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

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$13,000 Wedding Video Winner or $100,000 Lawsuit Loser – What’s Your Opinion?

OK, gang, opinion time. Watch this wedding video and tell me if you think it is so bad that the bride should sue the video production company for $100,000 or if you think she is full of it. Dave and I still shoot wedding videos our our sister company, SB Productions. We used to shoot and edit weddings for Media Magic, so we have had more than our fair share of experiences with brides and wedding videography. Mostly positive, I must say. My take: the bride was so distracted by everything else leading up to the wedding, that she did not pay attention to the video producer during the customer interview and did not bother to look at the videographer’s sample videos (it happens). It has been my experience that any company that produces this type of high-end cinematic wedding videos always gives the bride and groom an idea of what they plan to do. Especially if they are paying $13,000 for it. To me, that’s a bit high, but hey, that did not seem to be the couple’s complaint. I’m not that fond of that style of wedding video as the one and only end product (we used to offer those as Wedding Video Montages or Music Videos, along with a longer video with ceremony and reception highlights) but things are different these days. Given the style, I thought it was well crafted. This is the current trendy wedding video style and I see videos produced like this all of the time. Young people generally have shorter attention spans these days and brides had been complaining to us that they did not want to watch the old fashion, hour-long wedding videos with sermons, photo shoots, speeches, hours of line dancing, etc. Your thoughts? Bride Sues Videographer for $122,000.

Media Magic’s David Walker hits the Big 5-0!!!

Happy Birthday to Media Magic’s Director of Photography, David Grant Walker… turning 50 today, and now eligible for an AARP card! Much love and happiness to you!David Grant Walker- Director of Photography