Family League of Baltimore - Communications Department of the Year

 

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Company: Family League of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Company Description: Since 1991, Family League of Baltimore has mobilized resources, empowered communities, and built the capacity of organizations to provide children and families with high quality programs and services that help them reach their full potential. FLB ensures public dollars invested in programs and services align with community priorities.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications Department of the Year

Nomination Title: Family League of Baltimore External Relations

Tell the story about what this nominated department achieved since January 1, 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Family League of Baltimore (FLB) is entrusted with state and city funds to serve as an innovative nonprofit hub, partnering with local organizations to invest in initiatives that improve access to opportunities for children and families in under-served communities. FLB is focused on achieving results exclusively for residents of Baltimore City, where roughly a quarter live in poverty and 72 percent of children qualify for free and reduced price lunch.

In 2016, FLB fully staffed its small External Relations Department (FLBER) for the first time in many years, following a period of retrenchment due to a shift in government funding priorities. The three-person department was responsible in 2016 for every aspect of external stakeholder and policy communications (print, web, social media), branding, collateral, investor relations, and media relations. On average, nonprofits in our budget range ($10m+) have 4.75 communications FTEs; our productivity level is high by comparison.

Building trust, understanding, and awareness of FLB’s complex role and unique value proposition in the local nonprofit landscape is FLBER’s top priority, especially in light of a new strategic push to diversify FLB’s revenues in 2017. This entails devising creative ways, using every medium at our disposal, to efficiently capture the attention of hundreds of elected officials and public and private stakeholders and inform them of our work and good stewardship.

FLBER addressed these challenges in 2016 by developing new identity messaging, new print collateral, strategically integrating print and social media campaigns, beefing up policy and advocacy communications to inform the legislative process, and using multiple platforms to showcase the impact of FLB’s work and that of its partners.

Major campaigns executed by FLBER’s three-person team in 2016 include:

Events

-FLB 25th Anniversary Celebration. Designed logo, invitation, program, registration page, and web page; wrote fundraising appeal letter; scripted remarks for CEO, Board Chair, and Mayor; and managed all social media for this milestone event. Attendance: 197. FLB raised $100,000.
-Conference to Assess the Impact of Parental Incarceration on Children. For the region’s first conference on this socially important topic, FLBER designed logo, invitation, program, registration page, and web page, and developed all content for a smartphone-based conference app hosted by Cvent. FLBER oversaw program content and guided production of third-party videos. 200 attended.
-2016 Annual Meeting. Designed all thematic materials, including invitation, program, posters highlighting program outcomes; scripted remarks for CEO and the Mayor.

Video

-Conceived, scripted and closely monitored production of the organization’s first introductory video, in partnership with a third-party videography team.
-Independently filmed and edited short videos highlighting the lives of men of color in Baltimore; one of these was screened at the White House as part of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.
-Independently filmed and edited four original videos highlighting community recipients of FLB’s annual awards, unveiled at the 2016 Annual Meeting.

Collateral

Created new print pieces to help elected officials and potential donors better understand the organization’s value, including an introduction to Community Schools, which represents the largest component of FLB’s investment portfolio. Nothing like this existed prior to this piece.

Branding

Led the organization’s first proprietary product naming/branding effort for a new data management software application tied to measuring community outcomes. FLBER generated names; led an innovative group process to select a copyright-eligible winner; and developed (in-house) the logo, mark and style guide for developers to follow.

Policy & Advocacy

Created FLB’s first comprehensive, data-driven policy transition package to inform the city’s new incoming Mayor’s transition staff about FLB’s values, scope, and outcomes; used social media to inform and influence lawmakers by judiciously sharing data-driven outcomes.

Social Media

Used a variety of tactics to more than double year over year Facebook and Twitter metrics.

Media

Earned print, radio, and TV coverage throughout the year. All major local media outlets covered our crisis communications campaign to ensure that after-school meals were delivered during a major blizzard.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this nominated department since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

-Successfully transitioned control of all external communications from out-of-house to in-house, reducing reliance on external vendors while improving quality and timeliness.
-Grew social media significantly.
-Facebook--CY2016 over CY2015:
-Reach increased 237% (351,050).
-Engagements increased 158% (18,253).
-817 new likes.
-Twitter--CY2016 over CY2015:
-Impressions increased 168% (367,800).
-Profile visits increased 106% (9,969).
-623 new followers.
-Created several “firsts” for FLB, including a new organizational video; new print collateral highlighting the largest component of FLB’s portfolio (Community Schools); and a new brand identity for a new proprietary data collection tool.
-Created new policy communications strategies that boost FLB’s ability to inform and educate a new mayor, new council members, and state legislators on policy priorities that will lead to new legislation in 2017.