What is the best way to proceed when trying to get a measure passed at election time?
There are many things to consider, including sentimental feelings when dealing with some topics.
In this case, the Golden Gate and East Naples Fire Control and Rescue districts were attempting to merge.
This brought with it a sense of losing a community identity, as the two districts had no “official” legal municipal boundaries. The fire districts were created out of need and many local residents did a lot to ensure their success during the growing years.
A broad base of support was needed to overcome the sentimental value many placed in the way, along with fears of losing an identity, and mistrust of some of the parties involved.
Public Relations Strategy
A public relations strategy was needed to go before the community and a manner needed to hold the information and make it readily available and easy to share it with the community.
Social-Impact was contracted to provide a media platform that could reach across many demographics and social circles in the community. Transparency in all phases was agreed upon from the beginning.
Website Development with Social Media and Electronic Newsletter
A mobile friendly website (responsive design) was created that would highlight the benefits of a consolidated fire service, including a short slide show with strong images with emergency services photos.
A merger plan book was created and updated regularly so the public could learn all of the details. This was made into an online flipbook that could be viewed in many different formats from mobile phones, to desktop computers.
The web platforms created included a Facebook Page, Google+ page with a You Tube Channel, and a Twitter page.
The site was designed to be updated with news by categories as public opinion moved through the community. The site would contain news stories, video stories, and radio shows that would be gathered into the website.
Once the stories were created they were sent out through the social media platforms created.
In addition, an electronic newsletter campaign was built, that was branded with the same image as the website and social media platforms.
Many community presentations were provided and many opportunities for the public to get engaged, and get their questions answered.
The election is in November – the proof is still in the pudding.