Your Network for Winning Communications
GROWING THE ORGANIZATION
Telling AARP’s story educated and energized its members, further strengthening this powerful organization.
Since we launched our firm, our skillful storytelling has helped one of the nation’s largest and most successful organizations, AARP, engage, educate and expand its membership in California.
Drawing on our more than two decades of experience in state and federal governmental policy, we created the content that enlightened AARP members about the organization’s commitment to reform healthcare. We’ve provided the research and writing to enlist its members in AARP campaigns to fight hunger, reduce utility fees, save for retirement and numerous other initiatives. To see a sampling of our AARP stories, please visit our storytelling site.
Crafting a compelling story will grow support for your organization, increase membership and strengthen connections to your existing members, donors, supporters and other stakeholders.
“Laura Mecoy’s work was critical to keeping the AARP’s 3.3 million California members informed about the health care reform debate. I was especially impressed with her ability to distill complicated policy issues into language that the average reader could understand. I also greatly appreciated Laura’s ability to balance the AARP’s need to both inform and persuade our members on a topic of vital importance.”
Associate State Director
No on Prop 61
Creating messages that clearly communicated the initiative’s shortcomings were essential to a winning formula.
Proposition 61, a prescription drug pricing initiative on California’s 2016 ballot, had more than 60% support in early polling, leading many to conclude it would be a certain winner in November. We were hired by Proposition 61’s opponents to develop the messaging and help craft the content to turn voters around amid a drumbeat of media coverage about the rising cost of prescription drugs.
Working with polling and focus group information, we developed the initial messaging that showed that – contrary to supporters’ claims – Proposition 61 wouldn’t lower prescription drug prices for most Californians and would likely lead to price hikes for the nation’s veterans. A well-funded and strategic advertising and outreach campaign employed these messages to get voters’ attention during a volatile presidential election and convince them that Proposition 61 wouldn’t reduce their prescription drug costs.
On Election Day, our team prevailed when 54% of California voters rejected the deeply flawed measure.
We can create the winning messages that are essential to winning communications.
COMMUNICATING TO DIVERSE COMMUNITIES
Creating a multilingual media campaign fueled the public’s interest in the nation’s largest EV car sharing service to benefit the underserved.
The launch of BlueLA, the nation’s largest electric vehicle (EV) carsharing service to benefit underserved communities, was just a month away when we received the call to generate media attention in the diverse communities it would serve. Unfortunately, the launch event was planned for a Friday afternoon, which is one of the worse times to schedule an event to get media coverage. Further complicating the assignment was the need to coordinate with a large coalition of partners in such a short time frame.
Among the many entities involved were the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the California Air Resources Board, which provided funding to BlueLA; a wide range of partners in community and transportation organizations; the Mayor’s Office; Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, Los Angeles City College and others.
Working quickly with this team, we developed a strategy to reach out to diverse communities with a multilingual media campaign. All materials were translated into Spanish and Korean. After the English-speaking community, these were the two most prominent communities BlueLA would serve.
We also reached out to a much broader range of ethnic communities through our media targeting. We started our media outreach 10 days before the event, offering test drives and bringing the EVs to KTLA-TV to share the news with its popular morning news show. The result was widespread coverage in Korean-, Spanish- and English-speaking media, which reached more than 10 million people, and an extremely successful launch of BlueLA. See the BlueLA Launch video here.
Count on us to communicate with diverse communities for winning results.
“I was overjoyed to work with Laura on the launch of BlueLA’s new electric vehicle car sharing program this year. She brought immediate value to the entire initiative with her professionalism, expert opinion and ability to foresee opportunities and issues way before anybody else. I would strongly recommend you get her on your team ASAP. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!”
BlueLA Car Sharing
REFRESHING A BRAND
Kendall Brill & Kelly LLP
A “brand refresh” positioned a law firm as a leader in a highly competitive legal marketplace.
A Los Angeles based litigation boutique law firm, Kendall Brill & Kelly, had developed its brand, messaging and website when its leaders established the firm in 2009. In the eight years since its founding, the firm had grown and strengthened its position in the highly competitive Los Angeles legal market.
