. Aggressively combat negative public relations campaigns being run by environmental groups and their political allies. To date, these groups — working with ideologically sympathetic journalists and public officials – have succeeded in demonizing legacy industries.

After conducting quantitative and qualitative research with a respected national polling firm, ColdSpark coordinated the development of a campaign plan for Pittsburgh Works’ first year.

The Result

The organization officially launched at a press event that included more than 500 attendees and sent a strong message to the community that this was an organization with staying power.

ColdSpark deployed a communications plan which included the launch of a network television buy with a commercial introducing Pittsburgh Works Together.  Also, we worked to place op-eds in key markets.

In an effort to help guide our state policy makers to enact pro-jobs legislation, Pittsburgh Works Together launched the Get to Work and Build it Here Plan. With ColdSpark’s guidance this plan was able to garner significant coverage and is resulting in legislative action in the state legislature.

There are many fights ahead of Pittsburgh Works Together, but now there is a strong organization defending these jobs and their values.

Our award-winning design team developed the name, branding and all collateral materials associated with the creation of Pittsburgh Works Together.