Getting the right word out
IBA – Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (Puerto Rican neighbors come to action). This organization has an incredible array of programs in education, arts, and affordable housing. They needed to relaunch their brand in a way that unified all of their different assets, they needed a single story that would capture their intermingling programs. And, they needed results: more donations.
IBA has been making strides towards community advancement for the past 50 years. We needed to use their social capital to our advantage as a means to promote their brand, to a very wide scope of audience. Our strategy emphasized spreading awareness. We knew that the more people found out about IBA’s mission, the more they would get involved. We started with a whole audit of their off and online presence, we conducted an extensive and thorough study with the help of IBA staff. We listened to their experience, what a day at IBA is like, their concerns, their needs, what they felt their participants wanted, and their communication practices thus far. This was essential as this shaped the base for us to create the proper communications strategy, in which we emphasized content driven engagement. This strategy began through a brand re-launch, which won us a Media Maven Award for Best Multicultural Campaign.
Once we had the information, we got started. Since this was a relaunch, the visual brand needed a refresher, so we updated the logo and created support elements, keeping the essence but making it more adaptable to different media, adding to their narrative with the concept of “moving up” — which is their day to day — helping the community move up. We then redesigned all their stationary, and communication collaterals to streamline the design and make it consistent.
Then we designed and developed the website, ibaboston.org keeping a checklist of all we found during research. We addressed all the communication issues they had before by creating an interactive and user-friendly experience and providing content solutions for all of them. We emphasized their events with an easy to navigate calendar, made their programs accessible and descriptive, and added IBA’s general information in an attractive and engaging way. The website was such a success it was nominated for an awwward.
Then we implemented their social media and content strategy, creating and curating content that mattered to their target audience. The new blog features interviews, live coverage, editorials from experts, opinion pieces, and guest writers. Also we harnessed IBA’s potential to create signature content every day by creating a pipeline that involved all the staff actively contributing real time content to be used on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and newsletters.
Finally the launch date arrived, which came with many surprises. As part of our strategy to maximize our audience and build up expectation we kept the launch a secret, until a month before in which we sent out a teaser campaign to the media. This way we clued them into the meaning of the re-launch of IBA’s products, and invited them to see for themselves by attending the much anticipated event. We also created separate teasers for the public and advertised them via social media.
Media teaser campaign
General public teaser campaign
We wanted to give IBA’s services a tangible meaning, something the audience could relate to. That is why we presented them as packaged “products” with metaphorical names that explained their essence. The afterschool and summer learning program became “Turbo” — the boost they need to get ahead in school, affordable housing became “Wonderland,” the youth program became “Toolkit” — giving young people the tools they’ll require for the rest of their lives. For each of the products we designed a physical package, adding to the overall concept of showing the audience something that really exists, something they can touch.
For the presentation itself we built a poetic narrative to go along with a grand product launch. We needed to drive the point home, so we invited some participants of the programs to share their experience by giving the audience testimonials of how the “products” had impacted their lives. The presentation was emotive and effective, but most importantly it was real, it showed the true power and mission of the organization.
But a press conference was not enough. We planned a celebration following the presentation with key elements that supported what IBA is and wanted to be. We invited a band and asked them to compose a song based on IBA’s mission with lyrics that we projected on the wall so attendees could sing along. In addition, we used this evening as an opportunity to expand our social media engagement with a live tweeting session on the projector which boosted our numbers impressively. We also added branding touches with branded materials such as bags and maracas. Lastly, we gave everyone a piece of an interactive puzzle of a historical mural that signifies their past and their progression. The event was a success, bringing in many people, some of which were not familiar with the organization before, out for a delightful night during a cold and snowy January.
Along the way we’ve created more ways to reach the audience. We’ve designed printed materials, branded collaterals, and created the video “a day in IBA”, portraying all the activities and programs that help so many people.
All the hard work paid off. After such a successful relaunch IBA saw their web visits double in two months receiving outstanding feedback regarding usability and the quality of the information, even getting nominated for the awwwards. The new social media strategy has been responsible for tens of thousands of page views on the website and for doubling their engagement and range. Over time the organization saw private donations start to increase, organically their audience expanded, and just like those they serve: IBA is moving up.