Case Study: Public Outreach Campaigns that Communities Say Yes To
Messaging and outreach aren’t just for businesses. A public outreach campaign that is geared to the community to activate and get involved in policy is just as strategic and creative as any advertising campaign. Kinetic’s stellar record with public outreach can be easily seen with our work with SD2.
Billings Public Schools District 2 (SD2) is the largest school district in Montana and is increasingly facing challenges associated with aging facilities and infrastructure – compounded by a growing population and schools struggling to meet space needs for effective learning and teaching.
Having not successfully passed a school mill levy in more than a dozen years, SD2 engaged Kinetic Marketing & Creative in 2019 to assist in developing and executing a comprehensive public outreach program to communicate the need and benefits of passing this high-school focused levy to the community. This effort was successful; the levy passed, and we were established as SD2’s communications partner in planning for the upcoming 2020 elementary school mill levy.
After the successful 2019 mill levy that supported the high schools, the Kinetic team put our robust, cross-channel strategy into action once again to raise support for the 2020 elementary school mill levy. This plan included digital initiatives such as social media outreach, website development, video production and social media advertising. Plans for phone banks, door knockers and presentations were drawn up. We leveraged every available means to connect with the public in the run-up to the crucial vote to be held in May
Then… Covid-19 hit. We immediately recognized the need to change our message and rethink our approach and launch dates. The Kinetic team began by assisting the superintendent in communicating with the community about school closures and pandemic precautions as well as the importance of passing the levy, simultaneously. We implemented a daily Facebook Live stream with the superintendent, providing key talking points, coaching and tech support, posted and monitored social media (Facebook and Instagram), and developed print collateral such as yard signs and mailers.
The superintendent’s first Facebook Live garnered over 5,000 views with an engagement rate of 4%. Over the course of the 16 weeks leading up to the election, SD2 saw a 42% increase in followers and a nearly 30% engagement rate. Finally, May arrived, and with it came a huge triumph for the entire community – the mill levy was passed with a 54% – 46% margin—providing much needed financial assistance to support the elementary schools in the district.
Kinetic truly believes in community and ensuring our neighbors are taken care of and have everything they need. We were so happy to be a part of this public outreach campaign. Download a PDF of this case study here.