2018 Overview

Jan 5, 2019

2018 was an exciting year for Southwest Strategies, filled with new opportunities, new staff, hard work and well-deserved victories. We took on new challenges and rallied together to develop solutions that resulted in big wins for our valued clients. As the first quarter of 2019 comes to a close, we wanted to reflect on our success in 2018 as we make plans for the remainder of the year and beyond.


Expanding Southwest Strategies

Twelve new staff joined the firm in 2018, increasing our capacity to work throughout California. With the addition of an office in the Bay Area, our firm expanded its diverse experience and produced even more winning results for our clients.
This year, our graphic design team worked harder than ever to produce beautifully designed websites, logos, digital ads and print materials for clients in a variety of industries. Our full service designers created vibrant images that helped the firm win campaigns, attract new clients and communicate powerful messaging through imagery.

Recognizing Success

The agency took home several awards at the 26th annual Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence Awards, the San Diego public relations industry’s highest form of recognition.

  • Seven Mile Casino won the Award of Excellence in the Events and Observances category for the Big 24-Hour Giveback, an event that raised $75,000 for South Bay Community Services thanks to Southwest Strategies’ community engagement efforts.
  • Pardee Homes won the Award of Merit for the Weston Grand Opening in the Events and Observances category for Southwest Strategies’ successful grand opening of the community, following a 10-year entitlement project. Pardee also took home the Award of Merit for the vibrant CD8 Tour Booklet in the Brochures category.
  • Lennar won the Award of Merit for the Pacific Village campaign in the Public Affairs category.
  • Additionally, our very own Elizabeth Hansen was honored as 2018’s Deborah Baker PR Professional of the Year for her innovative strategic communication skills and in-depth industry knowledge. For more than 18 years, Elizabeth has shepherded monumental projects and outreach efforts for many clients. This is an award well-deserved and we congratulate Elizabeth for this outstanding accomplishment.

Southwest Strategies is proud of these accomplishments, and we look forward to more victories in 2019.

Winning Elections

The 2018 election season was monumental for the agency. We were tasked with an important proposal for the existing Mission Valley stadium site which would change the landscape of San Diego for generations to come. Measure G, or SDSU West, would expand San Diego State University onto the city-owned land currently occupied by SDCCU Stadium. A competing ballot measure, Measure E, was created by out of town investors to develop the land into a massive shopping complex that bypassed critical environmental laws and traffic mitigation. Southwest Strategies was tasked with defeating Measure E and ensuring Measure G secured sufficient support. Though Southwest Strategies began working on the Measure G campaign in 2017, efforts ramped up in 2018 with the team organizing support for City Council hearings, developing logos and websites, coordinating news conferences and even a rally at an Aztec tailgate. Our hard work paid off on Election Day when Measure G sailed to victory, beating Measure E by a landslide.

Building Communities

Pardee Homes also had a very successful 2018. Not only did Pardee win the 2018 San Diego’s Best Union-Tribune Readers Poll for Best New Home Builder, but they opened several new communities. In November 2018, the team opened six new neighborhoods across the San Diego region in just two weeks. Our team’s expertise with entitlements and excellent project communication helped Pardee build support for their communities and secure project approvals.

Enhancing Transportation

The Build NCC team accomplished a tremendous amount of work this year, successfully executing a communications program associated with construction along Interstate 5. Though challenges threatened the project, successful community outreach and engagement helped connect communities to the importance of I-5’s expansion. The team hosted open houses, participated in street fairs and completed a groundbreaking ceremony on behalf of Caltrans and SANDAG.

Highlighting Resources

In June, the San Diego County Water Authority launched the first day of summer 2018 aboard the U.S.S. Midway with the Brought to You by Water program. This outreach and education program highlights how safe and reliable water supplies fuel our region’s quality of life. The Water Authority was joined by media, industry partners including the San Diego Zoo and Legoland – as well as a giant 10-foot tall beach ball. The Brought to You by Water program will continue throughout 2019, with a focus on specific industries crucial for the San Diego region including agriculture, manufacturing and craft brewing.

Looking Ahead

As 2019 begins with more opportunities and challenges, we continue to help our valued clients reach their goals and solve complex issues. Last year, we remained committed to executing projects, winning campaigns and engaging communities across California. This year, we’re confident we will do the same as we continue developing and deploying effective strategies for our clients.


Chris Wahl

Dedicated to Strategy

Our expertise, strategic guidance and innovative approach have made Southwest Strategies California’s leading public affairs and public outreach firm. Our clients come to us because we work harder, we produce more – and we get results. We design creative strategies to solve the complex issues that our clients – large and small – face every day. Let us put our knowledge, capabilities and creativity to work for you.

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