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Community Engagement Client Videos
Client: Takata Airbag Recall
The Takata Airbag Recall is the largest automobile safety recall in U.S. history. When deployed, these defective airbags can launch metal shrapnel at the driver and passengers in a vehicle, potentially injuring or even killing them. The Houston-Harris…
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the rollout of healthcare exchanges, Blue Cross BlueShield of Texas launched the non-profit Be Covered coalition to educate the public about health insurance and the enrollment process. The…
The Census Bureau is responsible for producing official population estimates which dictate how and where over $675 billion in federal funding is allocated each year. It is imperative that localities ensure as many residents respond to the Census…
Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston region in 2017 delivering unprecedented amounts of flood damage to homes large and small. In early 2019, Harris County and the City of Houston (COH) were awarded approximately $1 billion dollars each…
Workforce Solutions – Gulf Coast is the public workforce development agency serving Houston- Harris County and the surrounding 13 county region. Outreach Strategists was selected for a 4-year contract by Workforce Solutions to provide a full …
Federal Monitor for the Takata Airbag Recall
The Takata Airbag Recall is the largest automobile safety recall in U.S. history. When deployed, these defective airbags can launch metal shrapnel at the driver and passengers in a vehicle, potentially injuring or even killing them. The Houston-Harris County region had the largest number of unrepaired airbags in the nation and the federal monitor considered the region to be its top area of concern. The federal monitor tasked Outreach Strategists with developing a plan to build public engagement and awareness of the recall and the life-saving remedies available to vehicle owners.
Leveraging our institutional knowledge and connections throughout Houston-Harris County, we built a coalition of diverse leaders–both community and elected–and stakeholders throughout the region. We supported these coalition members in developing messaging, providing talking points, and collateral materials. Initial rollout of the Airbag Recall campaign launched by a press conference at Houston City Hall generated significant press coverage and immediately elevated the issue in the public conversation. As we continued to develop our engagement efforts, particularly focused on minority and low-income communities, we created a first‑of‑its‑kind canvass campaign for the recall, leveraging the depth of data available to the federal monitor to send trained professionals directly to the doors of owners of recalled vehicles.
Outreach Strategists has built a coalition of over 140 community leaders, organizations, non-profits, and faith groups across the Greater Houston region to create awareness of this life-saving recall and remedy. We further led our community coalition in developing a grassroots outreach plan in partnership with local elected leaders. Our canvassing campaign, the first of its kind for a product safety recall, has reached out to 135,000 households and has a conversion rate of over 80% when we reach people at their residences. Based on the success of this campaign, our engagement model is currently being implemented in the Los Angeles CA–and Fort Lauderdale, FL–regions.
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the rollout of healthcare exchanges, Blue Cross BlueShield of Texas launched the non-profit Be Covered coalition to educate the public about health insurance and the enrollment process. The campaign was particularly focused on the under‑privileged, many whom would qualify for cost-sharing subsidies, and sought to empower them to make informed health care decisions.
BlueCross BlueShield of Texas is the state’s largest insurer. Working with BlueCross BlueShield, Outreach Strategists created a campaign in Houston and Dallas [the states’ two most populous cities] to educate consumers about the Affordable Care Act and create awareness around the health care exchange markets. We built and drove a grass‑tops healthcare coalition of over 160 community partners, including non-profits and faith groups, who shared critical information with their constituents. Community partners were provided with regular, up-to-date talking points and collateral materials, and these efforts were supported by active social media and earned media campaigns to create a wrap-around narrative that would communicate the importance of enrollment and critical deadlines across multiple mediums.
Be Covered partners and staff participated in and distributed information at more than 500 public events in targeted communities, driving awareness and participation among traditionally hard to reach communities. Community partners shared information and multi-language collateral through e-blasts, social media, and digital and print newsletters. In total, the campaign reached an estimated 670,000 people through trusted messengers, which led to an increase in ACA enrollments that exceeded initial expectations.
This successful program ran for three years, and our firm was recently retained to reinitiate the program, following a dip in health insurance enrollments in 2018.
The Census Bureau is responsible for producing official population estimates which dictate how and where over $675 billion in federal funding is allocated each year. It is imperative that localities ensure as many residents respond to the Census as possible. Outreach Strategists has been at the forefront of regional efforts to drive up response rates in Harris County, the City of Houston, and Fort Bend County.
