Case Study

Association of Professional Pipeline Surveyors



Date of Project


Client Type

This Trek Included

Content Development
Public Affairs
Brand Stewardship

Digital Communications
Audience Development
Event Planning

Brand Building
Strategic Planning

Marketing & Communications Strategy, LMS Creation
& Event Planning

Association of Professional Pipeline Surveyors

The Association of Professional Pipeline Surveyors (APPS) is a member organization providing advanced training, certification, live events, and industry updates to pipeline surveyors, policy makers, and community stakeholders invested in ensuring the development of safe and effective pipelines throughout North America.

Trailhead: Where We Started

After working with TrailBlaze Creative’s partner, Grau & Associates, to establish its board of directors, corporate structure, accounting practices, and membership categories, APPS sought additional assistance in developing its marketing, communications, and education strategies. Specifically, APPS expressed a desire to establish robust membership outreach, enhance event planning, and provide members with web-based access to coursework and certification in pipeline surveying.

Trek: Steps We’ve Taken

With the association established and its mission clearly articulated, APPS contracted with TrailBlaze Creative, using its Marketing Director in ResidenceTM model to begin developing a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy. Following brand mapping and audience persona sessions, TrailBlaze set to work improving membership outreach, which included the design and composition of newsletters, social media management (roadmap), and the creation of the association’s most enduring resource: a branded learning management system where APPS members can log in, take courses, and gain certified continuing education credits within their state. Beyond this branded LMS setup, TrailBlaze conceptualized methods to drive revenue and engagement with APPS’ new courses and certification program. As these new tools and collateral were implemented, TrailBlaze onboarded members into the new system, simultaneously installing and managing merchant services so APPS could accept secure payments.

To further strengthen APPS’ programming and association offerings, TrailBlaze assisted APPS in the development and promotion of a number of in-person and virtual events. By surveying and credentialing compatible industry organizations across the US, TrailBlaze assisted APPS with partner development efforts, enhancing sponsorship and co-sponsorship opportunities and expanding awareness of APPS’ offerings throughout the country and industry. The design, promotion, and success of these numerous events synchronized with the creation of compelling and aesthetically appealing branding materials and marketing collateral, which can now be used for future APPS events and general promotion of the organization.

Summit: Vision Realized

As a result of APPS’ partnership with TrailBlaze Creative, APPS has been established as the foremost association for pipeline surveyors and now serves as a lasting educational provider to new and existing pipeline surveyors, as well as the broader industry and interested community stakeholders. APPS has strengthened its capacity to provide its members with educational opportunities, news, resources, and updates, even amid a shift to primarily virtual programming.

Today, TrailBlaze’s work continues as APPS recruits new members and collaborates with new outside partners to promote its branded “Pipeline Surveyor” certification program. The current program includes specialized information modules and skill training sessions required to appropriately survey an existing or planned natural gas pipeline. Recently, APPS held its first virtual conference, featuring keynote speakers promoting the pipeline surveying industry, and offering opportunities for networking and partner development. To incentivize participation from members and non-members, attendees earned CE credits and registrants received a $50 credit for CE coursework through APPS. These virtual programming efforts continue to grow as the Pipeline Surveyor certification course gains in popularity and APPS broadens its presence in the pipeline surveyor industry through partnership with TrailBlaze.

Are You Ready to Start Your Trek?

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