George’s Top Campaigns

Put WVPB Back in the Budget social media signs

I often get the question what are the top campaigns you’ve worked on over the years. That’s a difficult question to answer. It’s like picking your favorite child. Each campaign has its challenges and benefits. But, as you will see, we like campaigns that improve our community, tell a positive story and are more issue-based. Ultimately, we hope you ask yourself: “why should I support or vote for that effort?” If we’ve done our job, we’ve helped you answer that question.

Raze Teen Anti-Tobacco Campaign – Working with teens throughout the state in 2002, we developed the Raze campaign, including the brand “tear down the lies.” The comprehensive PR, outreach and advertising effort led to a 32-percent decline in teen tobacco use.

Loving My Library – This is a campaign we developed for the Kanawha County Public Library for the 2014 library levy. It was also used for the 2018 levy effort. We needed a campaign that would stand out and this one did. After getting soundly beaten a year before, the levy, with the Loving My Library theme, passed by a 64-36 percent margin.

“The Few, The Proud, The Underpaid” was a pay raise campaign in 1989 for West Virginia State Troopers that I helped to coordinate during my time at Willard & Associates. The governor at the time, Gaston Caperton, had announced that there would be no pay raises that year. However, the campaign was so effective that a month into the legislative session, Governor Caperton signed a significant pay raise bill for troopers.

WV WINS – This was a campaign to gain funding to build Charleston’s new baseball stadium in the downtown area. It was a long shot, but the lobbying team, to use a baseball description, “hit a walk-off home run in the ninth inning” to gain funding for the stadium.

Fox Trot for Parkinson’s Research – This is a 5k fundraiser that has raised $225,000 in six years for The Michael J. Fox Foundation. The Fox Foundation liked the race so much that it has made the Fox Trot its signature 5k race and now has 20+ similar races throughout the country.

Smart529 “When I Grow Up Contest” – Now in its 11th year, the essay contest for Smart529 asks students what they want to be when they grow up and hands out more than $30,000 in scholarships. The contest consistently has more than 3,000 student entries every year.

Circle of Hope – Mountain Mission’s holiday fundraiser is used to feed over 1,000 families in the Kanawha Valley. Mountain Mission does great work in the community and we are happy to volunteer our time for this worthwhile charity.

Education Town Hall Meetings – After a teacher’s strike in 1990, the town hall meetings were held throughout the state to gain feedback from residents about changes to the state’s education system. The Governor’s popularity had dipped to an all-time low due to the strike and pending divorce. The Town Hall Meetings improved the Governor’s image and set him on a course to being the “education” governor.

Back in the Budget – A campaign to put pressure on the Governor and legislators to reinstate funding for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The campaign was developed in a week and one legislator commented at the end of the legislative session: “I’ve received more calls about this issue than any other one since I’ve been in the legislature.”

Reimagine Your Library – We developed this campaign to support the renovation and expansion of the library building in downtown Charleston. After years of stalled activity, the library fundraising campaign is nearing completion and groundbreaking ceremonies should begin in early 2019.

Allen Loughry for Supreme Court – No matter how you feel about the couch, his victory in 2014 was considered one of the biggest political upsets in state history. While not a political newcomer (had had worked for Caperton, McGraw, and other politicians), this was the first time he had run for political office and was given no chance of winning.

Fix Our Roads – A campaign on behalf of the Contractor’s Association of West Virginia, the campaign put pressure on the Governor and legislators to pass a comprehensive funding program for state roads. A $2.5 billion road bond was introduced by the Governor and passed by legislators and voters.

Share this:

Leave A Comment