The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership - Economic Impacts

Public Relations & Integrated Marketing Campaign

The Client

The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership (GLSP) brings together leading U.S. and Canadian maritime organizations working to enhance public understanding of the benefits of commercial shipping in the Great Lakes Seaway region of North America. The organization manages an education-focused communications program, sponsors research, and works closely with media, policy makers, community groups, allied industries, environmental stakeholders, and the general public to highlight the positive attributes of marine transportation. The organization was founded by the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA), Fednav Limited, American Great Lakes Ports Association (AGLPA) and Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC). The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership has been a client of shark&minnow since 2017.

The Challenge

To support our content pillar of “Economy,” GLSP conducted a year-long study of the economic impacts of the entire Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system. The study is a definitive and detailed report documenting the many contributions made by the Great Lakes Seaway system to federal, state/provincial and local economies. The study reports that in 2017 maritime commerce supported:

  • 237,868 jobs
  • $35 billion in economic activity
  • $14.2 billion in personal income and local consumption expenditures
  • $6.6 billion in federal, state/provincial and local tax revenue

To support these remarkable insights, shark&minnow created an extensive, media relations campaign to share this story from the Great Lakes.

The Solution

Public Affairs Event Series & Integrated Marketing Campaign


  • Primary: Local and regional news publishers in all eight (8) Great Lakes States
  • Secondary: Transportation, maritime and logistics as well as political trade publications
  • Note: In order to reach the general public as well as government officials across all eight (8) Great Lakes States.


Specific goal to engage and partner with the press/media to share this important message with the general public and governmental officials via their channels. Performance measured quantity of publications covering the story and impressions. Results achieved by creating targeted media kits for all eight (8) Great Lakes States and customized kits for major metropolitan areas. Message was relevant to audience because Seaway System shipping supports over 237,000 jobs with $35 billion in economic activity – everyone in the region is connected to this essential industry. Time defined by the campaign promotion from launch on July 18., 2018 to December 31, 2018.


Reports – Region Versions (19)

  1. Illinois
  2. Indiana
  3. Michigan
  4. Minnesota
  5. New York
  6. Ohio
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Soo Locks
  10. Chicago (Port)
  11. Detroit (Port)
  12. Duluth (Port)
  13. Erie (Port)
  14. Green Bay (Port)
  15. Lorain (Port)
  16. Milwaukee (Port)
  17. Monroe (Port)
  18. Oswego (Port)
  19. Toledo (Port)

Media & PR Tactics/Report

  • Media Kits (One/Report = 19)
  • Press Releases (One/Report = 19)
  • Public Relations & Outreach
  • Infographics (One/Region = 9)
  • Social Media Content Kit (Five Images/Region = 45)
  • Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn
  • Native Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn

The Outcome


  • Publications: 280 (Press Hits) local news publications across all eight Great Lakes states and the United States as well as trade publications
  • Impressions: 84.8 Million

Awards & Accolades

Transportation Marketing & Sales Association (TMSA) – 2019 TMSA Compass Awards – Award of Excellence -Media Relations