Case Histories in Memo Format

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  • 1. Mohan- Writing Sample 3The purpose of this assignment was to review and analyze two case histories from Silver Anvilwinners and write a memo that generally addresses the following topics/questions. 1. Describe the problem, challenge or opportunity faced by the organization. Add any of your own insights or observations about the situation. 2. Write a brief summary of the ideas for the program and the rationale that the client and agency had for them. If there is no rationale or strategy stated explicitly, please speculate. 3. Discuss and explain results. 4. Give some thought to what made the program good and in what respects do you think it could have been strengthened. 5. Finally, discuss the similarities and differences of both of the cases reviewed. What improvements could both cases have made?
  • 2. Mohan- Writing Sample 3January 30, 2013MEMORANDUMTO: Al AkersonFROM: Maureen MohanSUBJECT: Case History Analysis for 4100Upon examination of two Silver Anvil Winners, the following analysis can be made.St. Louis was seen as a “Rustbelt” despite urban transformations, as remarked by urbanologistNeal Peirce. Those who lived both inside and outside of the city still saw St. Louis as not viablefor bringing business to the city. Research found that there was a gap between internal andexternal perceptions of the city and long-time residents did not see the advantages the city had tooffer even though external business people did. This program sought to change the overall viewof St. Louis as a “rustbelt” city and increase its role as a business location for commercial realestate investors, executives and business owners small and large. Fleishman-Hillard developedstrategies which focused on current business owners, that they then used to tell the St. Louisstory. Using business owners, gave credibility to the four main messages (detailed below) put outvia peer-to-peer marketing and the creation of a website.The four main messages were: 1) St. Louis offers big-city sophistication with the convenience and intimacy of a smaller city. 2) St. Louisans are well-educated and productive and there are many to hire. 3) It is a diverse city in a central location. 4) St. Louis offers favorable conditions to start and develop businesses.In order to enact the strategies and get these messages to the public, Fleishman-Hillard launchedthe brand with a VIP rollout event which debuted the website and an animation piece thatsummarized the brand. At the event hey distributed economic fact books to 150 local businessesand civic leaders. The website got a complete overhaul in design and content that infused thebrand’s messages. Fleishman- Hillard pitched more than 15 story ideas that relayed the brandmessages and focused on events and issues that would draw reporters interest.The result of this program was an increase both in deals in the works and website viewership thatcorresponded with the timing of major media coverage. There were 47 stories about favorableconditions for businesses in St. Louis and more than 38 million impressions. Website visitorsincreased 43% and the average website session was 21 minutes compared to 13 on the previoussite. During 2006 13 deals closed that represented 1,481 new jobs and $76 million in new payrolland $492 million in new capital investments.The program was well executed but what remains unclear is how the website was promoted, willthe average person or even interested person have heard of it or was it just meant for business
  • 3. Mohan- Writing Sample 3owners? For such a big undertaking, it appears as though Fleishman-Hillard did everything theycould have to promote St. Louis as a business center. If they were going to do more they wouldhave to expand the program into a longer time period. The focus on business is important buttourism groups and event planning groups could have been targeted more, targeting tourismgroups and conventions being held in St. Louis would also help change how the city is viewed.However, it seems as though most of the objectives were met within the time period and the onlyway to fully meet the objectives and change the view of St. Louis as a “rustbelt” is to extend theprogram’s time period.Next, a program that does not deal with brand management will be looked at. In this case the IRSwanted to encourage taxpayers to e-file their tax return in order to increase e-filing to 80% by2012. They also wanted to increase awareness about the Free File Program, in this program, theIRA partnered with brand-name software making it possible for people to e-file their taxes. Therate of e-filing has been increasing but the IRS Free File Program declined in 6% in 2009, theywanted to increase the number of people using Free File. The IRS partnered with Ogilvy PR toachieve their mandate that 80% of all tax returns are e-filed by 2012. The IRS also wantedOgilvy PR to continue to make taxpayers aware of the Free File program and also wanted morepeople to use the program. To do this Ogilvy PR did extensive research and outlined three mainaudiences that the Free File Program should target through out the program, these audienceswere young independents, struggling families and tech-savvy seniors. They also found out thatgenerally filing taxes is a disliked activity because it seen as an arduous, complicated task. Tocounter this Ogilvy PR developed the message “Let Free File do the hard work”, this helped tosend the message to tax filers that using the Free File program would be easier than preparingtheir taxes themselves.Using this information, several modes of advertising was implemented, all of them in Englishand Spanish, including TV, Radio and PSA ads. Materials used with brand-name partnersincluded talking points, fact sheets, newsletter articles, social media posts and a campaignwidget, e-badge and PSA that were available on a microsite. A nationwide satellite media tourwas organized and matte articles were created, these had information that was distributed tocollege campuses since a large percentage of first-time filers are found on college campuses.Finally, Ogilvy PR used digital banners and search engine marketing (SEM) as well as creatingan interactive microsite. As a result of these efforts, the IRS saw an increase in Free File programusers by 45% for a total over 80% of individual returns filed.The case study does not specify, who can qualify for the Free File program and it appears asthough the IRS nor Ogilvy PR neglected to consider why people may have not used the Free Fileprogram, such as change in situations that require them to file a regular tax return instead of anEZ form. Digital Banners and Search Engine Marketing was a good method because those whoare technology savvy will be e-filing and you have to be somewhat tech savvy to see those ads.To improve the program, they may have added literature in unemployment offices or othergovernment centers where some of the target audiences might be found. The objectives of theprogram included increasing awareness of the Free File program and to get 80% of tax returns tobe filed electronically. This they succeeded for the year as evidenced by the 45% increase ofFree File users. However, a question to be considered is if the awareness and use of the Free Fileprogram would continue from year to year as new tax filers appear and as previous tax filers’
  • 4. Mohan- Writing Sample 3situations change, if the overall goal is to increase e-filing not just for the Free File program, butin general then e-filing may decrease as people’s tax situations become more complicated.Both of these programs deal with informing the public about something, a place or a service, andeach go about reaching their goal in different ways; one focuses on the messages and the otherfocuses on specific audience segments. The IRS program did well with placing information thatwas more likely to be seen by the target audiences, with the St. Louis program it was difficult totell who the target audiences were and how the core messages may have reached them better.The IRS program is also only salient for a short time period while the St. Louis brand relaunch isan ongoing effort to change how the city is viewed in order to draw more businesses and theeconomic benefits that come with that.These programs could have made slight adjustments to their method or timelines in order toreach a broader audience. In the St. Louis instance, more informational events or informationcould have been given to local businesses over a longer time period instead of just at the launchevent. However, the St. Louis example did well with creating an easy-to-use website wherepeople could explore and find out more information on their own. The IRS may have tried thistactic more clearly as opposed to using partnerships with different brands in order to explain theprogram, the case history was unclear on the details of the microsite.