Case Studies

Yes On 1: Save Our Homes Now

In a historic vote during the summer of 2007, the Florida Legislature passed landmark legislation to create the largest tax cut in Florida’s history. What passed was a two part process. The first tax cut required local governments to roll-back their tax rates to reduce rates. The second part of the tax cut was a constitutional amendment that offered Floridians a doubling of the homestead exemption and portability of the Save Our Homes tax benefit, among other tax cuts. For the first time ever, a constitutional amendment faced a very high threshold for passage, a 60 percent vote. CoreMessage, and its partnering design firm, Taproot Creative, were hired to develop and implement a comprehensive strategic and integrated communications plan to win support for the constitutional amendment.

To create a groundswell of excitement and awareness for Amendment 1, CoreMessage and Taproot Creative worked to develop a brand and identity for the campaign, Yes on 1 – Save Our Homes Now, with a unique logo, cohesive marketing materials and an interactive website. The Yes on 1 website included several features such as a subscription function for viewers to receive e-mail alerts, a photo and video gallery showcasing events across the state and a “tell a friend” tool for visitors to send information to friends. As part of our ongoing communications, CoreMessage and Taproot Creative initiated other new media tactics such as developing and distributing frequent e-mails to supporters showcasing personal stories of people who benefit from the tax cut proposal.

Initial research indicated that the Tampa, Orlando and South Florida media markets were prime targets with the greatest opportunity to garner votes. In order to maximize our exposure in these important media markets, CoreMessage planned and executed a bus tour and fly around specifically in these markets intended to generate extensive media coverage. CoreMessage planned the logistics for these press events including vetting the “personal stories” used at the events, coordinating the audio/visual and staging for the events as well as drafting and distributing media advisories and press releases regarding the bus tour and fly around stops.

To reach the new 60 percent threshold, CoreMessage highlighted bipartisan support from the community and elected officials in direct mail campaigns designed by Taproot Creative as well as automated phone calls to voters, television and radio advertising and earned media interviews. In addition, the team initiated a bipartisan grassroots coalition to demonstrate support for property tax cuts and highlight their position.

This award-winning campaign was a tremendous success with 64 percent of the voters approving the measure hence becoming the first statewide constitutional amendment to face and overcome the new threshold.

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