The Claude Allouez Bridge in De Pere, WI was deteriorating and no
longer had the capacity to safely handle current and future growth
and needs. The city of De Pere, along with the Wisconsin
Department of Transportation (WisDOT), proposed a new, $22 million
bridge be constructed. However, a small but vocal group of
opponents rallied to stop the effort as they believed the existing
bridge had historical significance and they wanted a new bridge to
be built south of the city. The opponents filed a direct
legislation petition, forcing a referendum on the matter.
Working with WisDOT and Graef Anhalt Schloemer on the Claude
Allouez Bridge project, Leonard & Finco Public Relations played
a key role in developing and implementing a comprehensive
educational and informational campaign focused on the growing
need for a new bridge that met demands and safety expectations and
promoting unity on the issue.
The referendum campaign included: messaging, positioning
and logo development; advertising, informational materials
including newsletters and flyers; the production of a half-hour
television program; a speaking tour; media relations including
editorial board meetings; working with the local business
organization and a variety of other outreach efforts. As a result,
the referendum to stop the new bridge was overwhelmingly defeated
and De Pere now has a state of the art, four-lane bridge.
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