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Storytelling for the 2020-2021 cohort of Healing Illinois grant recipients (Client: The Chicago Community Trust and the Illinois Dept. of Human Services)
Since 2021, we have provided strategic counsel, messaging, content creation, multi-media materials design and communications training for Cummins Inc., a global Fortune 500 company that launched its new, strengthened Global DE&I Strategy. We began by conducting a current state analysis of the company’s DE&I communications and used our findings to develop and execute a global communications plan for the rollout of the new strategy. As part of the plan, we created core messages to introduce the strategy to all employees, designed and produced a comprehensive communications toolkit for leaders and created a video and posters in 10 different languages. We also have coached executives in DE&I communications and tested materials with employees. In addition to rolling out the global strategy, Rudd Resources created content for several new initiatives designed to support employee retention, communicate the company’s DE&I commitment to external audiences, and highlight Cummins’ investment in Black-owned businesses in four cities. The results: comprehensive communications about DE&I initiatives and resources to more than 60,000 employees worldwide.
As the agency-of-record for Elevated Chicago since its 2017 launch, Rudd Resources has worked collaboratively with the program team and 17 steering committee organizations to define, shape and promote the initiative, along with the complex concept of equitable transit-oriented development (ETOD) around Chicago Transit Authority stations. In Year 1, we developed the logo, reframed the name, and created videos, messaging and training, the digital presence, and media coverage for community events. In Year 2, we produced an ETOD symposium and a youth summit, and expanded the website. In Year 3, we produced the first virtual symposium, developed ETOD messaging to advance the city’s first ETOD policy plan recommendations, and created a three-year impact report. In Year 4, we helped launch a 9-week training program on equitable development for Chicago residents. Now, we’re advancing the ETOD policy plan with demonstration projects and more. The results: Our work helped lead to unanimous passage of the city’s first ETOD policy by the Chicago Plan Commission in July 2021 and $10MM in earmarked funds in the City of Chicago’s 2022 budget.
We have provided communications counsel to Discover since its commitment to opening its first customer care center in 20 years on Chicago’s South Side. In partnership with Golin, Rudd Resources has supported the Discover's corporate leaders with strategic counsel, community engagement, event planning, media relations, and advertising creative development and placement. We developed the thematic campaign, “Invested in Chatham, Invested in You,” for Discover, aligned with its bold plans to hire for 1,000 positions at the new center. Our media relations led to key placements across Chicago media including the Chicago Tribune, WBEZ, American Inno, and WLS-TV. We've organized stakeholder meetings and events with key elected officials, faith-based and community leaders, and small business owners to share Discover’s vision and invite community input. And, we have supported the construction and facilities teams on messaging and storytelling around through their contracting process and their success recruiting women, minority and Black-owned businesses.
For the Chicago Dept. of Public Health (CDPH) with funding from the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago, we worked hyper-collaboratively with CPDH to produce its five-year report, Healthy Chicago 2025. Challenged to both interpret information that was at times complex or dense, and to present information in a manner digestible by diverse readers, we responded to the agency’s bold plans with equally bold creativity: storytelling, futurism, hand-drawn illustrations and lots of custom vector images. The results: A terrific report (produced before and during a public health crisis) by an amazing team of public health practitioners, with our contributions.
For Prince Charitable Trusts, we created its first contemporary logo in its 70-year history. We also overhauled and rebranded its website to reflect the cohesion of its giving in three geographic areas and the thoughtfulness of its grant-making decisions, and launched its Instagram presence as another way to showcase its diverse grantees. The results: A fresh logo that celebrates the Trusts’ origins, a clean and clear website that welcomes curious visitors, and a first-time Instagram account that showcases beautiful grantee-sourced photography.
For the Forest Preserves of Cook County, we worked with The Conservation Fund, Anterro Group and the Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago to produce a land acquisition plan for the southeast portion of Cook County. Pivotal was the inclusion of the impact of land acquisition on racial and health equity in this zone. While our partners handled research on land usage, zoning, development potential, etc., we led community outreach, creating a strategy for connecting with elected officials, subject-matter experts and diverse residents (parents, educators, retired citizens, et al) in the prioritized geographic area. We also designed and helped edit the plan for reader accessibility. The result: A well-received report that has been recognized with awards from the American Planning Association, Illinois Chapter, and the Friends of the Chicago River.
For three consecutive years, we provided strategic counsel, storytelling and media relations to the Chicago Community Trust's On the Table, a citywide initiative during which thousands of people gather around meals to discuss topics that are vital for a thriving metropolis. In 2018, we handled the script and casting for this public service announcement, which featured the initiative’s tagline we created, “Meet. Share. Do.” We also worked with Art On The Loose to create the website, for which we reported and wrote nearly 50 stories. In 2019, we created the theme “Memo to the Mayor,” took the initiative to all 50 wards in the city, and encouraged more than 1,400 written and digital memo submissions. The results: Coverage by the Chicago Sun-Times and ABC7 Chicago, participation by thousands, and recognition by the Publicity Club Chicago with two 2020 Golden Trumpet Awards.
For Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago, we created a compelling advertising campaign and executive communications to increase awareness about their mortgage lending and home buying services. Our campaign was centered on our primary and secondary research on the home buying industry, NHS customers and competitors. The campaign, which launched in November 2018, consisted of digital, billboard and radio advertising. We complimented that campaign with executive speechwriting, promotional videos and a social media campaign. We also enhanced NHS’ approach to social media by creating new policies and a social media team.
We supported the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities, a grant-making initiative, in 2017 and 2018; in the first year, we created its first website and social media accounts, and conducted outreach to neighborhood-based organizations across Chicago that led to a doubling of applicants. In 2018, we were retained to lead strategic communications. The results: Relationship management with 131 grant recipients, more than 75 narrative and video stories, and broadcast and print news coverage.
We were hired to develop a strategic communications plan and refined messaging for Aerostar Avion Institute, a nonprofit STEM program that helps prepare youth for aerospace and aviation careers. We led a day-long meeting of its program team and volunteers, helping them whittle down a major to-do list to a series of 21 organizational priorities. Then, we aligned those priorities to time, people and funding resources, creating an execution road-map. The results: A path for growth, including renewed major-donor support, new board member engagement, and participation in a university-run accelerator program.
We can storyboard, research, script, film, narrate, animate, edit and finalize your video projects. Here's how we helped the Chicago Dept. of Planning and Development raise awareness of its Black Chicago Heritage Initiative (BCHI) via a short video about a high-energy community activation event. Produced by Calvin the Creator for Rudd Resources.