Metro Flood Diversion Authority Public Outreach Committee Meeting Minutes
February 24, 2021
Public Outreach Meeting Minutes
A virtual meeting of the Metro Flood Diversion Authority Public Outreach Committee was held on February 24, 2021. The following committee members were present: Bernie Dardis, Mayor, City of West Fargo; David Ebinger, Clay County Commissioner; Jake Gust, Cass County Joint Water Resource District; Jim Kapitan, Cass County Commissioner; Kevin Campbell, Clay County Commissioner; Rick Steen, Cass County Commissioner; Rodger Olson, Cass County Joint Water Resource District; Shelly Carlson, Mayor, City of Moorhead and John Strand, Fargo City Commissioner.
Members absent: Gerald Van Amburg, BRRW Manager and Katie Mastel, Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chambers.
- MEETING TO ORDER
Mr. Olson called the meeting to order at 2 PM. Roll call was taken and a quorum was present.
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM JANUARY 2021 MEETING
Mayor Dardis moved to approve the minutes from January 2021 as presented and Mr. Campbell seconded the motion. Motion carried.
- APPROVE ORDER OF AGENDA
Mayor Carlson moved to approve the order of the agenda and Mr. Campbell seconded the motion. Motion carried.
- OTHER BUSINESS
Communication Director Update
Ms. Darling provided an overview of the communications department after her first 74 days. She indicated that she is building a foundation and planning. The focus on outreach has brought the Project to where it is now.
High-level view of the communications landscape for this project
Priorities we must keep moving over the next six-months while the local team is being built
Streamline and evolve the ways we’re communicating to educate, build community engagement and awareness
Drive strategic initiatives to stay on schedule while building the local team
2021 COMMUNICATIONS BUDGET
Previous spend, current spend and savings
Ms. Darling indicated that it is vital that we focus on the core initiatives and they will be our priority over the next six months. They are as follows:
- Build the communications team
- Engage ND Legislative Assembly funding
- Align communications approach to all constituents
- Brand language, visuals, templates, project status
- Proactive media relations
- Strengthen impacted landowner communications
- Build national coalition partnerships
- Enhance partner communications (Corps, Fargo-Moorhead, Cass, Clay, MN DNR, ND OSE, consultants)
- P3 strategic planning, announcement, onboarding, transition to construction
- Activate opportunities at key events
The team is also working on branding and gaining consistency with the Project and Authority names and the multiple logos that have been used in the past.
A consistent message needs to be conveyed on all of our communication channels which will entail a lot of updating, especially with the website.
Ms. Darling outlined the next steps in the communications approach and those that will be on the team.
High level strategic support during transition – PR for Good (local)
- Plan for and activate communications in high visibility phase
- Expertise to support critical move to construction phase
- Joanne Henry (Local) – proactive media relations, project management support, community outreach
- Mike Klein (National Expert) – P3 communications, strategic planning, onboarding, transition to construction
- Photographer (Local) – visual media repository and website
- Videographers (Local) – podcasts, interviews, project storyline (history, overview, future)
- Graphic design (Local) – brand alignment, templates, project newsletter
The 2021 budget will result in an anticipated $502,140 savings from prior year.
2021 Communications Budget
|Original||$969,140||Funds previously included in AE2S 2021||2021 Fiscal Year|
|New||$237,000||PR for Good contract|
|New||$ 60,000||GA Group (previously approved)|
|New||$170,000||Creative Media Team – Photo, Video, Web|
Ms. Darling provided a recap and took questions from the committee. There was significant dialogue around the definition of “local” and inquiries as to how new roles were filled and how they will be filled going forward.
Mr. Campbell asked if an RFP process was utilized to retain the consultants. Mr. Paulsen indicated that they searched for consultants that would fit and were available relatively soon.
Mr. Strand cautioned that we need to be fair, and the message can’t be that we are just handing someone a job.
Mr. Olson stated that we need to support the communications role and it is understood that going forward, new hires will be local.
Mr. Campbell addressed the fact that PR for Good was “named” and based on the way in which they were selected, he will not vote in favor of retaining their services.
Mayor Carlson made a motion to move forward with the with the PR for Good agreement and re-examine it in one year. The motion is to support and recommend Ms. Darling’s request to the DA Board. Mayor Dardis seconded the motion and on a roll call vote, the motion carried.
MFDA Organizational Chart
Mr. Paulsen walked through the MFDA organizational chart and indicated that it will be updated as roles change. Mr. Strand suggested that everyone have a professional email address; not personal.
- NEXT MEETING
The next meeting will be March 24, 2021.
Mayor Carlson made a motion to adjourn and Mr. Gust seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned at 3:07 PM.