The CIG team sprang into action, traveling the roundabout route, circumventing other highways closed by the flood, to meet the construction team on site in Estes Park. It was a complicated scene. Displaced residents pleaded for information about how and when they could return to their homes. Modern communications tactics, like websites, email newsletters and even PSAs via radio and TV would help later, but not in the beginning. Instead, CIG activated a grassroots community outreach program. The team identified influential and connected residents, answered their questions, provided updates, and dispatched them as messengers to their neighbors. A public meeting in Estes Park, for those who could travel there, was next. A town hall phone call, in which 3,680 people participated, followed. Even when there weren’t any construction updates to share, the CIG team offered residents a listening ear and emotional support.
It’s all about reaching the people who can reach 100 others.
The campaign was organic, personal and extremely effective – made possible by tight coordination and collaboration. Every day, CIG joined with CDOT and Kiewit crews on an early morning conference call to hear the latest. Residents in Estes Park, Loveland and everywhere along the way relied on communications that tracked closely with actual, on-the-ground progress. The repair of US 34, a “lifeline” route, helped to reconnect communities in the literal, physical sense. The companion communications program, thoughtfully planned and tirelessly executed, helped to keep people informed and heard in their time of need.
CIG’s work on this project earned the firm a PRIDE Award for Public-Media Relations and Education from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association in 2014.