Michigan State University

Bring FRIB to our CRIB

Goal: Plan and execute a public awareness campaign with the ultimate goal of Michigan State University being awarded the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams project by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Notable Awards/Recognitions: 
  • 2010 Telly Award
  • 2009 Central Michigan Public Relations Society of America Pinnacle Award for Community Relations Campaign

Michigan State University was the underdog in a competition among federally funded national laboratories and universities across the nation for a $550 million Facility for Rare Isotope Beams project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams would bring an important major national laboratory/science facility to MSU’s campus and improve the university’s S.T.E.M. reputation while attracting thousands of scientists to the area to use the facility for experiments. It also would provide an opportunity for spinoff businesses in the region and state. MSU asked Martin Waymire to execute a public awareness campaign, emphasizing why MSU should be awarded the FRIB. Martin Waymire performed extensive research to understand the science behind the FRIB and so it could best promote MSU to a variety of audiences, both scientific and non-scientific.

Action Plan & Communication Overview:

Martin Waymire utilized a leadership coalition, grass-roots activities and aggressive earned-media tactics, coupled with compelling key messages and integrated communications tools. We built a coalition with local business groups, helped create and coordinate statewide business and political leaders to advocate for the facility, raised its awareness on campus among students and coordinated news media. These tactics brought MSU’s FRIB proposal statewide support, congressional backing and drew national attention to the project. The campaign was particularly noted for its “Bring FRIB to our Crib!” slogan.

  • MSU was awarded the $550 million FRIB project by the U.S. Department of Energy in December 2008.
  • With more than 150 media hits, including 15 positive editorial page mentions or opinions, we received front-page coverage of the story in newspapers, radio and television. The victory announcement even eclipsed the auto bailout collapse announcement in story placement.
  • Martin Waymire also helped plan the multi-faceted groundbreaking ceremony in 2014, which included national political and scientific leaders speaking on the importance of the facility to basic research in America and the world.
  • Martin Waymire coordinated a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first beam line used at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, the forerunner of FRIB, which helped keep the facility in the news.
  • Martin Waymire oversaw production of an hour-long video on the science behind the facility that was carried on Michigan public television stations.

We offer clients our commitment to Michigan, because our driving passion is making our home state a better place.