We were hired in late February 2017 when Governor Jim Justice issued a budget proposal that removed all funding for public broadcasting. With the state facing a $500 million budget gap, it was clear that a reduction in funding for many state agencies would occur. However, no one dreamed that the Governor or legislature would recommend cutting all funding for West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
Our goal was to work alongside the lobbying team, to put together a campaign that would convince the Governor and legislature to reinstate funding for public broadcasting. With no time to spare, TMG held an On Target strategic planning session with members of The Friends of Public Broadcasting and developed a campaign within a week. With a limited budget, the campaign would focus on social media, legislative outreach and events in and around the State Capitol.
TMG unveiled its “Put Public Broadcasting Back in the Budget” campaign. Our creative team designed a logo for the campaign, and, once approved, we moved forward with developing a website, Facebook page, Twitter account, rack cards, posters and more.
In the governor’s original budget the entire $4.5 million previously allocated to WVPBS was eliminated. After two special sessions and pressure on both sides of the aisle the final budget, however, reinstated funding to $3.6 million. Although still facing cuts, the client was pleased with the campaign and the reinstatement of 88% of their funding for the fiscal year.