case study: north carolina licensing board for general contractors

Public Relations



For more than 83 years, the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors (NCLBGC) had used a cumbersome and slow process for contractor license renewals via hard copy and U.S. mail. In 2018 the NCLBGC began the process to replace the paper and snail mail system with an online license renewal system. Of states that require general contractors to operate with licenses, North Carolina was the last state to bring the process online for its 30,000 general contractors. The North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors hired S&A Communications as its marketing partner to brand the online license renewal system, educate general contractors throughout the state about the change in process for license renewals and applications, and encourage general contractors to adopt the new process. The goal for the 2018 renewal season was compliance by 67 percent of general contractors.


  • Create a brand for the new online system: North Carolina Contractors Licensing Central (NCCLiC) with a logo and mascot
  • Develop an integrated communications and marketing campaign
  • Educate general contractors about the new online renewal and application process and how to use the system
  • Develop ads for relevant publications that reach residential and commercial contractors throughout the state
  • Build and leverage relationships with partner organizations (such as the NorthCarolina Home Builders Association and the Carolinas Association for General Contractors)
  • Provide messaging and visuals (digital ads, articles, print ads, logos, etc.) for the organizations to share via their communication channels including newsletters and websites
  • Develop and provide signage, materials and presentations for relevant conferences and events
  • Develop and implement a Facebook ad campaign to be leveraged on related channels and groups
  • Conduct ongoing outreach to partner organizations via telephone and email to raise awareness of the new online system
  • Develop a series of informative direct mailers to send to general contractors about the shift to online renewals and applications – with step-by-step instructions and visuals
  • Equip the NCLBGC’s team of field inspectors with needed materials to display and distribute, as well as presentations to share at local meetings, conferences, gatherings
  • Engage with local permit and inspection offices to inform and explain the online process to contractors in the field; provide needed materials to display and distribute


  • The integrated communications and marketing campaign exceeded the 67 percent goal and yielded 90+ percent of contractors complying
  • The Facebook ad campaign reached 22,750 people and generated 1,150 clicks, resulting in a $.34 cost per click
  • The campaign built awareness of the online renewal process and motivated more than 25,421 general contractors to create their NCCliC accounts
  • For S&A Communications, the highest form of praise is to be rehired and retained by our clients year over year. The North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors continued the partnership and rehired S&A Communications for marketing expertise the following year in 2019