Building Awareness

PROBLEM
Chicago’s TIFWorks program was
suffering from a lack of awareness. Employers in TIF Districts were unaware that TIF dollars were available for employee training. Concerned only with day-to-day operations, smaller firms did not understand the value of training. In addition, the negative perception of dealing with a “city program” needed to be corrected.

SOLUTION
We started by interviewing employers who completed the program, prospective employers, trainers and TIFWorks staff to measure awareness and understand current perceptions. A Communications Plan was developed which summarized the research and SWOT analysis, and recommended messaging, positioning and prioritized communication tactics.

Studio V Design then addressed misperceptions head-on with a multi-phase direct mail campaign targeting companies in under-represented TIF Districts. Each mailer took one commonly-held misperception and countered it with a real-life employer testimonial and case study. Additional information in each mailer described the program and next steps.

RESULTS
The number of employers participating in the program grew to more than 200, compared to 20 to 30 before the campaign.


Intro Text: 

"You have helped us communicate the City's ambitious initiatives in a clear, powerful way."

Rahm Emanuel
Mayor, City of Chicago

Intro Text: 

"I don't think this company has ever seen work like we saw today. I'm very impressesd."

Michael Mulhern
President, Alliant Foodservice
$7 billion distribution company

Intro Text: 

"The Studio V Design effort gave us a common platform for all public communication. Our sales reps knew what to say. We had a consistent positioning. Our workers had an icon to rally around. We are better off today than two years ago." 

Phil Brown
Vice President - Marketing RR Donnelley
$3 billion communication provider