Client: University of Rhode Island
Issue: In the fall of 2014, the University of Rhode Island engaged Advocacy Solutions to serve as the general campaign manager for the Yes On 4 – Engineering Rhode Island’s Future campaign to win voter approval of Question 4, a $125 million bond to build a state-of-the-art new College of Engineering facility.
Campaign: Working closely with URI’s communications team, Advocacy Solutions’ developed and executed a campaign plan to educate Rhode Island voters about the critical importance of Question 4 and a new URI’s College of Engineering facility to the state’s economic future. Campaign activities included:
- Providing polling analysis and overall campaign strategy consulting.
- Securing endorsements from state business and labor leaders including the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance, the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council, and the Rhode Island AFL-CIO.
- Organizing a successful campaign kickoff event that garnered coverage in all major local television, radio, and print outlets including NBC-10, WPRI-12, ABC 6, WPRO News, the Providence Journal, and the Providence Business News.
- Developing highly engaging and shareable content for the Engineering4RI Facebook page and Twitter account.
- Coordinating all television, radio, print, web, and social media advertising buys.
- Earning editorial endorsements from the Providence Journal, Providence Business News, Warwick Beacon, Newport Daily News, and the South County Independent, and authored and placed op-eds and letters to the editor in the Providence Journal, Providence Business News, and other local papers.
Result: Question 4 passed with 63% of the vote, one of the highest percentages ever for a higher education bond question.
CLIENT: Mayor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council
ISSUE: With nearly one-in-four of Providence teens smoking cigarettes by the time of reaching their senior year in high school, the Mayor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council (MSAPC) launched a city-wide public awareness and advocacy campaign to empower teens to say no to tobacco products and deceptive marketing efforts.
CAMPAIGN: Advocacy Solutions was engaged by MSAPC to serve as Tobacco-Free Providence campaign manager. Working closely with MSAPC staff, Advocacy Solutions developed overall messaging and implemented a comprehensive campaign including:
- Launching and maintaining the www.tobaccofreeprovidence.org website as an information tool for Providence parents and teens.
- Launching and maintaining Tobacco-Free Providence Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Developing a Tobacco-Free Providence video for sharing on social media.
- Developing collateral materials including palm cards, post cards, window decals, and banners.
- Executing a paid media campaign including bus, radio, newspaper, and social media advertisements.
- Organizing a Tobacco-Free Providence rally.
- Earning press coverage in the Providence Journal, Providence En Espanol, Providence American, Providence Business News, and Rhode Island Public Radio. In total, Tobacco-Free Providence generated 160 earned media clips, including a mix of print, television, and radio coverage.
RESULT: Tobacco-Free Providence recruited hundreds of Providence teens and parents to directly engage with the campaign via Facebook, Twitter, and a campaign rally which drew more than 200 attendees to oppose deceptive tobacco marketing efforts. The city-wide paid and earned media campaign also successfully raised general awareness of the dangers of tobacco use for teenagers.
Our Advocacy Solutions team, alongside the University of Rhode Island, was pleased to accept a Public Relations Society of America, Southeastern New England Chapter 2015 Excellence in Campaigns Award on April 15, winning the “Public Affairs” category.
The PRSA award, judged by an external panel of public relations professionals in California, evaluated our public affairs campaign on its overview, objectives, planning and strategy, measurement and results.
During the 2014 General Election, Rhode Island voters were presented with one of the largest bond referendums in the state’s history, Question 4, a $125 million bond for the construction of a new University of Rhode Island (URI) College of Engineering facility. Together with URI, we ran a state-wide public affairs campaign, with key media and voter outreach strategies, to win the passage of Question 4.
Our campaign team launched a three month public affairs campaign, “Engineering Rhode Island’s Future,” to mitigate any negative opinions toward the bond referendum, generate public awareness of the significant need for a new URI College of Engineering facility, garner industry and public support for the approval of Question 4 and ultimately persuade voters to vote “yes” on Question 4. Voters approved the bond by a two to one margin, with 63% of registered voters approving the bond and 38 out of 39 total cities and towns approving the bond.
To read more about other AS campaign successes, click here.
Advocacy Solutions is excited to announce to our clients, colleagues and friends that Linda D’Amario Rossi, a seasoned government relations and social services professional, now serves as Of Counsel to our firm.
Prior to joining Advocacy Solutions, Linda worked for 10 years in the marketing and government relations division at the Public Consulting Group in Boston, M.A., an international consulting firm focusing on education, health, human services and technology, and most recently served on Governor Gina Raimondo’s 2014-2015 Transition Team.
With Linda’s expertise, we are thrilled to add further value to our firm’s clients and help advance their agendas in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Linda brings with her experience serving at the cabinet level in the public child welfare, juvenile justice and children’s mental health sectors for governors in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Texas and Maryland.
Linda joins our strong team of public affairs, government relations and communications professionals at an exciting time of year. She has expressed her enthusiasm about the opportunity to use her unique experience and skill set to support our clients and create new opportunities for our firm.
We look forward to providing continued great work for our clients. Please join us in welcoming Linda to our team, and feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
-Your team at Advocacy Solutions
Client: Woonsocket Education Department
Issue: Due to financial concerns, in 2011 the City of Woonsocket was forced to cut full-day kindergarten to a half-day program. Seeking to restore this critical early learning program, the leadership of the Woonsocket Education Department engaged Advocacy Solutions to communicate the educational benefits of full-day kindergarten and the program’s affordability due to changes in the state’s school funding formula.
Campaign: To educate Woonsocket residents and elected leaders about the benefits of full-day kindergarten and to overcome lingering concerns about the financial impact of restoring the program, Advocacy Solutions:
- Worked hand-in-hand with the Superintendent and the Woonsocket Education Department’s Finance Director to develop a concise, jargon free fact sheet and press release outlining the educational and fiscal benefits of restoring full-day kindergarten.
- Developed a detailed full-day kindergarten PowerPoint presentation for the Superintendent to deliver to the Woonsocket School Board.
- Organized a press briefing to educate local reporters about the Woonsocket Education Department’s plan to restore full-day kindergarten.
- Reached out to third party supporters including Rhode Island Kids Count, United Way of Rhode Island, the Latino Policy Institute, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, and the Center for Southeast Asians to testify in favor of restoring full-day kindergarten.
Result: The Woonsocket School Board and the Woonsocket Budget Commission voted to restore full-day kindergarten.