How We Helped: AFT Michigan

 In Our Work

This past fall we had the opportunity to work closely with our friends at AFT Michigan to help promote a pro-public education majority in Michigan. From redesigning their quarterly publication to communicating with their members on Facebook, we helped AFT communicate essential voting information to their members. We love how the designs turned out – check ‘em out below!

We began by redesigning AFT Michigan’s quarterly publication, the Forum, which is received by all 22,000+ AFT members in Michigan. While it has always maintained a far reach, it had not made a notable impact on AFT members in recent years. The visuals, layout, and presentation of content was outdated and uninspired, leaving its readers with a similar sentiment.

The AFT MI team asked us to give the AFT Forum a fresh new look to boost its readership and impact among recipients. The publication features important information for voters, including a full list of endorsed candidates and absentee ballot to promote the election of a pro-public education majority. We paired a bold, contemporary look and feel with well organized content in the Election 2016 issue. The redesigned Forum better reflects the essential work AFT MI does to protect and promote public education in Michigan.

Our redesign received exceedingly positive feedback from AFT members around the state. In an election that put public education at risk, members appreciated the high-quality, informative resource AFT Michigan provided. And we also received positive feedback from our contacts at AFT Michigan – here’s what AFT Michigan’s president had to say about working with us:

“The team at Change Media Group is incredibly helpful and are the go-to firm for our design and digital needs. They designed mailings and digital communications to our members that helped us communicate with our members in 2016. They helped us navigate the complexities of PAC fundraising and connecting with our members on social media. Amanda and her team are great partners for us and understand what it takes to break through with union members.”

– David Hecker, President of AFT Michigan

The AFT team received the following feedback from an AFT member, and they were kind enough to forward it along to us – we LOVE seeing our work make a positive impact!

“THANK YOU, Thank you, thank you for the Forum. Your call to action, the lists of endorsements and the absentee ballot are great. I don’t remember seeing this kind of document in previous election years, but this election is so much more important for all of our futures!”

As part of our redesign, we also created a sub-brand that was used on rally signs, fliers, and across the web. A tear-out version was included on the last page of the Forum, which educators tore out and hung in their classrooms. President Bill Clinton was photographed with the corresponding rally sign that featured the sub-brand at a Labor Day rally in Detroit. The “I vote for Kids, Schools, Public Education” design was shared across Facebook leading up to election day.

A few weeks after receiving the AFT Forum, members received a series of mail pieces. We designed the mail pieces with a similar look & feel, focusing on the importance of electing a pro-public education majority in Michigan. The example below was mailed to Michigan’s 23rd House District in support of State Representative Darrin Camilleri.

As the election grew closer, we began echoing AFT’s message to their members on Facebook. This is what we call our multichannel approach, and we’ve found echoing the same message across multiple mediums greatly increases message recall. The following ads were displayed only in the Facebook newsfeeds of AFT members.

Though many of AFT MI’s endorsed candidates struggled to make up for the presidential deficit in Michigan, the materials they provided to members was informative, clear, and essential to promoting public education. We were so pleased to lend a helping hand in this process and we can’t wait to see the great work our friends at AFT MI do next.


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As Creative Director, Kalli Barrone has a hand in all things visual. She coordinates creative strategy and conceptualization, implements internal marketing efforts, and creates visual content for digital and print. Kalli has a background in visual communications and holds degrees in graphic design and communication studies from the University of Michigan.

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