Date of Services: 1998 to 2023
Pac/West was retained in 1998 by the Oregon Columbia Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 48 for marketing, branding, recruitment, outreach, public relations, and media relations services. This unique partnership trust is organized under the Taft-Hartley Act and is known as the Barnes Allison Labor Management Cooperative Committee.
The BALMCC Board of Trustees updated its strategic goals through the years, and most recently developed three new initiatives to accomplish its mission to lead the industry through integrity, quality, skill, competence, and value:
- Building Partnership & Trust
- Attract, Develop & Retain the Best Workforce in the Industry
- Community Investment
To accomplish the goals of the partnership, Pac/West’s services have included brand development and implementation, marketing, public relations, digital advertising, collateral production, community outreach, electronic communications, social media, and developing and maintaining a new website.
Increasing Market Share
The first strategic initiative, Building Partnership & Trust, was an awareness campaign designed to build market share in the electrical industry. Pac/West targeted general contractors and other industry decision-makers using a variety of methods.
For this initiative, Pac/West created both online and print ads with targeted messages based on market and opinion research we conducted on behalf of the organization. We developed a digital ad campaign that used behavioral targeting and geofencing to ensure that the correct audience was reached, and those ads were optimized regularly to get the best engagement results.
The marketing effort also included sponsorship of the Portland Business Journal’s Crane Watch, an interactive online map of the development projects underway in the greater Portland metropolitan market; the Portland-area Business Tribune’s electronic newsletter, a publication that includes lists of construction bid notices in the region; and the Daily Journal of Commerce’s daily newsletter. With these sponsorships, we produced and published ads on the websites and in newsletters for those media outlets. We also made sure that the partnership was among the original sponsors of the Portland Business Journal’s Sustainable Business Oregon and KGW’s public affairs show Straight Talk, both programs that fit within BALMCC’s strategic goals.
Users clicking on the digital ads described above were redirected to an interactive Find a Contractor page on the partnership website we developed to help connect the customer with a qualified contractor. We regularly monitored all traffic to the partnership website to keep us informed of the success of these ads, so we could adjust accordingly if needed.
Pac/West also ran Google Ads campaigns to increase the client’s market share, targeting highly motivated customers looking to hire local electricians. We worked with our contractors and conducted a survey of contractor websites to devise a list of keywords across a range of electrician services, from small residential jobs to large-scale industrial projects. Throughout the campaign, we continually refined our keywords to maximize conversions, leading to a significant, measurable increase in contractor website and phone traffic.
Pac/West created a series of engaging videos to support increased market share and general public relations. These videos gave an overview of BALMCC’s commitment to safety, training, customer satisfaction, energy efficiency, and the brotherhood/sisterhood of the partnership. Many of those videos received national recognition, including the 2014 Gold MarCom Award, 2014 Award of Distinction from the Videographer Awards, 2014 Gold Hermes Creative Award, 2015 Silver Telly Award, three 2015 Bronze Telly Awards, and two 2015 Gold AVA Digital Awards.
To maintain and improve relationships between NECA and IBEW Local 48 members, Pac/West also authored articles for monthly member newsletters. Those articles highlighted member news and stories, promoted the organization’s community investments, provided educational materials and tips, and showcased the code of conduct that members follow.
We managed the partnership’s LinkedIn and Facebook (4,600+ followers) pages, posting content regularly and interacting with posts from other industry partners, members, and charitable organizations.
Our award-winning, in-house creative and web development team worked alongside our account managers to produce the highest quality work and achieve the maximum impact within the available budget. Our work includes creative design of updated logos throughout the years.
The web presence for BALMCC, necaibew48.com, features a variety of content, including blog-style news, videos, and social media links. We also designed a previous website, nwelectricians.com, which was the original iteration of the Find a Contractor locator tool. The contractor locator tool integrates Google Maps software to connect potential customers with nearby electrical contractors. The website was continuously updated and refreshed with new content. It was developed to be user friendly, ADA compliant, and mobile compatible.
Recruiting the Best Workforce
Pac/West’s recent work focused strongly on the second initiative to Attract, Develop & Retain the Best Workforce in the Industry. To accomplish this goal, we designed two main recruiting efforts, the first to target non-union journeymen and the second to target potential apprentices.
Pac/West coordinated with IBEW Local 48 to reach out to licensed, non-union electricians using video and recruitment ads on digital ad networks, Google Ads, and Facebook to persuade them to join the union.
