A Multi-Layered Campaign for Sunshine 811 & National Safe Digging Month



Client Industry


Celebrating more than 30 years of work to make Florida the safest place to dig, Sunshine 811 is the state’s go-to resource for education and training on safe digging practices. It’s also the organization the law requires you to contact before starting any private or commercial digging projects so that Sunshine 811 can coordinate with utility companies to have underground lines properly marked.

While the organization works to ensure public safety and protect underground utility infrastructure, damages to these utilities has risen over the past few years – primarily because professional excavators and homeowners are not contacting 811, and are frequently striking lines based on certain activities such as fencing and landscaping.

With Florida’s continued ranking as one of the top states in the country for construction activity, educating professionals and citizens on safe digging has never been more important. Similarly, greater enforcement of the safe digging law and related violations must happen in order to change behaviors.

In 2022, Sunshine 811 hired Curley & Pynn to manage a large-scale, multifaceted, year-over-year awareness campaign with a special focus on April’s National Safe Digging Month.


Our recipe for success involves these key objectives: to build extensive awareness of the safe digging process and law to multiple audiences, influence behavioral changes, increase engagement with educational content, and develop strategic partnerships and relationships to drive key goals.


Curley & Pynn built out a multi-layered campaign plan to maximize influence and reach – incorporating everything from media relations to strategic partnerships to new engagement tools. With a laser-focus on the organization’s varied stakeholders and how best to reach them, our team developed tailored messaging, incorporated important research, and reviewed the best approaches and channels to employ in our efforts.

Highlights of our work included:

  • Development of strategic partnerships with tactical initiatives, essentially leveraging others to spread the message among their memberships and channels – Florida’s Chapter of the American Fence Association to the Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Association of Code Enforcement, and Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida.
  • Refreshed and consistent email outreach to excavators and utility companies in Florida to update them on top causes of damages, and to provide reminders of best practices and solutions to issues.
  • Comprehensive development of new engagement tools – from collaterals and trade show displays to a lineup of new compelling videos (with paid boosting on Facebook) for both professional excavators and the public.
  • Creative and cost-effective advertising, and marketing opportunities (such as email takeovers) in digital outlets of enforcement and construction trade associations.
  • An influencer campaign leveraging testimonials of multiple stakeholders to motivate positive peer-to-peer behavioral change.
  • Statewide media relations outreach with a special focus on outlets in top damaged counties.
  • Branding the campaign in 2024 with a refresh of the organization’s website, dedicated Safe Digging Month pages and the creation of a new vanity URL – DigSafeFlorida.com.
  • Training and arming Sunshine 811’s statewide education liaisons with outreach tools, checklists and specific community engagement plans to maximize their reach and opportunities to educate stakeholders.


With two years under our belt for Sunshine 811’s National Safe Digging Month campaigns, Curley & Pynn’s work has helped secured significant public, professional, industry, stakeholder and media awareness for safe digging practices. Among our most significant results:

  • Incoming locate ticket requests or calls to Sunshine 811 were up nearly 10% over the past year;
  • Email campaigns have generated substantial open rates, the highest being around 44%;
  • Social media engagement and web traffic have soared, with thousands of new social-to-web visits over a multi-month campaign period;
  • Association advertising has resulted in direct learning and engagement opportunities including meetings and presentations for Sunshine 811’s statewide liaisons;
  • Media relations efforts have generated dozens of stories throughout the state; and,
  • Our work on National Safe Digging Month provided a foundation for campaigns around other relevant key moments in time, such as Hurricane Preparedness Week, 811 Day and New Homeowners Day.


Sunshine 811’s Wendy Schaefer discusses the value that Curley & Pynn Public Relations Management® brings to her organization.

Related Case Studies