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

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

Good Reading – Living the Curious Life – 12 Good Reasons to Give it a Whirl #Curiosity

A great article, brought to my attention by Becky Gaylord Director, Engagement Center at United Way of Greater Cleveland .

12 most compelling reasons to live a curious life


             Celebrating 20 Years of Award-Winning

Advertising, Public Relations and

 Video Production

     phone: 440-294-2431



Contact:  Cheryl Dickson-Walker  (cell) 440:645-9472  (studio) 440-294-2431  (fax) 440:294-2492





JEFFERSON, OH.  Media Magic Productions, LLC, Northeast Ohio’s award-winning advertising and public relations marketing agency, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in business. Founded in March of 1997 by Cheryl Dickson-Walker and the late Carol Dickson, this minority and female-owned business is based in Ashtabula County at its studios in rural New Lyme Township. The firm has served more than 100 clients from California to New Jersey, with a focus on the renewable energy and composite plastic industries.

“In our March, 1997 mission statement, our primary directive was to deliver to Ashtabula County businesses the same high quality of professional advertising and public relations services that companies in Cleveland and other major cities expect to receive”, says Cheryl Dickson-Walker, President and Creative Director of Media Magic, and winner of four Cleveland Emmy awards. “The other part of our mission is to spread the word around the world about our region’s outstanding businesses, organizations and tourist attractions. Twenty years later, we believe we are succeeding in achieving these goals for all of our clients, near and far.”

Media Magic is a fully integrated marketing company. Working with a ‘Dream Team’ of highly skilled professionals, Media Magic specializes in providing creative and cutting-edge marketing strategies for small and medium sized businesses, organizations and municipalities. Consultation is available for traditional and new media advertising, branding and public relations campaigns and developing strategic marketing plans.

“Media Magic takes a holistic approach to working with our clients”, says Dickson-Walker. “We assess all of our customer’s marketing needs, and then offer solutions that maximize our client’s marketing dollars. We then give them tools to track and quantify results, ensuring that they get a high return on investment.”

Unlike many advertising agencies, Media Magic’s audio, video, graphic design and web production is done an in-house, using state-of-the-art technology. Creative Services capabilities include copywriting, on-location and post-production of  radio ,television and web commercials and teleproductions for broadcast local cable and internet web casts, promotional, sales and training videos, Public Relations services include social media and mobile marketing, publicity, media relations and crisis management, political campaign marketing and creation of multimedia marketing kits and collateral printed materials.

Some of Media Magic’s most recent projects include a group of 7 manufacturing marketing videos for The Marshfield Group, a series of 5 promotional web videos for Kent State University at Ashtabula and an award-winning promotional video for Ashtabula County board of Developmental Disabilities; a series of Welcome Videos for Molded Fiber Glass Companies, several promotional and training videos for Cristal Global, a three-year public relations, event planning and social media marketing project for The Northern Ohio ALS Project and a year-long multimedia advertising and public relations campaign for Aloterra Energy. Recent television and radio commercial campaigns include dozens of radio, TV and print/billboard ads for Community First Credit Union and more than a dozen TV and radio ads for local and statewide political campaigns. The Media Magic team also produced a short documentary film, ‘Meth-dot-Com’, chronicling the methamphetamine problem in extreme northeast Ohio.

For more information on Media Magic, visit our website, www.mediamagicohio  and contact Cheryl Dickson-Walker:(cell) 440-645-9472; studio line: 440-294-2431, or e-mail:



ideas in motion


             Celebrating 15 Years of Award-Winning

Advertising, Public Relations and

 Video Production

     phone: 440-294-2431



Contact:  Cheryl Dickson-Walker  (cell) 440:645-9472  (studio) 440-294-2431  (fax) 440:294-2492

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  February 24, 2012


LOCAL ONLINE PETITION DRIVE STARTED TO SAVE ASHTABULA TOWN CENTER SEARS STORE                                                                                                  SLATED FOR CLOSING


JEFFERSON, OH.  An Ashtabula County businesswoman has started a local petition campaign to reverse the decision to close the Sears store at the Ashtabula Town Center mall. Today, Media Magic Creative Director, Cheryl Dickson-Walker created a petition on the website “”, calling for Sears Holding Company to keep the store open, and save dozens of local jobs.

