Saving the Trees


 
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Challenge

Make sure a community knew about a government agency’s plan to remove more than 50, 60-year-old healthy palm trees.

 

Solution

Margolin & Associates was hired to ensure that the community of Whispering Palms in Rancho Santa Fe became aware that their facilities district, a small governmental agency responsible for managing landscaping, was planning to remove more than 50 beautiful heritage Queen Palm trees for no legitimate reason, and at significant cost to residents.

 

Before Margolin & Associates began the campaign, there was very little knowledge within the community that the trees, referred to by one resident as its "coat of arms," were slated to be removed. Margolin & Associates began a campaign that included signage, a dedicated phone number with answering service, an email campaign, a traditional direct mail campaign, a hosted Town Hall meeting featuring a collection of experts, media outreach, and encouragement for residents to attend their facilities district public meetings to voice their opinion. We rallied support person by person, until we had enough people interested in this issue to attend the facilities district’s meetings and voice their opinion about the removal.

 

As a result of public pressure, palm removal was put on indefinite hold, with the facilities district agreeing to hold a community vote. Ultimately, two facilities district board members resigned under pressure during the campaign. Additionally, we encouraged new candidates who favor keeping the palms to run for the board in the upcoming election. 

 

This campaign was a huge success, and an example of how communications and marketing techniques help influence public opinion.