It needed an update to reflect its prominence as a go-to law firm for high-profile clients and high-stakes litigation. But the firm’s leaders didn’t want to completely change the brand they had worked so hard to develop. So we worked with the firm’s leaders on a “brand refresh.” We developed new messaging to better describe the firm and its practice today and to position it for the future. We also tapped into our creative network of graphic design and photography partners to update the existing brand with new colors and create a new website. You can see it all at www.KBKFirm.com
Tapping into our creative network can infuse new energy into your brand and strengthen your position in the marketplace.
South Los Angeles Health Projects
Effectively telling the immunization story increased flu vaccine rates in a low-income community.
South Los Angeles Health Projects, a nonprofit that is fighting health disparities by educating and encouraging people to make healthy choices, faced a big challenge in convincing seniors in a low-income community to get flu immunizations.
Many of the seniors didn’t trust the vaccines. Or they didn’t trust government-funded programs, like this one, offering free medical advice. Because of our extensive healthcare experience, the nonprofit organization asked us to develop and implement a communications and outreach program that would persuade the seniors to get their flu vaccines.
Using the input from a focus group of seniors, we developed persuasive messaging and compelling immunization stories to share through a strategically targeted communications and outreach campaign.
At the end of the six-month campaign, South Los Angeles Health Projects surpassed its goal of a 10% increase in immunizations among seniors in South Los Angeles, ensuring a healthier community and a strong base for increasing immunization rates in future years.
Real stories can produce real results.
EDUCATING THE PUBLIC
City of Manhattan Beach
A targeted and ongoing communications campaign educated the public and ensured voluntary compliance with a sweeping new anti-smoking ordinance.
The City of Manhattan Beach had adopted one of the most sweeping smoking bans in the state. But local officials didn’t want the city’s police force to have to forego more pressing law enforcement issues to spend its time writing tickets to smokers who violated the law.
Because of our experience with public education campaigns and a similar smoking ordinance in a neighboring city, Manhattan Beach turned to Mecoy Communications to create a public education campaign to encourage voluntary compliance so that the police could keep their focus on other law enforcement efforts.
We created a distinctive identity for the public education program, Breathe Free MB. We developed a comprehensive education campaign to inform residents and visitors to the community about the new restrictions and to encourage voluntary compliance. Working with the city staff, we produced a kickoff event to publicize the campaign and spur word-of-mouth through social media and the business community.
The result was a successful launch and implementation of the South Bay’s most far-reaching smoke-free ordinance and an ongoing conversation with the community about protecting the public health and reducing pollution by making all public places smoke-free.
LAUNCHING A CAMPAIGN
CS for CA
Crafting messages and creating communications tools launched a new campaign for computer science education.
Born out of a national movement to ensure all students have access to a high-quality computer science (CS) education, CS for CA was poised to launch its campaign to advocate for all California students to have CS education during Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 4-10.
CS for CA had focused on securing funding and establishing a strong coalition of supporters from across the state. But the fledgling organization had not had time to develop materials, messages or methods for sharing its campaign with the Silicon Valley, educational and elected leaders that would be participating in the kickoff event.
CS for CA turned to us shortly before the event to craft the messages and materials for sharing its vision and goals with leaders who would be critical to its future. Working with our graphic designer, we created the messaging and communications tools to ensure a successful launch of a campaign that has the potential to lift young people out of poverty by giving them the 21st Century skills they need today and for the future.
Count on our rapid response and strategic communications skills to help launch your next initiative.
GIVING BUSINESS A CHOICE
Coalition to Save Small Business
Telling the stories of small businesses ensured they had a voice in the regulations governing street vending in the City of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles street vendors had launched a highly organized campaign to legalize unrestricted, city-wide street vending and were well on their way to accomplishing their goal when many of the city’s Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), small businesses, neighborhood associations and others decided to organize the Coalition to Save Small Business. They engaged us to work with them on getting the voices of small businesses heard in the political process to ensure the City would impose limits so that street vendors wouldn’t block heavily traveled sidewalks in Hollywood and other parts of the city. Working with a team of experts, we created a strategic communications plan and implemented it, getting small businesses’ side of the story told. The ordinance the Council adopted included a permitting process and prohibited vending in Hollywood and in other heavily trafficked areas.
