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Center for Clean Air Policy

Evaluation, Strategic Communications Planning and International Policy Advocacy

The Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP), an independent, nonprofit think tank, is a world leader in the research and development of climate and air quality policy. We conducted a communications audit, developed a comprehensive strategic communications plan and educated program leaders in communications strategies and processes to support their projects.

 

Background

Since 1985, the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) has been a recognized world leader in climate and air quality policy and is the only independent, nonprofit think tank working exclusively on those issues at the local, U.S. national and international levels. Headquartered in Washington, D.C. and with an office in Brussels, CCAP helps policymakers around the world develop, promote and implement innovative, market-based solutions to major climate, air quality and energy problems that balance both environmental and economic interests.

 

The Challenge

  • Establish a formal internal and external communications function at CCAP that expands and perpetuates the organization’s success in developing innovative policy solutions to the world’s pressing climate change, air quality and energy challenges

  • Simultaneously promote several top-priority policy solutions

 

Strategies

  • Establish a foundation—systems and processes—to support ongoing communications activities

  • Simultaneously produce multiple, parallel communications initiatives to promote CCAP’s top-priority projects

  • Employ a two-phased implementation process. Phase 1: Clarify and improve the CCAP brand and creating core communication tools and processes. Phase 2: Utilize the new tools and tactics to achieve program, project and fundraising goals

  • Establish a process for regularly evaluating all communications activities to ascertain lessons learned and make any necessary adjustments to better guarantee success

  • Enhance leadership and program staff communications skills to better support and expand the success of organization communications

 

Key Tactics/Activities

  • Communications Audit

  • Create a strategic communications plan

  • Oversee initial implementation steps and evaluation

  • Staff training in basic communications practices and processes

 

Outcomes

  • Delivered communications audit report—a detailed assessment of current communications capabilities and including an analysis of CCAP communications strengths, challenges and opportunities.

  • Delivered a comprehensive strategic communications plan based upon the communications audit findings as well as long and short-term organization objectives.

  • Performed the following activities:

    • Analyzed target audiences and CCAP’s audience-specific objectives

    • Identified CCAP’s distinguishing characteristics as compared to similar groups

    • Revised mission statement

    • Wrote a formal key message guidance document

    • Produced guidelines for clarifying/strengthening the CCAP brand including a graphic style guide to ensure design consistency across all of CCAP’s printed and electronic materials

    • Recommendations for a new website—functionality, map, content and day-to-day management

    • Implemented news media relations plan that included:

    • Building news media lists and systems for managing them

    • Activities designed to strengthen relationships between CCAP senior spokespersons and reporters

    • Establishment of an electronic press room on the CCAP website to meet the needs of reporters seeking information about the organization

    • Breakfast briefings

  • Revised the CCAP monthly newsletter

  • Established a process for evaluating all activities, regularly reviewed the results of all activities in meetings with management and implemented all necessary changes to ensure success

  • Conducted group and one-on-one communications training workshops with selected CCAP staff in order to build their capacity to better utilize basic communications techniques to promote and attract funding for projects