Making a Difference in Flint: How We Helped the Flint Public Library Win [+ Free Case Study]

 In Our Work

We recently had the opportunity to work with the Flint Public Library on a new exciting project: a millage increase to maintain the services they provide to the people of Flint. From 2009 to 2013, the Library’s revenue dropped 50% due to property values dropping throughout the city. Even after cutting their budget dramatically, the Library still had a gap between its revenue and expenses. The need for the millage to raise funds was critical. That’s where the need for a creative solution and our services began.

The success of our work was critical because the Flint Public Library is truly the fabric of Flint. The library provides critical services to an underserved population by hosting vibrant programs for kids and families across Flint. A win for this campaign was a win for all the residents of Flint. So when the campaign committee for the Flint Public Library came to us with a challenge, we jumped at the chance to work with a service that has such a positive impact on its community.

Our Strategy
We created the “fabric of Flint” message in order to emphasize the true importance of the Library at the heart of the Flint community. In doing so, we helped propel a positive message for the overall campaign and encouraged voters to support the increase in their property taxes. We also incorporated images of actual Flint residents into our ads. We did all of the photography and message development for all three campaigns.

We used a multichannel approachwhich means we promoted our message through multiple media channelsto achieve optimal results. We ran three campaigns through Facebook ads, digital display ads, and targeted direct mail in order to reach our intended audience. For evidence of the multiplier effects of multichannel marketing, read about the digital multiplier effect and visit our blog on the Tri-County Office on Aging.

Finally, we strategically targeted voters in order to ensure the greatest impact per dollar spent. To be most effective, our direct mail campaign targeted two small pools of likely voters in the 2015 municipal elections, which we defined as “likely voters” and “highly likely voters.” Highly likely voters received all four pieces of mail, while likely voters received two pieces of mail.

Our varied combination of campaigns—including Facebook ads, display ads, and targeted direct mail—ensured the Library’s story reached the right eyes and delivered a powerful message.

On Election Day in November of 2015, they won with a commanding 73.4% of the vote—a far greater winning margin than projected. The library board and director were thrilled with our work, the positive comments they received about the mail and digital campaign, and with the outcome of the election. We happily attribute this success to the increased voter turnout from our direct mail campaign and wide reach from our digital ads.

To read more in depth about the Flint Public Library’s success story, sign up to receive our FREE full case study below for an insider’s look at the numbers and our winning approach!


Amy Libka is CMG’s Crafter of Strategic Communication. Amy combines strategy and creativity to help clients communicate as effectively as possible. She is passionate about clear, effective communication, and enjoys crafting messages that help individuals and groups achieve their goals. She specializes in creating content and managing digital advertising campaigns for a diverse group of clients.

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