As part of a Department of Homeland Security initiative, 17 city and county governments across metropolitan Washington, D.C. were charged with increasing sign-ups to their emergency alert systems. These systems notify residents, via email and text message, of events ranging from natural disasters and terrorism to weather and traffic hazards. Each system was required to maintain its own name and its own website.

To make the most of their budget, Siddall implemented a strategy to coordinate communications under one umbrella brand and drive residents to one common website, rather than scatter the promotions using all 17 names and URLs. We created a list of names, tested them with research, and settled on “Capitalert” as the clearest moniker for an alert program in the nation’s Capital region. The Capitalert website would serve as a portal for the collective alert systems.

To stretch the dollars even further, we embarked on a two-phase campaign to drive traffic to the website. The first phase was a test campaign to track which messages and media worked best. We mixed traditional bus sides, Metro car cards, and radio spots with online tactics such as pay-per-click, email, text messages, social widgets, web banners, mobile sites and social media. After one month, we remixed the media based on their performance and rolled out phase two of the campaign.

The optimized campaign more than doubled the average daily actions from the test campaign. By the end of phase two, we had sent more than 50,000 registrants to the individual city and county sign up pages.

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