04 . 04 . 20
Note: This campaign won a gold Pollie at the 2020 Pollie Awards.
Public transportation remains a great challenge in America’s South. Our firm was hired to create and execute a campaign to increase county council funding for Greenville County’s (South Carolina) bus system.
The Greenville Chamber of Commerce convened a coalition of potential partners including humanitarian non-profits, community leaders, and for-profit companies, and brainstormed with them. Our team created a word cloud of frequently mentioned terms, and the word “connect” kept surfacing. “Greenville Connects” was the logical choice for a campaign about connecting people with family/opportunity/healthcare, etc.
We leaned into this message across social media, stood up a website/advocacy page backed by thousands in social media ads across the county, and produced social media videos featuring transit riders (including low income and special needs residents). Using our landing page and Phone2Action, each member of county council received hundreds of messages from citizens across the county, demanding an expansion of bus funding and routes.
The campaign was conceived from day one as a social media campaign. Every component was designed with social media in mind. Our firm facilitated buy-in and ideas from across a broad coalition, executed a branding concept, ran the three month social media campaign, and won. We delivered over 400,000 impressions and cultivated 500+ activists who contacted members of county council.
Maybe more importantly, we raised awareness for those who rely on public transpiration, like those with disabilities and low income, and in the process, believed we sparked more compassion for people across Greenville County. Such individuals were featured on multiple videos during the campaign. Please see the Facebook page for examples.
Thanks to these advocacy efforts, funding for Greenlink will jump from just under $500,000 a year to $2.5 million, enabling buses which currently stop running at 7:30 pm to keep moving until 11:30 pm. Those extra hours will allow riders to get to third-shift jobs or home from second-shift jobs.
Amazingly, this campaign success happened in an area that is traditionally hostile to public transportation. It has brought great hope to those who want more transportation options in South Carolina’s Upstate.
Social Media Management