Vote “No” in Troy Wins

November 16, 2017 / BY / IN Blog

Troy, Michigan, November 16, 2017 – The City of Troy is one of the largest in Michigan and is the largest by population in Oakland County. A collaborative marketing and fundraising team jumped into action in late September after a petition drive placed a controversial charter amendment on the November 2017 ballot. The mission: To defeat a proposal that would have had devastating impacts on the City of Troy and its residents.

The Vote No team included: Derek Dickow (Steward Media); Jennette Smith (Full Volume LLC and CORE Creative Works); and dozens of volunteers who worked tirelessly with the committee to distribute materials and raise awareness. The group had the unanimous support of the city council and mayor and the issue had nonpartisan support. However, the group was challenged by opponents who attempted to make the political recourse about “saving green space.”

Together with members of the Vote No On The Extreme Charter Amendment Committee, the team managed activities such as social media, media relations, direct mail postcards and advertising. We also created two quick-turn video pieces in only 48 hours to provide a final wave of impactful content for the campaign (focused on the operations bottleneck the charter amendment would have created for the city.)

Troy Mayor Dane Slater said Smith and Dickow provided very important guidance on strategy and the tactical hands needed for funding and communications on such an important election issue.

Said Slater: “When it comes to fundraising success to support community issues, there is no finer specialist than Derek Dickow. When the Vote No on Extreme Charter Amendment Committee was working on fundraising to develop a fund to support yard signs, social media and the like, we knew we had to act quickly and generate support from both community leaders and the business community. Derek was the leader we needed to ensure we had the required funds for this important community education effort. His professionalism and passion for the city of Troy are appreciated very much.”

Regarding the communications strategy, Slater said “the Vote No on Extreme Charter Amendment effort mobilized quickly because we knew more than 30 programs utilizing city-owned assets were at risk. We knew we needed professional marketing and communications help to ensure quick turnaround on materials, from an extremely impactful social media campaign, to media relations, to postcards that informed residents about the issues.

“Jennette Smith Kotila and her team dived in and helped form the strategy and maximize our ROI on advertising dollars.

She applied creativity and journalistic skills to explain a complex issue in simple terms — and she helped us,  along with dozens of committee supporters, stress the urgency to voters. We appreciate her thoughtful techniques and her ability to work with a range of stakeholders on this quick-turn project.”

Working closely with Jennette and the campaign leadership, Graphic Designer Teresa Failla and Account Manager Lauryn Goodvich created materials that were professional and eye-catching.

The Facebook results were especially dramatic, with many posts having 30 or more shares, over 3,000 views and the overall effort showing a documented reach of more than 31,460 people.

The election results: More than 57 percent of voters in the election voted NO on Nov. 7, great news for proponents of athletic and nonprofit programming, the city’s bond rating and many other city assets that were at risk.

A community united for an important cause — and the results showed it!


To learn more, contact Derek Dickow or Jennette Smith-Kotila:

Derek Dickow
Steward Media
Direct: (248) 521-2900 
Office: (248) 973-6070

Jennette Smith Kotila
Executive Principal
CORE Creative Works
Direct: (586) 292-2905
Office: (248) 399-9999

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