Increasing Awareness and Recognition of the AWC Brand to Support Advocacy Efforts

Increasing Awareness and Recognition of the AWC Brand to Support Advocacy Efforts
American Wood Council logo on a green background


The American Wood Council (AWC)’s goal is to be seen as the “go-to place” to obtain knowledge, products and resources related to wood usage, such as codes, technical information and software, and for accurate information to guide legislation and regulation. AWC’s past complicates this objective in certain audiences because (for most of its 100 year history) AWC was a division or subsidiary of the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA). In short, AWC realized key audience perceptions of the organization needed to align with AWC’s goals, or the mission would be difficult to achieve.

In 2012, AWC retained McKinley to expand brand recognition and enhance the understanding of all that AWC provides to federal and state policy makers, code officials, engineers and architects and those with regulatory authority, such as staff at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as legislators, particularly at the state level where building codes are determined.

McKinley worked with AWC to capture internal perspectives and develop and execute research activities with AWC’s many target audiences – all to develop a well-conceived branding strategy and messaging platform for key legislative audiences. The brand strategy and tools included detailed profiles for each of AWC’s audience segments, brand attributes, and messaging and outreach tactics designed to strengthen AWC’s position as the leading voice for the wood products industry among specific audience segments.


McKinley’s recommendations were well-received by the Board and staff. Currently, AWC is prioritizing and planning to implement our recommendations, which include hiring a dedicated government affairs staff, developing a strategic advocacy plan and incorporating the brand strategy and tools on the website and in other collateral to better communicate with key, diverse audiences.