A draft media campaign for the Santa Susana Field Laboratory was created by Make Over Earth, Inc. for Boeing to greenwash the contamination on the SSFL site and help build an astroturf group (“third party allies”) that will support Boeing. Below is an image of the document that was posted on the designer’s website and a transcription of the image.

Target Media

To help change public opinion about the SSFL site, we need to reach a diverse array of news media, ranging from journalists at local, state and national organizations who may reasonably be expected to have interest in the SSFL cleanup or Boeing’s corporate environmental initiatives, to environmental and industry trade publications. In addition, we need to reach new audiences via websites, social media and blogs.

Key targeted media will include:

Local press: LA Daily News, LA Times, Simi Valley Acorn, Ventura County Star, Ventura County Reporter, LA Business Journal, SFV Business Journal and Los Angeles Magazine

Trade Press: Chemical and Engineering News, Chemical Engineering Business E-magazine, Environmental Managers, Environmental Protection, Environmental Science and Technology, Journal of Air and Waste Management Association, inside Cal-EPA, Clean Air Report, Waste Age (Waste 360.com), Green Watch Media, Environmental Engineering Science

Online: California Watch, Healthycal.org, Ron Kaye L.A., Environmental Health News, LA Streetblog, LA Observed, Good k, Dailey Beast, Newsweek, Brian Dennert (Ventura County blogger), and Patch.com

Environmental group publications and blogs: “On Earth” by NRDC, “Sierra” by Sierra Club, “Switchboard” by NRDC, “Audubon” magazine by Audubon Society, Environmental Defense Fund blog Grist, Greenwire, E&E Daily, and Bee Culture magazine.

Commercial and public broadcast: “Marketplace” by American Public Media, “To the Point” on Public Radio international, “Which Way LA” by Warren Olney of KCRW, “Air Talk” by Larry Mantle at KPCC, “So Cal Connected” by Val Zavala on KCET, “California Green” by Huel Howser on PBS, “Living on Earth” by Steve Curwood on Public Radio International, KCLU radio, KFWB radio, KNX radio, KCBS-TV, KCAL-TV, KNBC-TV, KTLA-TV, KABC-TV, KTTV-TV, KCOP-TV, and KEYT-TV

Other: City News Service, Associated Press LA, Bloomberg, CNN/LA, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, National Geographic, Bloomberg-BusinessWeek, USA Today, Huffington Post, and Investor’s Business Daily. The following newspapers public in communities where Boeing has facilities potentially engaged in environmental work: Wichita Eagle Mesa (AZ) Republic, St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Oregonian, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express news, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

These media were targeted by their proximity to the SSFL site, past and potential interest in the SSFL cleanup or proximity to other Boeing facilities or spheres of influence. Note: Media targets will evolve contingent on outreach progress, personal relationships with journalists and developments at the SSFL site or with Boeing’s environmental initiatives.

Multiply allies and grow their stature: Third parties who endorse Boeing’s vision for open space at the SSFL site will be key to the media relations campaign. Third parties add credibility and authenticity and blunt allegations of green-washing. Journalists will look to third parties to truth-check the company’s message. The media outreach campaign will benefit by prominently including third-party allies as much as possible.

Communicate using multimedia: Using modern communication tools will help the media outreach campaign to:

  • Make stories memorable by communicating visually
  • Amplify and echo key messages across media platforms
  • Tell Boeing’s story directly and unfiltered
  • Showcase third parties who share Boeing’s open-space vision
  • Overcome negative perceptions using a countervailing narrative of environmental values, safety and corporate responsibility

Show another side of SSFL: We propose pitching diverse story ideas about people, nature, history, business and technology at SSFL to reduce the secrecy and perceived dangers at the site. Showing a human side of SSFL can help build empathy and connect people for a common purpose for open space.

Given the long history of negative publicity at the SSFL site, it will take time for the press, stakeholders, elected officials and the public to conceive of the property in new ways. Expectations for the news media campaign need to account for that reality and overcome it with a sustained effort and strategic focus. By telling the SSFL story in new and compelling ways, we will be in a better position to communicate key messages and shift discussions from a site with a sordid past to one with potential.

Key Messages

In support of the SSFL Communications Strategy prepared by Boeing, the news media campaign will emphasize the following key messages:

  • The SSFL site is being transformed into a community asset
  • Substantial cleanup is underway and will soon render the site safe for parkland
  • Hazardous waste sites are commonly restored to beneficial use
  • The site poses no significant risk to human health today
  • Cleanup far exceeds what’s needed to restore beneficial use and protect public health
  • It’s time to move the SSFL cleanup to its conclusion
  • Boeing is building an impressive track record of environmental gains on many fronts

Action Steps/Timeline

Over the next several months, Make Over Earth Inc. will work closely with Boeing staff to implement action items under the new media campaign. It should be noted that these action steps and timelines are intended to be used as a guide and may change as the work evolves. We plan to regularly review the strategy and fine tune it as needed.

The following are key activities and timelines for the news media campaign:


Incorporate Make Over Earth team into Boeing’s ongoing outreach and remediation efforts – 3rd Qtr/2012

Incorporate Make Over Earth them into SSFL newsletter production – 3rd Qtr/2012

Review existing collateral items re: SSFL for external use with the media fact sheets, objections answered, FAQs, key contacts, cleanup timeline, metrics for cleanup activities, key messages or vision statement – 3rd Qtr/2012

Review existing collateral items re Boeing’s environmental initiatives for external use with the media fact sheets on biofuels, waste reduction, clean aviation, energy conservation and recycling initiatives – 3rd Qtr/2012

Explore potential to host a hospitality reception at the Society of Environmental Journalists conferences in Lubbock, TX on October 18 – 3rd Qtr/2012

Construct an events/media opportunity calendar for SSFL activities and key dates for the coming year (release of reports, community tours/events, technical meetings, litigation activities, public comment meetings, litigation) – 4th Qtr/2012

Meet with key SSFL staff to learn about human interest/green stories and specific remediation projects/tactics utilizing advance technologies – 4th Qtr/2012

Meet with key staff to learn about Boeing’s broader initiatives (biofuels, solar, etc.) 4th Qtr/2012

Identify third-parties who may be willing to publicly support the open space vision at SSFL – 4th Qtr/2012

Consider commissioning a blue-ribbon study on SSFL health risks today and in the future – 1st Qtr/2013

Explore whether to pursue a risk communication initiative – 1st Qtr/2013

24 Years of Award-Winning SSFL/Rocketdyne Reporting
June 1998June 2022