In Harris County and the City of Houston, Outreach Strategists oversees a $4 million project consisting of outreach, communications, and data vendors. Our role is to provide strategic guidance in concert with vendors, task management ensuring data-driven implementation sourced from project’s data science assets (experiments, surveys, and predictive models), facilitate streamlined communication between vendors, and prevent duplication of efforts with other partners operating in the space such as elected officials, the United States Census Bureau, and other operating entities.
Additionally, Outreach Strategists, knowing the importance of community outreach and involvement also leaned on the community support of Fort Bend County and created a Complete County Committee to both provide feedback on our strategies and to inform traditionally hard to count populations of the importance of the federal census.
Outreach Strategists secured over $250,000 in in-kind donations for advertisement of the coordinated campaign. Outreach Strategists, utilizing data-driven strategies, also works to ensure that all collateral is distributed in areas that reflect the most hard to count populations.
In Fort Bend County, currently ranked first amongst counties in the state for response rate of residents, Outreach Strategists developed a layered campaign focused on digital and direct outreach. Outreach Strategists did this through securing over $400,000 in funding to support direct mail, peer-to-peer and SMS, and digital advertising in targeted hard to count communities in Fort Bend County. In the course of a single month the aggressive digital advertising campaign designed and initiated by Outreach Strategists reached more than 120,544 residents, aggregating 958,402 total impressions, and creating more and 2,500 click-thrus to the federal census website.
Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston region in 2017 delivering unprecedented amounts of flood damage to homes large and small. In early 2019, Harris County and the City of Houston (COH) were awarded approximately $1 billion dollars each in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to set up programs with these funds to provide homeowner assistance to those affected. Homeowners turned to the disaster recovery programs Project Recovery Harvey run by Harris County and Build it Forward run by the City of Houston to apply for assistance on their road to recovery. The City of Houston and Harris County looked to Outreach Strategists to raise awareness of this much needed funding.
Outreach Strategists engaged in various roles within the county and city programs to help applicants get started in the process as quickly as possible. Our primary role was to manage outreach and engagement for Project Recovery Harvey run by Harris County while our role in Houston’s Build it Forward program was to coordinate a citywide canvassing initiative.
Over the course of our outreach, we presented at over 200 community events across Harris County delivering presentations and doing pre-application intake, the first step toward assistance. Through our efforts, more than 8,000 people filled out a pre-application, exceeding the goal for the program.
Because of our close ties to local community organizations, we recruited and engaged local partners that know their neighbors best, as experts in their community to help spread the word to those affected. We also developed original social media content that they shared across several platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor.
Over the course of a year, we engaged approximately 180 organizations to share information about Project Recovery including 217 social media posts, spoke at over 200 community events, and secured 27 media hits worth $196,000. Through our outreach, more than 8,000 people filled out a pre-application for assistance in Harris County’s Project Recovery Harvey program. For Houston’s Build it Forward program, we knocked on over 180,000 doors and helped over 6,000 people apply for assistance. This resulted in the number of applications necessary for both the city and the county to determine eligibility and get homeowners one step closer on the road to recovery.
Gulfcoast Workforce Solutions
Workforce Solutions – Gulf Coast is the public workforce development agency serving Houston- Harris County and the surrounding 13 county region. Outreach Strategists was selected for a 4-year contract by Workforce Solutions to provide a full suite of public affairs and community engagement services, as well as media relations, focusing on both the general public and on regional employers.
Outreach Strategists has assisted Workforce Solutions in planning strategic engagement with key regional stakeholders. We have planned and led key public events, such as rolling out a series of roundtable discussions on Workforce Solutions’ semi-annual regional Workforce Report Card. We have pursued earned media opportunities to highlight the success of Workforce Solutions’ programs, and highlight the successes of both employers and employees who have benefited from its services. Outreach Strategists has advised Workforce Solutions on social media, and produces regular features highlighting monthly employment reports and explaining their significance in plain English. We have also been in a leadership role in planning, executing, and generating awareness and media coverage for Workforce Solutions’ annual ‘Hiring Red, White & You’ veteran’s job fair, the largest such event in Texas. In addition to securing media coverage, we have also taken the lead in creating original video that Workforce Solutions features on both its website and social media.
In 2019 alone, Outreach Strategists secured 72 unique media hits for Workforce Solutions, with an equivalent ad value of over $700,000. Our work on strategic engagement has created multiple partnerships for the agency with large regional employers and public officials. Our staff have been instrumental in planning and executing many high-profile events including career office grand openings, ‘Hiring Red, White & You’ job fair, multi-agency meetings, and community-based roundtables that have deepened key relationships. Events have attracted support from high- level guests including Mayor Turner, City of Houston council members, and other elected officials at all levels of government.