Benchmarking poll shows support for port projects but low public awareness
VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Port of Vancouver USA added television and radio advertising to its already robust community outreach program this year to help raise awareness of the port, its projects and its local partnerships.
As in previous years, the port’s 2016 community outreach program also includes public tours, community newsletters and ads in local publications. The addition of TV and radio spots is aimed at broadening public understanding of the port’s mission, economic benefits and major projects.
“We’re a hub for industry in our region, generating $2.9 billion in economic value and directly supporting 3,200 jobs, yet many people aren’t even aware they have a port,” said Chief External Affairs Officer Ryan Hart. “These are some far-reaching communications tools to share with the public the great things happening here at the port.”
Ads began running in mid-March on Comcast stations, including CNBC, CNN, ESPN, MSNBC and TBS, and dozens of local radio stations, including KEX, KINK, KPAM and KUPL.
Poll provides benchmark for awareness, support.
The port commissioned a district-wide poll in March to provide pre-campaign benchmarks for public awareness and perception. Eighty-five percent of those polled support the port’s mission to provide jobs and economic benefit to the community. However, only about half of those polled felt familiar enough with the port to rate its performance on this mission.
“This reflects an observation Commissioner LaBrant shared with us,” said Hart. “While doorbelling during his campaign in 2015, he was surprised by the number of people who didn’t know they had a port.
“We’ve been talking about TV and radio for a while, and after hearing the commissioner’s comment, we were even more determined to broaden our campaign and improve public awareness.”
The poll also provided an opportunity to ask residents about the port’s two largest projects: redevelopment of the waterfront at Terminal 1 and Vancouver Energy.
A vast majority of residents – 76 percent – support the waterfront redevelopment, which is expected to include a hotel, restaurant, mixed-use building and public art.
Views on Vancouver Energy – the proposed oil transfer terminal at the port – were mixed, with 43 percent supporting the project and 42 percent opposing. Fifteen percent were undecided.
About the poll
Conducted by Riley Research Associates, the poll was a scientific survey of 450 registered voters in the port district, evenly split between each of the three sub-districts. The sample has a +/- 4.6 percent margin of error.
Riley Research Associates is a research and polling firm based in Portland, Oregon. Its clients have included Bonneville Power Administration, the City of Vancouver, The Columbian, Intel, Oregon Health Sciences University, The Oregonian and Portland General Electric.
The Port of Vancouver USA is one of the major ports on the Pacific Coast, and its competitive strengths include available land, versatile cargo handling capabilities, vast transportation networks, a skilled labor force and an exceptional level of service to its customers and community. For more information, please visit us at www.portvanusa.com.