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21 neighborhood branches had record high attendance
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Surpassed the average industry click-through rate by 63%
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Grew Facebook followers by 48% in 6 months
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4.1 Million social media ad impressions in 6 months
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1 mural design

Repositioning and driving attendance for a major urban library

What Works Studio developed and executed a 6-month brand campaign for the Enoch Pratt Free Library with the primary goal of increasing library attendance and usage of library programs and services. Secondary goals included positioning the library as a modern, forward-thinking institution and educating the public to their extensive catalog of services.

 

Due to the success of the campaign, the Enoch Pratt Free Library continues to work closely with us for social media marketing, podcast production, and merchandise design.

Research + Strategy

Our engagement included a research phase that utilized focus groups and an online survey to better understand the Baltimore City residents who could potentially benefit the most from free services and programs provided by Enoch Pratt Free Library.

 

The breadth of services offered, potentially viable audience segments, and the geographic footprint of the library network require widely varied marketing messaging in order to connect people to services that appeal to their needs and preferences, and proximity to their nearest branch. For these reasons, this strategy focuses primarily on dynamic digital distribution for marketing activities, complemented by a unique live event.

Campaign Identity

Using the information gleaned from the research phase, we developed a campaign blueprint that included paid social media advertising, email acquisition and list segmentation, a hashtag campaign, and a live event.

 

We developed the Free To Bmore campaign slogan and a distinctive duotone visual identity for the campaign that was designed to be minimal and direct in order to clearly stand out and differentiate from other social media content.

Social Media Advertising

We designed a multi-pronged campaign that included social media advertising that positions The Pratt as a forward-thinking, modern institution while educating audiences about services and new hours.

 

During the first 6-month campaign, The Pratt earned 4,199,241 impressions during the social media marketing campaign. The campaign reached 621,427 people in Baltimore City and touched each of those people an average of 6.75 times. The campaign creative drove 58,137 link clicks and helped increase Facebook followers by 48%. During the 6-month campaign, we collected 8,474 email addresses from Baltimore City residents who wanted to learn more about The Pratt’s programs, services, and collections. During the Free To Bmore Campaign, our average click-through rate for ads with the primary objective of clicks was 1.476%, surpassing the average industry click-through rate by 63%. Upon completion of the first campaign, we launched another year-long campaign that is currently underway.

Video Production

We developed the concepts for Free To Bmore campaign videos and enlisted Across The Bridge Productions to shoot and edit. We also hired local spoken-word poet Michelle Antoinette (Love the Poet) to co-write the script and narrate the first video. Subsequent videos were produced as a series featuring notable Baltimoreans and other locals whose lives had been significantly and positively impacted by the Enoch Pratt Free Library, including John Waters, Barbara Mikulski, and others.

Hashtag Campaign

We worked to promote the #atthepratt hashtag, developed a microsite to aggregate tagged social media posts, which included an accompanying Toolkit, and prompted social media audiences to leave testimonials which were converted into branded social media content featuring the #atthepratt hashtag.

Signage

We designed interior and exterior signage for all branches that encourage users to post and use the #atthepratt tag.

Block Party + Mural Design

To help promote The Pratt’s decision to go fine free, we assisted The Pratt in developing and promoting a free community block party in lieu of a traditional press conference to announce the move. We assisted in sourcing talent and vendors and we designed a mural to mark the occasion. The mural was designed by Brooke Hall Allen of What Works Studio and painted by local artist Shawn James. Additionally, we hired the one and only Landis Expandis to DJ the event.

Earned Media

To assist with The Pratt’s Director of Marketing and Communications PR efforts, we helped spread the word about The Pratt’s nomination for Reader’s Digest and Good Morning America’s Nicest Places in 2018. We used social media to help drive votes.  The Pratt eventually secured a top ten position. As a finalist, The Pratt was featured as one of America’s Nicest Places on a special Good Morning America segment.

Merchandise Design

We designed custom branded bookmarks as giveaways as well as fitness towels, water tumblers, and more.

Podcast Concept, Development and Production

We developed and continue to produce The Free to Bmore Podcast, an initiative of the Enoch Pratt Free Library that focuses on innovation, leadership, and social impact. The Podcast explores topics relevant to The Pratt’s current programming and overall mission and has featured prominent guests such as Freeman Hrabowski, Erricka Bridgeford, Chris Wilson, and others. The Free to Bmore Podcast is hosted by Meghan McCorkell.