TELLING YOUR STORY
Persuasive patient stories boost sales and raise company’s profile within the marketplace.
VisualDx, a mobile app and online resource helps thousands of physicians accurately diagnose and treat disease, needed to expand its market to grow the company.
The company’s leadership quickly adopted our storytelling approach and, working together, we developed persuasive stories about patients whose lives and health were saved by the accurate diagnoses made possible with VisualDx.
We crafted a strategic communications and outreach plan to share these stories through all the company’s various platforms – its blog, social media, website, presentations to physicians at medical conferences, in sales presentations and with the media. As proof of the power of these stories, the company’s sales reps reported a 10% increase in online sales after just one TV outlet aired a story about VisualDx.
By helping you tell your story, we can boost your bottom line.
“Mecoy Communications has mastered the healthcare communications field. They understand healthcare and have the relationships with reporters, bloggers and other influencers to ensure an effective communications program. We chose the firm because its principals understood our company. They quickly crafted winning messages for us, developed a detailed communications plan and worked pro-actively to move our communications forward. We will continue to work with the firm as we move our company forward.”
Noah Craft, MD, PhD,
Chief Medical Officer
A strategic and coordinated communications campaign helped change the state’s approach to counselor training
The California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors sought to protect those undergoing treatment from unscrupulous and untrained counselors. But it had been unsuccessful in multiple attempts to get the state to require counselors to meet stricter standards.
The counselors’ association and The Justin Foundation – a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting individuals and families affected by drug abuse – sought our expertise to help get those new standards adopted.
We researched and produced a comprehensive report showing inadequate regulation and standards had allowed unskilled and unethical counselors to harm those undergoing substance abuse treatment. Shirley Beckett Mikell, NAADAC – The Association of Addiction Professionals Certification and Education director, called the report a “wake-up call for counselors nationwide.”
We authored testimony for legislative committees and the Little Hoover Commission, as well as press releases, media advisories and other documents to alert lawmakers to the report. Our work led to the Little Hoover Commission featuring our report in its assessment of the state’s drug and alcohol abuse treatment system, “Addressing Addiction: Improving and Integrating California’s Substance Abuse System.”
Mark DeSaulnier, a California Assembly member at the time, held a joint press conference with the Justin Foundation to further publicize the report and both presented the study’s findings at legislative hearings. California lawmakers approved the bill he authored, and the governor ordered his agencies to adopt the new standards the legislation sought to ensure “quality care across all sectors” of drug and alcohol treatment. The report we prepared has been used in drug counselor training to ensure future counselors don’t repeat the mistakes we documented.
With decades of public policy experience, we are uniquely qualified to help create the change our clients desire.
“Laura Mecoy is very knowledgeable about and knows how to navigate the political system in California. Laura’s research and writing skills helped The Justin Foundation give a voice to many vulnerable individuals who, until that time, had none. For her words, her expertise, her guidance and her patience, I will be forever grateful.”
President and Founder
The Justin Foundation
CREATING A COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORM
The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation (Formerly Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute / LA BioMed)
Developing an ongoing communications campaign ensures targeted audiences are educated about the many accomplishments of one of the nation’s leading independent nonprofit research institutes.
The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation (formerly the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute and LA BioMed), one of the nation’s leading independent nonprofit research institutes, relied on us for almost 10 years to serve as its public information officer.
We created a constant drumbeat of news about the exciting research and developments at The Lundquist Institute, generating content for its website, social media, One magazine for donors, internal newsletters and many other communications tools. Our job included finding the stories to highlight and then drafting the releases, media pitches and other efforts to publicize them.
We maintained all media lists and served as the media’s first contact at the Institute. We regularly arranged TV and other media interviews with the researchers and had a very productive partnership with American Health Journal, one of PBS’ top-rated programs, to feature the Lundquist Institute’s researchers. We secured story placements in a wide range of local, national and international media, including Dr. Oz, The Doctors Show, Discovery, the History Channel, NBC Nightly News, the Today Show, PBS Frontline, the Washington Post, New York Times and many more.
