River Network: RiverSmart

River Network is the leading technical assistance organization helping local watershed environmental organizations protect America’s rivers. One of River Network’s top priorities is to increase public awareness about the contamination of our rivers, including the fact that everyday actions by the public are the greatest threat to river health. In partnership with River Network, MG developed RiverSmart, a comprehensive, research-based national public will campaign that addresses public behavioral change. We also provided organizational branding, long-term strategies and identified resource development opportunities for the campaign.

The RiverSmart campaign included print, television and radio public service advertising showing people how everyday actions can help protect America’s rivers. MG developed grassroots outreach tools, such as a toolkit to help River Network’s more than 600 member organizations mobilize locally, and the www.riversmart.org website. MG developed a national radio broadcast outreach effort that amassed nearly 500,000 impressions in the top 25 major media markets. MG also garnered more than one million impressions in the national media, including national placements on CNN, NPR online and the “All Things Green” syndicated radio show, as well as coverage by CBS, ABC and NBC local news affiliates.

To fund the campaign, MG helped River Network secure the largest corporate gift in its history from campaign sponsor Swiss Re, one of the world’s leading re-insurance companies with an expertise in water and environmental liability issues. Through this ongoing campaign, River Network is achieving a more visible national presence and becoming publicly recognized as a leader in watershed issues in the United States.

“River Network hired Metropolitan Group to help us develop our first national public awareness campaign. RiverSmart will make Americans more aware of the importance of river health and the actions they can take to make a difference. The campaign will utilize strong grassroots and traditional media strategies to help create better health for America’s rivers. Metropolitan Group’s strategic and flexible approach has helped us jump-start an awareness and outreach project significantly larger than any other in our organization’s history, and has helped secure contributions to fund and launch the campaign. Metropolitan Group has helped us turn a long term vision into reality.” — Thalia Zepatos, 
Former Director of Communications, 
River Network