Case Study: Ashtabula County Metroparks District Political Campaign Consulting and Marketing @MediaMagicOhio

Ashtabula County Metroparks logo round logo1

Four months before the Spring 2006 General Election, Media Magic Productions was hired as political consultants to the Ashtabula County Metroparks District Board of Directors’ Steering Committee. They asked us to consult with them and help manage their Issue 5 levy campaign, handle the campaign’s public and media relations and create advertising for print, radio, cable and broadcast TV. The Metropark ballot measure seeks voter approval for an Ashtabula County property tax levy of point-four mill (4/10 of a mill).

The Metroparks board had very limited funds to put toward the levy campaign effort, so we’ve worked very hard to make sure their hard earned dollars stretched as far as possible. Our job was to get out their message out to Ashtabula County voters, in a way that truly educated voters about one of Ashtabula county’s greatest assets. To make up for the campaign funding shortfall, our agency concentrated heavily on an aggressive public relations informational and educational campaign.

We kicked off the 2006 Levy Campaign with a Valentine’s Day news conference near the south entrance of the Western Reserve Greenway Trail – part of the park system that brings tourists and tourism dollars to Ashtabula County. Media Magic created and distributed a Media Advisory and Press Conference announcement, along with a complete media kit, including a press release explaining the levy, campaign talking points, brochures and other collateral for direct mail. We also prepared a speech, written by Cheryl dickson-Walker, for those Metropark officials hosting the Valentine’s Day event, including introductory comments for the dozen or so public officials and civic leaders speaking at the event.

For broadcast campaign advertising, Media Magic scripted and produced three, 30-second television and three, 30-second radio ads showcasing the spectacular Ashtabula County Metroparks Greenway Trail and testimonials from its users, and promoting the Metroparks Issue 5 levy campaign. The ads ran on local radio, Time Warner Cable and Conneaut Cable TV, as well as local broadcast outlets.

Footage and interviews used in the Metropark television commercials were filmed, over the past year, along the Metroparks’ Western Reserve Greenway Trail, by Media Magic Director of Photography, David Walker and videographer David Frank. The television spots were written, produced and edited by Cheryl Dickson-Walker; the radio spots were edited by David Walker. The background music “Rivers and Trails” was written and performed by northeast Ohio singer/songwriter Steve Madewell, who generously donated use of this song to the People for Parks campaign. “Rivers and Trails” is one of a collection of songs on Madewell’s  “Rivers and Trails” CD, mastered by legendary folk singer, Alex Bevan.

Throughout the four month campaign, Media Magic distributed eight press releases and advisories. To spread the word even farther, we arranged for Metroparks Board members to discuss the issue on local radio shows and interviews with local newspapers.They also campaigned at numerous public events, including the March for Parks, Outdoor Sporting Show in Jefferson, Ohio, where they had an informational booth. Media Magic also designed for the Metroparks an “Andy Acorn” mascot costume. This bike-peddling, messenger of goodwill was created by Media Magic Productions Graphic Artist, Carol Dickson.

Ashtabula County Metroparks Levy on the Ballot

Ashtabula County Metroparks Board President To Discuss the District’s “Vote Green” Levy Campaign on WFUN Radio

Advertisements

Case Study: Franklin for Solicitor – Political Advertising, Social Media and Public Relations Campaign Consulting, Marketing, Collateral Materials Production

The Client:

Incumbent Ashtabula City Solicitor Michael Franklin (Independent).

The Situation:

Michael Franklin hired Media Magic to handle his re-election campaign marketing for the 2011 general election. He was facing a tough campaign by his predecessor, a Democratic candidate , whom be beat, with our assistance, in 2007. His opponent, who had a very well known and documented checkered past, decided he wanted his old job back, and was expected to go extremely negative in his campaigning. Franklin was looking for a winning campaign strategy to counter this.

The Strategy:

We, at Media Magic, believed the most important thing the Franklin campaign had to do was to dominate the message going out to the voters, from the start, and to remind voters of his opponents alleged criminal activity, while in office, so that when they heard the name of his opponent, they immediately associated with his past negative actions … no matter their political affiliation. That would put his opponent on the defense from the get-go and allow Franklin’s message to be heard.

To accomplish this, we  designed Franklin’s  campaign website to give viewers a clear picture of his mission and accomplishments in the past four years. It also had a special page filled with links to newspaper and magazine coverage of all of his opponents misdeeds, in and out of office.  Franklin did not have to make accusations on his own – the newspapers took care of this for him. We then posted links to articles on this page on Franklin’s Facebook, WordPress blog, LinkedIn and Twitter pages, along with very active local political forums on Facebook. This drove traffic back to the campaign website, where readers could read more about Franklin and see more of the negative articles published about his opponent. Michael also took part in a half hour podcast with a local political blogger. Connecting with constituents on Facebook and other social media outlets really allowed Franklin to communicate his message directly to interested voters and win their trust.

At the beginning of September, Media Magic filmed and produced two radio and TV ads for Mike Franklin, one featuring his on camera, discussing his accomplishments, the other showing part of a televised debate in which his opponent denied knowledge of any wrongdoing in office. In the ad, his statement was followed by past newspaper headlines detailing the charges against him. These ads aired on local cable and radio throughout the campaign season and were placed on Franklin’s website, Facebook and YouTube pages, available 24/7. We also took advantage of online advertising, placing ads on the newspaper and radio station websites, and ads on Facebook. As a result, Google shot his ranking up, giving Franklin a dominating online presence that his opponent, who did little advertising, could not touch.

To kick start the ground game, Media Magic created an arsenal of campaign collateral for hand out and direct mail: a postcard mailer, 3  campaign flyers,  five  quarter page and full page ads in the two  local newspapers, plus the ad and story in the Election Tabloid.

When his opponent leveled unsubstantiated charges against Franklin, Media Magic set up two press conferences, to counter the false claims. these press conferences resulted in at least three positive stories for Franklin, and several other negatives stories about Franklin’s opponent.

 

The Result:

Franklin handily defeated his opponent in the general election.

 

Franklin for Solicitor Billboard

Franklin for Solicitor Billboard

Franklin for Solicitor Flyer Front

Franklin for Solicitor Flyer Front

Franklin for Solicitor Flyer Back

Franklin for Solicitor Flyer Back

Image

Got Postcards? Here’s A Direct Mail Marketing Deal !

Marketing

Are you looking for an easy and cost effective way to use Postcards to market your business? I came across this solution while reading a response by Barry Caputo of  the Marsid M and M Group,  in a popular marketing blog. He suggested using a service by the USPS called E.D.D.M. (Every Door Direct Mail). EDDM lets you pay a flat fee to mail a large postcard without the need for a mailing list. Just have the postcards printed and bundle them according to postal regulations (bundles of 100 pieces) and take them to the post office.  I checked it out for myself. For instance, I went to the map on their site, selected my select target area in Ashtabula and picked two particular routes: one going therough the central business district and one going through the main industrial district. The total delivery cost was $185 – not bad, for hitting every door and PO box in that area. Thanks, Barry  for this great marketing tip!  You can find out more here about EDDM at the USPS website: https://www.usps.com/business/every-door-direct-mail.htm.