Project Description

Arts Alliance Illinois

Developing digital strategies to engage and activate Chicagoans

Project: In 2012, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel released the Chicago Cultural Plan to build on Chicago’s rich cultural history and transform the city into a recognized national and international hub for arts and culture. The Cultural Plan included more than 200 specific initiatives but no organization in the city was monitoring and advocating for their implementation.

Resolute was engaged by Arts Alliance Illinois (AAI) to develop and help implement an initiative which would 1) monitor and report on progress of the implementation of the Cultural Plan; and 2) help position the Cultural Plan as a necessary and impactful strategy for the arts that can build community, stimulate economic development, create jobs, attract tourists and foster innovation.

Strategy: Resolute worked with AAI to manage a steering committee of more than 30 of the city’s top arts and cultural leaders to launch Accelerate Culture and establish actionable goals. We worked with AAI to brand and launch the initiative, including the

  • development of a logo and collateral materials
  • construction of a website, launch of social media pages
  • promotion in mainstream and community-based media.

As the 2015 Chicago municipal election approached, Resolute developed an aggressive outreach and communications campaign to

  • introduce mayoral and aldermanic candidates to Accelerate Culture,
  • secure a pledge of support from them for the Cultural Plan
  • grow the organization’s e-mail list.

There were just two weeks before the election and the campaign relied on a mix between

  • direct engagement of community organizations
  • a robust online paid digital media program using advertising on Facebook, Twitter, through Google AdWords
  • neighborhood-based online publications, such as

Resolute developed a data-targeting paid digital program which microtargeted potential supporters based on their geographic location/zip code, interests, and online search habits.

Outcome: Our goal through targeted advertising was to first introduce the initiative to new audiences, educate them, and secure their participation in the campaign by writing to their aldermanic candidates.

In just 12 days and with a budget of only $5,100, Resolute’s paid digital campaign resulted in:

  • More than 460,000 Chicagoans were reached through our digital ads on Facebook and Twitter
  • Nearly 13,000 unique visits to the Accelerate Culture website
  • More than 1,900 actions taken as a result of our paid Twitter campaign (retweets, replies, favorites, follows)
  • More than 1,600 contacts to aldermanic candidates through the campaign website – an average of one contact every ten minutes for 12 days

As a result of our campaign, 85 aldermanic candidates signed the Accelerate Culture pledge and 13 new organizations and 599 individuals joined Accelerate Culture.