September 13, 2022

City Communications Team Earns Top Honors from 3CMA and Virginia Municipal League

Public Outreach Campaign for Flood Protection Program Wins Highest Awards

​The City of Virginia Beach Communications team is earning industry recognition for The Ripple Effect public outreach campaign developed to educate citizens about the City's flood protection program bond referendum.

At the City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA) Annual Conference, Virginia Beach won the first place Savvy Award in the Communications or Marketing Plan category. The City also received 3CMA's highest honor, the Diamond Award, which is given to the best overall entry of more than 640 submitted across all categories. The Savvy Awards recognize outstanding local government achievements in communications, public-sector marketing, and resident-government relationships. The City of Virginia Beach had the only submission to receive a perfect score from the panel of judges.

This Ripple Effect campaign also won the Communications Award from the Virginia Municipal League 2022 Innovation Awards in Local Government. This statewide competition recognizes innovative problem-solving, excellence in management, citizen participation, and improved services to citizens.

"This is an amazing recognition by industry peers who understand the challenges to inform and engage the public on critical issues," said Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick A. Duhaney. "To have The Ripple Effect campaign selected as the Diamond Award winner is a credit to the City's communications team for their skills, leadership, and professionalism. More importantly, their work advances our efforts to reduce flooding and enhance climate resilience throughout the city."

Comments from the 3CMA judges reflect the City's communications approach to meet citizens where they are:

  • "It isn't easy to convince people not directly connected to water, even in a seaside community, that stormwater is everyone's issue. Multiple communication channels effectively reached the voting population."
  • "I thought you all did a great job of connecting with residents on all channels: in person, on social, direct mail. Messaging touched emotional and logical perspectives. Congratulations on an incredible success story of overcoming obstacles and delivering on all goals. This should be a communications strategy case study."

"We surveyed residents and voters to learn what they understood about local flooding, available funding to address it, and its citywide impacts," said Communications Director Tiffany Russell. "We found huge disconnects then worked quickly to provide the facts and offer a feedback loop to hear and address concerns. That's why the Flood Protection Program is a reality today."

For more information on the City's Flood Protection Program, visit

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