Strategic Planning and Communications

Portland Public’s School Modernization Plan

Portland Public’s School Modernization Plan

Barney & Worth provided public engagement and communications services for Portland Public Schools’ capital improvement plan for their more than 90 school campuses and facilities.

The school district had experienced diminishing financial resources over more than a decade and was unable to adequately maintain or renovate school buildings. Anticipating a need for dedicated funding and partnerships to address these capital needs, the District hired Barney & Worth to develop communications strategies to engage the community, district staff and other stakeholders.

To inform the communications plan, Barney & Worth researched the District’s efforts to assess building conditions and involve stakeholders. To help determine capital improvement priorities and find the best ways to talk about them, Barney & Worth conducted public opinion research that included focus groups, meetings with leaders of key stakeholder groups, and partnering with school-based groups to hold discussions with parents and school staff.

Public outreach tasks conducted by Barney & Worth included: collaborating with the in-house communications team to develop and implement a public engagement plan, facilitating team meetings to monitor the plan activities and results, focus groups, outreach to key stakeholder groups, developing communication points and strategies, writing informational materials including video scripts, organizing and updating the project website content, and supplying information to the ultimately successful bond measure campaign that funded priority capital projects.

Portland Public’s School Modernization Plan

Tualatin River Watershed Council Action Plan

Tualatin River Watershed Council Action Plan
Barney & Worth assisted the Tualatin River Watershed Council to develop an action plan focused on marketing and funding. With a goal of understanding work already completed, Council needs, and future aspirations, Barney & Worth conducted a workshop for steering committee members, reviewed the Council’s planning documents and available public opinion research, and conducted an online survey for partners and other watershed stakeholders. An assessment of the Council’s communications tools and delivery methods was also completed. Results of the research and preliminary strategies were shared at a Watershed Council workshop to gain feedback. Barney & Worth facilitated a Council work session to identify priorities and next steps.

Tualatin River Watershed Council Action Plan

Tualatin River Watershed Council Action Plan

Vancouver Strategic Plan

Vancouver Strategic Plan
Barney & Worth worked with the City of Vancouver, WA to develop What’s Next Vancouver? Envisioning Our City’s Future – a community-wide strategic plan, based on a framework set by the City Council in 2014. The process included a community survey to identify what people like and want to see improved in the City. Over 2,000 people participated in the survey. The information from the community survey framed focus areas to highlight in the strategic plan. A key element of the creation of the action plan was a partner forum at which community partners (public agencies, non-profits and business leaders) came together to identify how their priorities align with the City priorities and identify the roles the partners can play in implementation of the strategic plan. The partner forum as well as several internal management workshops identified action items for the strategic plan. Ten goals and accompanying objectives and actions for implementation were identified for inclusion in the final strategic plan which will inform the City’s direction through 2020. A Council retreat in January 2016 initiated the implementation phase of What’s Next Vancouver?

Vancouver Strategic Plan City Council Retreat 10-30-15

Vancouver Strategic Plan City Council Retreat 10-30-15

Pierce County Agricultural Resource Land Designation

Pierce County Agricultural Resource Land Designation
This multi-disciplinary project analyzed the designation of Pierce County (WA) agricultural land for comprehensive planning in accordance with the Washington Growth Management Plan. This was a “fast-track” project with very high importance for the County for developing objective criteria agricultural resource land designation under the State’s growth planning mandate that also will avoid potential legal challenges. The consultant recommendations have been included in a proposed Comprehensive Plan amendment. Go to freshlookatpierceag.org.

Pierce County ARL Information Meeting Open House

Pierce County ARL Information Meeting Open House

Pierce County Agriculture Strategic Plan

Barney & Worth assisted Pierce County, Washington with a project designed to better understand and boost the agriculture industry’s competitiveness. Barney & Worth managed the project, evaluated land use planning / zoning impacts on the ag sector, led community outreach and researched nationally the most effective strategies to enhance the agricultural industry’s competitiveness. The consultant team analyzed the local crops – vegetables, fruits, flowers and nursery crops – that were marketed in Tacoma area farmers markets, CSAs, directly to restaurants, roadside stands and conventional wholesale markets. The study also identified the major economic factors that will drive future growth prospects for sales of local food products.

