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July 21, 2020

Maine forest products coalition taps Bangor firm for marketing and PR

A business coalition working to cultivate Maine’s forest products industry has awarded a two-year contract for marketing and public relations services to Bangor-based Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications. 

Maine’s Forest Opportunity Roadmap, or FOR/Maine, launched in September 2018 with a goal of increasing the industry’s annual economic impact in Maine from $8.5 billion to $12 billion by 2025. The plan includes a combination of strategies involving transportation, community outreach, workforce development and investment attraction.

Communications is part of the mix as well, and is being funded through a U.S. Department of Commerce grant to the Maine Forest Products Council, according to a news release Monday. FOR/Maine selected Sutherland Weston from eight bidders on the contract, agency spokesman Dan Cashman told Mainebiz.

He wouldn't disclose what projected billings might be, but said the account will utilize a variety of staff from throughout the agency.

The 16-person firm will develop strategies to increase awareness, participation and collaboration among the key audiences in FOR/Maine’s initial report. Cashman said work will begin with an audit of communications opportunities, followed by initiatives that promote the industry and the “innovation that is being done every day right in our own back yards.”

Last December, FOR/Maine released plans designed to grow the industry’s workforce, increase wood supply, develop new technologies and address other needs identified in the first phase of the coalition’s work.

FOR/Maine has used other outside marketing help in the past, according to Cashman.

“We’re honored to be selected by this respected coalition,” Cary Weston, partner at Sutherland Weston, said in the release. “Our collective goal is to help build a strong and diverse forest products industry for Maine’s future.”

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