Case Studies

The Optical Society’s 100th Anniversary: Reflecting a Century of Innovation

PR and Branding Campaign

Telescopes, lasers, fiber optics, MRIs and drones are possible because of advances in the science of light. However, it was World War I and demand for technological advantages that The Optical Society (OSA) was founded in 1916 as the scientific home for optical engineering. Turning 100 was an opportunity to raise the visibility of the society (now more than 20,000 members worldwide) and promote its role in industry. OSA’s volunteer Centennial Advisory Panel planned a yearlong celebration focused on members and the future. The OSA100 PR and branding campaign was a multi-faceted program resulting in growth on social media, broadcast and trade media coverage and the society’s first $1 million gift to the OSA Foundation.

OSA_100_PRCaseStudy_January2017 (PDF)


OSA Advocacy Case Study

Final Rule on Export Control Category XII (Laser Technology) Released October 2016

The Optical Society worked with the US Department of Commerce and OSA industry members on the revisions to export control rules affecting the laser industry. This included meetings with industry representatives, government agencies and legislative staff; OSA Chief Scientist on advisory committee; Congressional testimony; educational webinars; and public comments on the proposed and final rule. Events included:

  • Webinar: On October 17, 2016, The Optical Society hosted a webinar entitled “Learn about the New Export Control Regulations” featuring Matt Borman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration.  View the webinar
  • OSA Laser Congress:  Kevin J. Wolf, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration of the United States Department of Commerce, gave a presentation on November 3, 2016, at the OSA Laser Congress in Boston.


Harness The Heat

Advocacy and Education Campaign

This multi-year effort to enhance federal energy tax policy seeks to increase the amount of energy produced through industrial efficiency technologies. The campaign includes polling, message testing, media relations, advertising, grassroots advocacy and lobbying.

Pew Industrial Energy Efficiency Case Study (PDF)




This grassroots advocacy campaign successfully secured higher fuel efficiency requirements for cars and light-duty trucks that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save drivers money. Who doesn’t like to drive further on a tank of gas?

Fuel Efficiency Campaign 2012 (PDF)


Grow Up, Not Out

Issues Management and Education Campaign

George Washington UniversityThis three-year public relations and government relations initiative was designed to overcome the perception that GW was “The University that Ate Foggy Bottom” and to gain community support and zoning approval for a 20-year campus development plan.

Issues Management Case Study (PDF)

Photo Credit: GWU


Sustainable George

Corporate and Social Responsibility

Goal: Raise awareness of The George Washington University’s leadership in sustainability.

Program: Conceived communications strategy comprising messaging, media relations, social media, rankings and events.

Key Message: The George Washington University is committed to operating its programs and activities in ways that express its responsibilities as a pre-eminent institutional citizen of the nation’s capital. The campaign slug was “Sustainable George”.


1) Codifying The Commitment To Sustainability. GW was the first university in the District of Columbia to commit to minimum LEED scores for new buildings and was the first in D.C. to sign the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.

2) Rankings

Sierra Magazine: from “five that fail” in 2008 to among the top 100 in 2009

College Sustainability Report Card: B grade in 2010 report (steady improvement from C+ in 2009 and D+ in 2008)

3) Student Events: The Green Move-Out 2009 program produced 2,169 bags of clothing that amounted to 50,537 pounds of clothing donations and secured 2,719 pounds of food donations. The program was featured in Time Magazine, USA Today and ABC World News Tonight and received the Washington Business Journal Green Business Award. Other events included a design competition for the new recycling truck and Earth Week 2009 featuring PlanetForward with Frank Senso, tree plantings across campus, GW’s first green roof and green living open house.  Hundreds of graduating seniors also signed the Green Graduation Pledge.

GW recycling truck, design competition

4) Policy Symposia on Urban Sustainability and Green House Gas Reduction (live Tweets at #GW_ghg). These public policy discussions featured keynote speeches and expert panels comprising Federal and District of Columbia officials, industry executives and university faculty and students.

5) Sustainability Social Networks (launched Spring 2008)

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

6) Presidential Task Force on Sustainability, award-winning design for GW Presidential Task Force on Sustainability Final Report and Recommendations (PDF, June 2008)