The result was the first-ever Pierce County Agriculture Strategic Plan, adopted by the County Council. The County and partners enacted many of the Plan’s key provisions: creating a “farmbudsman” position; establishing a “Buy Local” preference program for food purchases by County institutions; funding a program to help market local agriculture projects; forming a “farm team” of specialists within the County planning department: and revising building codes to make them more “farm friendly.”

Oregon Forest Resources Institute: Telling the Story of Oregon’s Forests

The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) in 1991 to improve public understanding of the state’s forest resources and to encourage environmentally sound forest management through training and other educational programs for forest landowners.

Barney & Worth led the strategic planning effort to update and reshape OFRI’s strategic plan: exploring emerging opportunities and adjusting to changes in the economy that have impacted forest sector profits and OFRI revenues.

Strategic planning started with an extensive statewide stakeholder interviews inviting state and local policymakers, environmental leaders, private timber landowners and mill operators, OSU extension agents and professors, non-profits and others to help identify OFRI’s priorities. Other tasks include researching the effectiveness of forest education programs in Oregon and other states / nations, conducting a SWOT analysis, facilitating strategic planning workshops with OFRI board members, and producing and presenting the strategic plan.

Oregon Agricultural Development and Marketing Division: Strategic Communications Plan for Specialty Crops

Potential buyers of Oregon’s specialty crops need comprehensive and up-to-date information: what’s available, when it is ready, sources. Often, buyers look to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) as a primary resource, so the department must be prepared with communications strategies in place and compelling information ready in a variety of accessible formats.

The goal is to position Oregon’s premium specialty crops as a clear top choice in local, domestic and targeted international marketplaces. Barney & Worth assisted the ODA Agricultural Development and Marketing Division to set a plan for the future and put in place contemporary marketing materials.

Yamhill County Agri-Business Economic and Community Development Plan

Yamhill County undertook a groundbreaking research project – in partnership with leaders from ten communities and state agencies – to find ways that the local agriculture and tourism sectors can coexist and jointly contribute to the economy.  The County’s agriculture sector is an economic mainstay, contributing $300 million annually.  As a premier wine producing region, an estimated 1.5 million visitors are attracted to its wineries each year, presenting opportunities to significantly grow the local tourism industry.

The County hired Barney & Worth, Inc. to design and conduct the study, analyze the findings, and draft the plan document.  From the start, the project team sought to involve a full variety of perspectives – farmers, business operators and workers, agency staff and officials, economic and workforce professionals. The resulting plan reflects these voices and promotes cooperative regional economic and community development.  The plan’s recommended strategies point the way forward to help ensure thriving agriculture and tourism industries in the region.

Portland Farmers Market/Direct-Market Economic Analysis

The City of Portland, in collaboration with local market leaders, sought answers to the most pressing questions about the forces of supply and demand that will shape the future of the city’s farmers markets.

The Barney & Worth team was hired to take a comprehensive look at the current status and economic benefits of Portland’s markets, make comparisons with successful farmers market operations across the nation, and analyze potential challenges and opportunities to sustainability and expansion.

The resulting report: Growing Portland’s Farmers Markets, serves as a guide for the city and advocates in planning for the future of Portland’s cherished farmers markets, which have become an integral part of our community’s way of life.

WIRED – Worksystems, Inc. and OCCWD

Barney & Worth provided communications and program planning services to support the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (OCCWD) and Worksystems, Inc. – administrators of a three-year federal grant.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) program aimed to transform the regional economy by building partnerships and implementing strategic workforce development programs.  Partners include state governments, community colleges, workforce agencies and employers across the ten county, bi-state WIRED region.

Barney & Worth supported the grant administrators and its multiple partners to work together and maximize the impact of the grant.  Consultant tasks included: organizing and conducting a leadership retreat, facilitating meetings of the Regional Workforce Council and the grant coordinating committee, and developing a comprehensive communications program, including website enhancements to reach internal and external audiences.