Our knowledge of what interests the media and our ability to translate complex research projects into understandable communications vastly increased the Lundquist Institute’s coverage in the media. In just one year, the coverage added up to more than 1,030 articles, which is equal to more than $22 million in advertising. This coverage left more than 1.7 billion impressions (a measurement of each time an individual would have viewed the article.)
Put our communications experience to work to guide your organization’s communications operations.
PROVIDING INTERIM COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES
Catalina Island Conservancy
Serving as an interim communications staff for this nonprofit organization has ensured it could seamlessly continue to educate the public while its communications function underwent significant transitions.
Formed in 1972, the Catalina Island Conservancy is one of California’s oldest land trusts. Its mission is to protect the magnificent natural and cultural heritage of Santa Catalina Island, stewarding approximately 42,000 acres of land. In June 2014, the Conservancy asked us to serve as an interim communications staff until it could replace its in-house staff.
We worked closely with the Conservancy’s leadership team to develop a new set of messages for the organization. We greatly increased the media coverage of the organization. Working with our graphic designer, we were instrumental in completely revamping its signature publication, Conservancy Times, changing it from an outdated newsletter to a 24-page, full-color magazine, which we have written and produced for the organization ever since.
We instituted a regular column with the local newspapers to ensure coverage of the Conservancy with one of its key audiences, residents and visitors to Catalina Island. We repaired a significant breach in media relations, as well.
We specialize in helping organizations fill the gaps in their communications services – from special events to ongoing communications programs.
STARTING A BUSINESS
Establishing the right brand through the right messages for the right audiences creates a successful launch of a new business.
Creating a new brand and conveying its attributes to the potential customers is one of the most challenging tasks for any new business.
Vintage Grocers was an entirely new brand in a market crowded with better-known brands, and its founders were seeking to create a friendly, high-end grocery operation in Malibu. Comments in social and print media had already registered criticisms and questions about whether this would be another “big box” store before the founders had even had time to line up their vendors.
They turned to Mecoy Communications to create the messages, advertising and media coverage for a successful launch of a new store and a new brand in the highly competitive grocery business.
In just three short months, with a strategic communications and advertising program, we helped turn around the “buzz” about the store. On opening day, hundreds lined up to be among the first to shop at the exciting new gourmet market in Malibu. Vintage Grocers continues to draw crowds and raves in the community as it builds on its successful launch.
Strong messaging and strategic communications are essential to the successful start of a new brand or business.
“Fast-paced and up to the challenge – that describes Mecoy Communications. We were just weeks from our big launch, and they quickly mastered all the communications challenges. They provided invaluable strategic counsel and developed our messaging, communications plan, advertising design and content, website content and much more. We had a terrific turnout, great media coverage and a fantastic launch party. We couldn’t have done it without their help.”
Former manager of customer relations
CREATING COMPELLING MESSAGES
Los Angeles Economy & Jobs Committee
Creating a compelling message generated winning media coverage that drove the adoption of the Los Angeles Economy & Jobs Committee’s proposals.
The Los Angeles Economy & Jobs Committee, a 26-member group of business, labor and academic leaders appointed by the Los Angeles mayor, had developed a voluminous report with 100 specific recommendations for growing the city’s economy and creating new jobs for Angelenos.
Aware of our experience in communicating complex topics to the public, the committee engaged our firm to distill these recommendations into a compelling set of messages to garner media coverage and build momentum for the adoption of the panel’s recommendations. We sharpened the report’s focus and generated widespread media coverage, which included all of Los Angeles’ major news outlets and public affairs programs.
The Los Angeles City Council subsequently adopted many of the panel’s recommendations.
With decades of experience in turning complex subjects into understandable news accounts, our firm is uniquely positioned to help you tell your story to your intended audiences and to achieve your goals.
“Laura Mecoy is the real deal. With more than two decades as a reporter, she knows media, government and public policy and how they intersect and interact. She gave the Los Angeles Economy & Jobs Committee invaluable strategic counsel as it finalized and publicized its report to the mayor – advice that helped secure widespread favorable media coverage and commanded the attention of opinion leaders and stakeholders throughout the region.”
Elizabeth “Libby” Williams
Former Executive Director
Los Angeles Economy & Jobs Committee