The problem of homelessness plagues thousands of people throughout Central Florida every year. In fact, the region is currently home to the largest population of homelessness in the country among other regions its size. The Central Florida Regional Commission on Homelessness is tasked with the seemingly superhuman task of solving this problem by bringing together government entities, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and other local interest groups to create meaningful change.
In previous years, the Commission has struggled to generate community support for ending homelessness. While there have always been those who sympathize with the plight of the homeless, many in Central Florida saw people on the streets as lazy bums who lived off the government and the charity of others.
Andrae Bailey took the helm at the Commission on Homelessness in 2013, and immediately pledged to take a new approach– one that incorporated the energy and efforts of the grassroots community in Central Florida. He knew that without the support of the public, homelessness would remain a low priority in the eyes of local influencers.
Social Media Growth:
- Summer and early fall of 2013: plotted a community engagement strategy
- Consulted on branding, content planning, and strategic use of social media
- Rebranding the Commission to turn it into the provocative Rethink Homelessness campaign
- Critique and improve posting strategy and campaign marketing, including the website, blogging, and other social platforms
- Aggressive campaign of strategically targeted Facebook ads to reach target audience throughout Central Florida
- Grew page reach to more than 10,000 fans by Christmas 2013
Rethink Homelessness launched their social media campaign officially on October 10, 2013 with 100 likes on Facebook and a smaller presence on Twitter and Google+. The commission staff was responsible for creating emotionally compelling content, and brought a videographer to the team early on to facilitate visual content.
Central Florida is finally starting to see meaningful change in the dialogue about homelessness, and key local and statewide leaders have become newly engaged in the issue, thanks to the increased public advocacy.
The campaign has continued to grow exponentially in 2014 with the viral popularity of their ‘Cardboard Stories’ YouTube video, and we continue to consult with them as the campaign transitions into its next phase.
The new phase of Rethink Homelessness focuses on the need to Rethink Change. Early phases have included a fundraising campaign at an Orlando Magic game and a new series of billboards featuring community leaders.
As part of this campaign, we designed and launched a new and ever-growing website for Rethink Homelessness. Designed to drive users to action, the site features four easy action steps, front and center, and facilitates a blog as well as ongoing video content.