The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) is a statewide organization that represents more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. Because 43% of Illinois soybeans are exported, farmers depend on the availability and condition of waterways, roads and bridges to remain competitive in international markets. The 1,100 miles of navigable waterways that border or pass through Illinois provide a distinct advantage for moving soybeans efficiently, but the eight locks that make up the Illinois Waterway are in dire need of maintenance and repair. The ISA engaged Motion to develop a strategic campaign to educate key opinion leaders and stakeholders in the Chicagoland area about the value of the Illinois Inland Waterway System, and the need to improve the infrastructure.
Motion researched strategic public officials, and business leaders to create a stakeholder target list and then held an event to bring these stakeholders together at the Lockport Lock & Dam (one of Illinois’s eight locks). The event provided the opportunity to demonstrate first hand, the condition of the lock and the repairs needed. The campaign included physical mailings, pre-event save the dates, and post-event eblasts to keep the conversation about the waterways alive.
A unique dimensional mailer was sent to targeted attendees, with a brochure outlining the importance of the waterway and sample jars including a jar with physical pieces of the crumbling lock they were invited to tour.
The event at the Lockport Lock & Dam included speakers and tours by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and more than 15 key stakeholders attended. Signage was set up throughout the event to call-out issues and support the tour.