ERT develops messaging strategies specifically for NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) publications, performing message synthesis, then writing or assisting with the production of editorial content. The goal is to continually produce publications that are timely, topical, interesting to a variety of age groups, and illustrated with compelling images. In addition to creating and implementing messaging strategies, ERT staff monitor audience response specifically via Web platforms where Web site traffic can be monitored through analytics and surveys can be issued. Specific material promoted via social media is monitored, allowing for an understanding of how various publics are finding, receiving and using the editorial information created.
As part of a remedial investigation/feasibility study and geophysical investigation in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), ERT helped develop and then implemented an educational program to the public about the site’s potential hazards and the Corps remediation efforts. Tactics used in the outreach program included door to door canvassing, weekly newsletter generation and distribution, and monthly public Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meetings. RAB meetings included stakeholders from the Environmental Protection Agency, the District of Columbia Department of Health, American University, USACE Baltimore, MD, USACE Huntsville, AL, and project team technical staff that included ERT geologists and geophysicists. As part of the larger awareness campaign, ERT developed and distributed three-step safety magnets containing critical information that targeted different audiences including pedestrians, drivers, Spanish speakers, and children. The magnets, easily attached to home refrigerators, contained a 24x7 hotline so that residents could contact project personnel in the event of an after-hours emergency. Part of ERT’s responsibility included the creation and manning of that safety hotline.
ERT staff manage the Congressional contact plan for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The plan has identified key members of Congress as well as their staffers and cross-tabbed them with relevant legislation. Their opinions and votes are monitored and ERT staff then create and coordinate materials – including economic impact reports – and briefings in attempt to enhance and/or modify actions taken on legislation. An easy-to-access database is kept current to analyze interests, concerns, positions, and statements focused on policy development. Longer-term initiatives include relationship building with political influencers on both the state and federal levels on behalf of NMFS.
ERT supports NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS), one of the agency’s five line offices, with live broadcasts to classrooms, museums and viewers worldwide. Live productions often involve ocean divers and researchers who interact with students in classrooms, such as the 2010 Oceans LIVE program to educate youngsters about living under water at the Aquarius Undersea Lab off the coast of Florida. Programs were delivered in both English and Spanish to accommodate the needs of specific schools involved. ERT also supports NOS’ BLUE Ocean Film Festival, a global film festival and conservation summit for underwater filmmakers and marine researchers that serves as an outreach event to promote the protection of the oceans, and special projects related to the Water Quality Team, the Coral Reef Restoration Team, and Fish Tagging Annual Survey.
ERT developed and continues to maintain Web sites for several offices in the NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). ERT Web developers create intriguing and user-friendly portals for agencies to share scientific data with the public. Those sites include information received from:
- Geostationary (GOES) Satellite Images
- National Climatic Data Center
- World Ocean Database
- National Geophysical Data Center
ERT staff employ Web 2.0 techniques to attract more attention to NESDIS websites and prominently place scientific data in search engine results. Additionally, ERT staff write Web articles for industry partners and advocacy groups. Our staff has vast experience writing articles and notices for websites of industry partners and advocacy groups.
ERT worked with NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) to develop an initial branding strategy, including a standards guide, for NOS communications products. Since NOS has both a Best Practices Team at the headquarters level and a Graphic Standards Working Group, design elements were presented first to headquarters for initial buy-in, then to the Working Group for final acceptance. As products were developed, any modifications made to the graphics style were done so under the guidance of the Working Group. Templates for certain products were developed for easier adherence to the standards for the many NOS communicators located across the country. The result is a consistent brand for NOS across all internal and external reports, rack cards, brochures, newsletters, program-specific materials, and Sanctuary Watch, the national newsletter for NOS’ National Marine Sanctuaries office.