Maryland Pesticide Education Network

Reducing Pesticides to Protect Marylanders, Bees, and Clean Water

The Challenge

To protect Maryland’s environment, people, and wildlife – particularly bees and other pollinators – from dangerous pesticides, the Maryland Pesticide Education Network launched the Smart on Pesticides Maryland coalition in 2012, comprised of more than 95 organizations and institutions. The coalition sought comprehensive communications support to brand and launch its new campaign, build visibility, and establish it as a voice advocating for better pesticide use reporting and commonsense pesticide restrictions.


Strategic Communication
Digital Strategies
Fundraising Communication
Media Relations
Messaging and Branding
Policy outreach
Website UI/UX

Our Strategy

The Hatcher Group has worked with the coalition since its inception, helping them educate the public, influence policymakers, motivate advocates, garner media coverage, and score major legislative victories at the state level. We created and implemented communications plans and strategies including the following:

  • Launched the campaign by redesigning the Maryland Pesticide Network website and creating a microsite with its own blog and take-action pages
  • Developed the new campaign’s name and branding
  • Designed and implemented a strategic social media campaign to target key influencers, including using a “twitterswarm” and “thunderclap” to target Maryland’s governor, conducting successful Twitter chats with experts, and live-tweeting bill hearings
  • Helped find solutions to enable constituents to contact legislators
  • Wrote email action alerts and other online content
  • Developed messaging around specific policy agendas and trained coalition members on how to deliver it effectively
  • Created compelling materials, including infographics, fact sheets, and videos
  • Conducted extensive media outreach
  • Helped local beekeepers tell their stories during bill hearings and floor debates and through opinion pieces and social media

Our Impact

  • Helped pass significant legislation to improve pesticide reporting; restrict consumer use of neonic pesticides known to harm bees, birds, and other pollinators; and protect pollinator habitat on state lands.
  • Grew email list from zero to thousands of individuals — and added thousands of followers on social media
  • Secured coverage in major media outlets across the country and around the world
  • Set the stage for legislative action to ban chlorpyrifos, a nerve-agent pesticide proven to cause brain damage in children
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