Creative “How” Thinking
When we partnered with the Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition (SRDVC), they were working with Hamilton Studio to create a powerful documentary about the effects of domestic violence in our region. When we asked how they envisioned the documentary’s premiere, they indicated an upcoming community event.
We saw an opportunity to expand how the documentary was introduced. What if we created a simulcast, and asked local television stations to premiere the documentary at the same date and time? And what if we went even farther than that, treating the documentary as a launchpad for a public awareness campaign and brand?
Energized by these ideas, we began working with SRDVC on a full campaign.
Creative “Why” Thinking
Next, we looked at some fundamental “why” questions. Why should the community focus on the issue of domestic violence? Why was this documentary being produced? And why would people respond to the harsh realities presented? Our answers were embedded in one startling statistic:
Spokane has the highest rates of reported domestic violence in the State of Washington.
It’s a sobering statistic, and one that’s difficult to admit. Domestic violence, after all, is often shrouded in secrecy and shame. Without admitting the problem’s breadth and depth, Spokane wouldn’t be able to move toward viable solutions.
And so, our creative strategy was revealed in the answers to these “why” questions. Messaging acknowledges the difficulty of admitting the problem by saying, “It’s a secret we only want to whisper about.” But the messaging always ends with a strong call to action: “It’s time to speak up. It’s time to End the Violence.” Designs focus on eyes, creating a feeling of intimacy while incorporating photography of diverse people. Bold, strong colors and type, overlapped by graffiti, serve as visual metaphors for intended actions: being bold and taking a stand cuts through the “noise” of the problem.
Creative “Who” Thinking
As a community-wide campaign and movement, it was obvious who we should partner with on the documentary and its premiere: all of the Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition partners/stakeholders, and all of the local television stations.
But we also went beyond the obvious to partner with all area media outlets. Television. Radio. Print. Outdoor. Not just one or two partnerships, but partnerships with all media. We knew this would increase exposure for the documentary, and the End the Violence campaign as a whole.
The Impacts of Creative Thinking
Viewership & Messaging
We contacted and worked with all local television stations, eventually convincing every station except one to commit to a simulcast. We went even further than that, convincing all local print media, radio media and outdoor media to promote the documentary’s premiere on television.
In the end, every media outlet in Spokane, outside of one television station, came together to promote the documentary’s premiere and draw attention to the SRDVC’s efforts.
The attention drawn by the documentary premiere and the campaign kickoff has been startling, garnering 48 unique news stories in local news coverage valued at nearly $40,000, while reaching an audience of 1,941,232. Throughout the campaign so far, media partners have donated $105,000 in public service announcements. On the night of the 30-minute simulcast, more than 80,000 households in the Spokane DMA were reached. Local stations participating in the simulcast included: KREM, KSKN, KXLY, KAYU, KSPS and SWX.
Since the launch of the campaign, partners in the Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition have noted several important benchmarks and developments.
- Spokane prosecutors reported an immediate increase in calls—not only from victims, but also from family members sharing information to help hold perpetrators accountable.
- Local law enforcement has reported that feedback from citizens demonstrates increased knowledge of the problems related to domestic violence.
- Local victim service agencies such as the YWCA Spokane and Lutheran Community Services Northwest have noted increased inbound inquiries directly attributable to the campaign.
- Numerous partners have expressed thanks for the campaign, saying they feel supported, recognized, and energized by the campaign.
- Since the launch of the documentary and campaign, funding has been secured to hire and fund an Executive Director at SRDVC for at least three years, as well as funding to develop a long-term strategic plan.
- Partners inside the public school system have reported greater recognition of the effects of domestic violence, specifically prompted by viewing the documentary.
- The documentary has been translated into Spanish to decrease stigma, and to help those seeking support in the Latinx community.
- As summed up by Annie Murphey, Executive Director of the Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition: “Perhaps the most important outcome of this campaign is a cultural shift in community norms, believing survivors and supporting them as they share their stories.”