Our video and digital ads targeted non-union electricians in NW Oregon and SW Washington to inform them that the IBEW’s wages and benefits were superior to non-union shops. Geofencing was used to target electricians in specific geographical areas, like non-union shops, supply houses, and job sites. The ads then “followed” the user, meaning that even if that person left the job site (or other geofenced location), they could still be served the ad through various digital channels. When a user clicked on the ad, they were redirected to the IBEW Jobs page.
We optimized BALMCC’s digital ads on a continual basis to take advantage of messages, images, or even dimensions that best reached the target audience or that resulted in the best interaction. As a result, BALMCC’s ads regularly surpassed industry averages for click-through rates and impressions. Traffic to the IBEW Jobs landing page was also up 27%.
We also ran video ads on Facebook that targeted two groups: (1) users who clicked on an ad from the geofence campaign noted above, and (2) a list of new electrician licensees’ email addresses. Conversion ads were used to motivate direct action. When users clicked on those ads, it directed them to complete a form on the IBEW 48 website, thus capturing their contact information for future outreach. Conversion ads were very successful in getting electricians to sign up for more information on the IBEW landing page.
Additionally, Pac/West ran a Google Ads campaign for BALMCC targeting licensed, non-union electricians to recruit into the union workforce. We worked with our contractors to compose a list of keywords spanning a range of electrician qualifications and job searches. We linked these ads to the IBEW 48 website, where a form captured the recruit’s contact information. Over the course of the campaign, we worked with the IBEW to optimize our ads, refining target keywords and adding negative keywords to maximize conversions for our client.
Pac/West created digital ads and videos tailored to those thinking about apprenticeship, and used behavioral targeting to reach specific target audiences, including adults 18-24 with a high school diploma, some college or vocational trade school, or that worked with their hands (i.e., DIY, auto mechanic, etc.), those currently seeking employment, and those considered rural farmers, work on machinery, etc.
Pac/West created a special landing page and a series of videos for potential applicants — and in many cases their parents — to find out more about apprenticeship opportunities. The Jobs and Careers landing page informed potential applicants of the great career opportunities and wonderful work environment that comes with becoming an electrician, and instructions on how they can apply to the apprenticeship program.
Many of the videos we produced for various marketing purposes can be viewed on the Videos page of the partnership’s website, including those directed at potential apprentices.
Written native content articles were also part of the recruitment initiatives. Pac/West created a series of articles for local business news outlets (Portland Business Journal, Vancouver Business Journal, Portland Observer, and KOIN.com) highlighting the experiences of women, minorities, and previously incarcerated people who had been through or were currently in BALMCC’s apprenticeship program. Since being a parent is one of the biggest barriers for women and minorities in the trades, those articles also featured the Pre-Apprenticeship Childcare Initiative and other programs, such as expanded maternity leave benefits, that make the field more inclusive and accessible. Below are links to several of those articles:
As well, Pac/West produced native content articles for publication in print and online on behalf of BALMCC. Topics included highlighting workers’ journeys to the electrical industry, new member benefits such as extended maternity leave, or new safety protocols. Some of those recent articles can be found here:
In 2020, we began using Over-The-Top (OTT) marketing/advertising to reach potential apprentices and their families. OTT is the practice of streaming content to targeted audiences over the web. We used 30-second video spots that were delivered over specific streaming networks to our target audiences. The metric of success is the percentage the video was viewed to completion. The industry rate is 89%. Our video had a 97% completion rate, which shows the quality of the video, relevant information, and exceptional targeting. By reaching out to the best potential apprentices and journeymen, Pac/West is helping BALMCC create a more dynamic workforce for the future.
To implement the Board of Trustees’ newest initiative, Pac/West first analyzed the organization’s history of charitable contributions to determine any trends and researched how other companies and organizations approach philanthropy. We then surveyed membership, both union members and contractors, to determine their ideas and priorities. Once a charitable giving strategy was developed, we began using a variety of tools to promote the partnership’s activities, such as internal newsletters, social media, and the website. We also worked with community and charitable organizations to issue press releases and coordinated social media.
Staying on Top of an Ever-Changing Industry
BALMCC was a long-time client of Pac/West. While technology and the industry have changed, Pac/West remained consistently present, adaptable, and cutting edge. Our marketing experts worked both strategically and creatively to meet evolving needs while delivering measurable results for BALMCC’s marketing and outreach efforts.