Population Association of America (PPA)

Situation

PAA, the leading association of population researchers, is a nonprofit, scientific organization dedicated to advancing the scientific study of population research. As part of a larger effort to revitalize the association, PAA sought to increase visibility for itself and the field of demography by moving beyond being known only for a prominent annual meeting.

Challenged by limited stakeholder communications and the lack of a strategic communications plan, PAA aspired to more effectively communicate their brand and its relevance in a manner that educates, inspires, and motivates population scientists and others to become more engaged with the field and the association..

Our Strategy

Sage began with a discovery phase to uncover insights that subsequently redefined the PAA brand, established an integrated communications plan, and increased engagement among influencers, journalists, Hill staff, association members, and researcher audiences.

  • Discovery — Our communications audit showed PAA’s brand lacked cohesion. In-depth interviews and workshops also revealed that the heart of PAA’s value – its members’ scientific research – wasn’t fully accessible to outside audiences, and that the organization hadn’t realized the potential of their member culture through showcased research and stories.

  • A redefined brand — Sage used these insights to shift PAA’s brand from that of an annual event into an industry voice. Our new platform helped PAA amplify the work of its members, the media, inform Congress, and help others understand how population changes shape our world.

  • A plan within reach — Sage created a tiered, multi-year integrated communications plan to elevate PAA from marketing basics to a more self-sustaining strategic effort in a way that would accommodate their limited resources.

  • Engagement — Sage launched an aggressive two-year media outreach and social media campaign to build engagement, raise visibility, and establish PAA members as thought leaders. Sage’s campaign had four major thrusts: a Congressional Briefing, Virtual Media Roundtable, an Annual Meeting On-site, and an initiative around the SCOTUS Citizenship Question Ruling.

Results

Over the two-year period, Sage exceeded goals and expectations across all PR and social media campaigns.

Sage’s integrated PR and marketing strategy produced extensive coverage in top tier publications, national media, and broadcast outlets, including Wall Street Journal, ABC News, and Washington Post, as well as Science News, Pew Research Center, Federal Times, and Global Finance.

During their first year, Sage’s campaigns secured 30 pieces of coverage, with more than 50% in top-tier outlets with a potential reach of 35.7 million people. Sage also secured six RSVP’s for PAA’s annual meeting; developed bylined, statement, and press releases; and crafted more than 200 social media posts.

In their second year, Sage’s campaigns increased media opportunities 78%, press releases by 133%, and bylines by 100%, with a potential reach of 287 unique visitors per month.

Coverage