“Ashtabula County has few big name shopping outlets in the county”, said Dickson-Walker. “Sears is one of the oldest and most trusted names in retail and local residents have depended on shopping this store for appliances, automotive and home improvement tools and goods for decades. The proposed closing of this retail store in Ashtabula Township will devastate our community.”

After monitoring online discussions about the closing, Dickson-Walker decided it was time to fight back, initially, by starting an online petition campaign.

“ It’s up to each of us to stand up and take action and  protest this action by Sears Holding Corporation, said Dickson-Walker. “Corporations, such as Sears, do not like negative publicity, and  petition campaigns, such as this, can and have had a dramatic effect on events, in the past. Just look at what happened when people sent out petitions and protestedwith the Susan B Komen decision  to eliminate Planned Parenthood funding. You can make change.”

Sear’s decision to close the Ashtabula Township store will directly impact the lives of dozens of local people.

“According to news reports, at least 40 people will lose their jobs, the township and the county stands to lose thousands of dollars in tax revenues”, said Dickson-Walker. “Our nearly deserted Mall may not survive the loss of another anchor store. This would be disastrous economically for our struggling community. We need our local elected officials to join us in working to get Sears back in discussions about closing this store and saving local jobs. We are not helpless- we can make things happen.”

The “Save our Ashtabula Sears” petition can be signed by going to Change,org’s website: . The petition is being circulated by email and on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other local political forums and blogs.

For more information on how you can sign the ‘Save our Ashtabula Sears” online petition at, contact Cheryl Dickson-Walker: cell) 440-645-9472, studio line: 440-294-2431, or e-mail:    

Save the Ashtabula Sears Store!

Please sign our petition to save the Ashtabula Towne Center Sears Store. At least 40 jobs are at stake and thousands of dollars in desperately need tax revenue. Pass this on to your friends and family!

Occupy Cleveland and Ashtabula Groups stand in solidarity with Orwell woman losing home to unjust foreclosure

WARREN DILLAWAY / Star Beacon MORE THAN a dozen members of the Occupy Movement camped out at 7234 Route 45, Orwell Township, Wednesday night and Thursday morning in solidarity with Christine Cart, who was eventually evicted from her home. occupy

Ashtabula City Solicitor Michael Franklin Discusses Campaign Issues in new 30-minute Podcast- now available on iTunes and YouTube


Bucci\’s Banter: Ashtabula County Insider – Mike Franklin Interview Ashtabula City Solicitor Michael Franklin (Independent) is one of the latest guests to appear with host, David Bucci, on the ‘Bucci’s Banter: Ashtabula County Insider’ weekly podcast.

During the 30-minute interview, Franklin, who is running, this year, for re-election to the office of Ashtabula City Solicitor, discusses his candidacy, including his personal background and qualifications for the position. Franklin also answers questions about the proper role of the City Solicitor and his many accomplishments during his first term in office, including negotiating a City-County Sewer Agreement that opened the way for new economic development in the city.

You can listen, watch or download the complete Bucci’s Banter Ashtabula County Insider podcast with Mike Franklin, beginning Wednesday, October 5,  online, at iTunes:, or at Re-Elect Michael Franklin, City Solicitor campaign website and Youtube : and

Bucci’s Banter” is a podcast series made by David Bucci for the Happy Hacker BBS II message forum,  Covered are general topics, interviews and discussions about Ashtabula County, Ohio, including politics, business, community and local entertainment. The RSS feed for the podcast is, and can also be found in the iTunes podcast directory. For more information on ‘Bucci’s Banter- Ashtabula County Insider’ podcast programs, contact David Bucci at 440-964-8119 or .

For more information about Ashtabula City Solicitor Mike Franklin and the Re-Elect Franklin for City Solicitor campaign, please visit our website:  , or contact Cheryl Dickson-Walker, publicist, at Media Magic: cell: 440-645-9472; studio: 440-294-2431 or .