Case Studies

Wainger Group helps you close communications gaps, illuminate your value, build visibility, and circle your team around your mission and performance objectives.

Here are just a few of our success stories.


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Communications Planning

Liz Wainger and her colleagues consistently bring smart, strategic communications thinking to any challenge. They are focused and make the best use of resources, when it comes to tapping new audiences that may be valuable allies. [Wainger Group] is extremely collaborative and responsive, and is always looking for ways that we can enhance our communications impact.    -Susan Promislo, Former Communications Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio

Wainger Group (WG) was retained by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio to create a strategic communications plan that would provide a roadmap for communicating the unique approach and structure of this relatively new grantmaking arm of the Foundation. The goal was to outline strategies that the Portfolio could employ to engage a diverse range of target audiences and attract high quality proposals from health innovators, foster a community of leading edge thinkers and enhance RWJF’s reputation as a supporter of innovation. The Portfolio faced two challenges: 1) low awareness among both traditional audiences and the innovators it sought to engage, and 2) unclear messaging.
Wainger Group conducted interviews with the Pioneer team, other RWJF executives and staff, and existing Pioneer grantees, as well as with leading venture capitalists and provocative innovators in other fields. In addition, WG audited existing RWJF and Pioneer communications, conducted a branding/messaging workshop with RWJF staff and management to reach consensus on desired positioning, created an audience map, and completed a competitive messaging analysis of innovative funding organizations. With this information, WG developed and recommended a messaging platform with boilerplate language, as well as identified a range of strategies including media relations, social media, public speaking, and conferences for the Pioneer and Foundation teams to employ.
The Pioneer Portfolio implemented many of the strategies to expand its reach and influence among key target audiences. WG provided ongoing strategic counsel and additional support for the Portfolio and several of its grantees, including media relations services that led to placements in The New York Times and Chronicle of Philanthropy

Strategy/Management Public Relations/Collaboration

[Wainger Group] has been an invaluable communications partner for more than a decade. Liz (Wainger) is smart, strategic and has an intuitive ability to shape a story for the press. She has had a discernible impact on the CBRE brand in the greater Washington, D.C., and Florida markets.      -Steve Iaco, Senior Managing Director, Corporate Communications, CBRE

Wainger Group (WG) was retained to provide a range of communications and media relations services to build and enhance the presence of four Mid-Atlantic offices in a highly competitive market. With little media visibility in the region at the beginning of the engagement and only one person internally responsible for communications and marketing, the company sought a strategic communications partner to build a comprehensive communications program and provide media and public relations support to engage the firm’s multiple stakeholders.
During the engagement, WG developed an internal and external communications program to support the company’s Washington, DC, region through two mergers. This work included the development of a messaging platform around which to build a series of outreach strategies promoting the CBRE brand and the company’s work to stakeholders in the greater DC region. Following CBRE’s acquisition of Trammell Crow Company, WG conducted perception research to understand stakeholder attitudes and opportunities for enhanced relationships. With the corporate footprint expanded to more than 800 employees and multiple service and product lines now needing coordination and promotion, WG collaborated closely with the company’s local executives and the international marketing and communications relations team based in New York and Dallas, providing counseling and coaching to senior management on communications strategies, effective interactions with the media, presentation skills training, recommendations for advertising, philanthropic collaborations, and crisis management.
As a result of WG’s efforts, CBRE has a strong communications program that has led to steady and positive media coverage of the firm, its people, and its activities in such dominant outlets as The Wall Street Journal, The Baltimore Sun, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, the BBC, and key national real estate and business professional outlets.

CBRE and its team are regularly called upon as sources by the media, and its quarterly research reports are widely utilized by reporters. WG’s success led to an invitation to Liz Wainger to speak at the company’s World Conference, attended by the firm’s global communications staff and consultants, to present a case study on driving success through the creation of a dynamic public relations and communications program. WG was also retained by the firm’s Florida and Los Angeles markets to provide communications strategy and media relations support.

RCLCO/St. Elizabeths East
Message Transformation and Engagement

Wainger Group is, bar none, the best in the business when it comes to communications, media strategy, messaging, and outreach…[and] extraordinarily thoughtful in their approach to each engagement. I would highly recommend them to anyone.    -Shyam Kannan, Principal and Director of Public Strategies (2012), RCLCO

Washington DC’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) engaged RCLCO/Wainger Group as it was preparing to release an RFP to find a developer for the first phase of development of the St. Elizabeths East campus.  Wainger Group (WG) was retained to help create compelling messaging, develop content for a new website, and provide community outreach and media relations support to reverse longstanding misperceptions held by both the surrounding community and the region’s development industry, and effectively communicate the promise and potential of this project.  Because the campus had been a restricted site for use by the City’s Psychiatric Hospital, few people—and virtually none from the surrounding residential and business communities—had ever had a chance to experience its beauty and appreciate its historic significance. Several media stories in the months leading up to our engagement reinforced these perceptions and misinformation.

Working with the project team, which included representatives from DMPED and multiple consultants, Wainger Group developed compelling and clear messaging to articulate the promise and potential of the project, as well as articulate and illuminate development plans. WG also developed a communications strategy that included both traditional and social media outreach to support a series of activation events held onsite to open up this extraordinary historic campus to the surrounding community and the public. WG provided recommendations to  DMPED staff and consultants on additional approaches  to engage with community such as connecting to faith-based organizations and identifying and engaging influential leaders within Ward 8.  And WG re-architected the project’s existing website and created new content to tell the story.  WG also provided coaching to DMPED on speeches and remarks prior to activation events.  To meet the client’s deadlines, this project was fast tracked.

The carefully crafted and executed community outreach and media/social media strategy resulted in a half page on the front of the Washington Post’s Metro section that portrayed the project and the City positively. Despite the timing of the story during a time when the Mayor was under fire, the media coverage in newspapers, major radio and television stations, and influential blogs and social media sites captured key messages that DMPED sought to communicate.  Partnerships were also formed with community media that led to positive stories and advertising was placed in key media that helped draw people to the site activation events.  The resulting buzz from the community and media outreach and advertising was instrumental in helping shift perceptions and create a positive climate as the agency headed into the release of the RFP.

Technology/Communications Firm
Articulating a Unified Future through Facilitation

We made incredible progress and breakthroughs in our one-day strategy session with Wainger Group….As a result of our session, we now have a laser-focused business strategy that will target our resources and win sales. I highly recommend Wainger Group’s facilitated strategy sessions! -L.H., Confidential Client

A technology/communications firm was in the midst of a strategic planning process to chart its future. The changing economy as well shifts in the firm’s target clientele required the company to think about how it must be positioned for the future. Wainger Group was retained to facilitate a day-long session with the company’s management team.

Working with senior leadership, WG designed a one-day retreat to encourage new thinking and approaches. The facilitated session design included exercises and structured discussion to engage both right and left brain thinking, promote teamwork, and uncover the innovative thoughts of participants.

Wainger Group facilitated a discussion that enabled the senior leadership team to better articulate the company’s value proposition and identify new marketing targets and opportunities that build on the firm’s success and innovative processes. The session also helped unite the leadership team around a common goal and enabled them to break through a logjam to create a sound business strategy for the future.