Case Studies

  • YES ON PROP 35

    The Challenge

    In January 2012, we became the communications arm of the Yes on Prop 35 campaign. Prop 35, an initiative on the November 2012 ballot to stop human trafficking of women and children, needed to stand out in the midst of a busy election cycle with nine other initiatives on the ballot.

    Our goal was for Prop 35 to become the “no-brainer” on the ballot with voters from all political stripes supporting the initiative. In order to achieve this, voters needed to hear about the importance of this initiative from a broad coalition of supporters, including the survivors of human trafficking.

    Our Work

    Between January and November 2012, we relentlessly implemented a strategic communications plan for the Yes on Prop 35 campaign. Highlights of our work for the campaign include:

    Press Conferences and Events – Full Court Press planned, executed and provided press outreach for events for the Prop 35 campaign throughout the state. From campaign kick-off press conferences to a stateside tour by our field organizers, our team worked tirelessly to ensure that these events were covered by a broad range of media outlets.

    Proactive Story Pitching and Management of Press Requests – from the start of the campaign in January to its finish in November, the campaign garnered hundreds of press clips. This level of attention was due to our proactive outreach strategy and a relentless drumbeat of information through press releases and pitches to reporters.

    Editorial Board Outreach – through the course of the campaign, we proactively contacted editorial boards throughout the state, providing them with information and coordinating endorsement meetings. Prop 35 was endorsed by dozens of newspapers from diverse geographies and political bents, including the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Bernardino Sun, the Bakersfield Californian, and La Opinión.

    Opinion Pieces – together with the campaign’s partners in law enforcement, advocates, survivors of human trafficking, and elected officials, we wrote and placed opinion pieces in papers and blogs in communities throughout the state – bringing the voices of the campaign directly to the voters.

    The Result

    Prop 35 passed in November 2012 with over 81% support and over 10 million votes – making it the most popular initiative in California’s history.

  • HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES NETWORK OF CALIFORNIA

    The Challenge

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    Photo: Lea Suzuki, The San Francisco Chronicle

    Since 2007, Full Court Press has worked with the Health and Human Services Network of California (HHS Network) serving as strategic counsel, communications and social media capacity. Funded by the California Endowment, the HHS Network has been empowering and educating partners from around the state on social safety net issues from 2007 to 2013. The goal has been to produce a unified voice in support of California’s social safety net services in a time of state budget woes and severe cuts.

    Prior to the HHS Network, social safety net advocates lacked a unified voice and message around how to talk about the social safety net and California’s budget. Our goal was to make California’s health and human services a significant part of California budget media stories, and in doing so create visible support for these important programs.

    Our Work

    In working with the organization’s leadership core, FCP clarified the Network’s objectives and designed communications strategies to make the organization cohesive and effective in reaching policy goals. We worked to make the HHS Network more visible with targeted audiences such as policy makers, inside-the-Capitol media, and constituents in local communities throughout the state.

    FCP worked with the leadership to develop and implement audience-specific communications plans to reach these diverse audiences. FCP also worked to raise the visibility of four non-profit leaders to serve as voices, in the media and online, as key spokespeople for the effort.

    We relentlessly implemented a strategic communications plan for the HHS Network, including statewide rally days, press conferences, opinion pieces, editorial board outreach, multiple social media campaigns, and media training.

    The Result

    Our communications plan and work resulted in the HHS Network becoming a major voice of advocacy for California’s social safety net. Our many partners from around the state speak with one strong message in support of the social safety net, and are often called upon by the media to be the voice for health and human services in state budget cycle after state budget cycle.

    The human narrative behind state budget cuts to health and social services became an important part of TV, radio, and print budget stories in outlets ranging from the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and KGO TV Channel 2 in the Bay Area to local Patches, regional TV stations, and ethnic media outlets like Sing Tao and La Vida En El Valle.

    Read More


    San Francisco Chronicle, “State’s Budget Cuts Leave Poor in a Fix”

    HHS Network’s 2012 Advocacy Accomplishments

    HHS Network’s Media Coverage Report for the Governor’s 2013 CA Budget Release

  • SANTA CLARA VALLEY OPEN SPACE AUTHORITY

    The Challenge

    The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority (SCVOSA) works to conserve the natural environment, support agriculture, and connect people to nature by protecting open spaces, natural areas, and working farms and ranches for future generations. These lands are dedicated for public use, and are meant for everyone to live, work, hike, play, and enjoy. But Santa Clara County has a population well over one million people. How do you engage this community and encourage them to form a relationship with outdoor open spaces using social media tools? Our goal was to establish not only a wider audience and broader support for public land protection in Santa Clara County, but to cultivate a community of peers, supporters, and ambassadors who were invested in the work of SCVOSA.

    Our Work

    FCP first started working with SCVOSA in 2013. We were asked to build and engage an active audience on SCVOSA’s Facebook Page to spread the word about the County’s open spaces for all. Over the next three years, we worked with Open Space Authority staff to build an engaged and active audience on social media in the following ways:

    • Created and executed targeted Facebook ads that increased the number of followers on SCVOSA’s Facebook page. These ads ran for as little as $5 a day, and targeted people in the County who were interested in outdoor activities such as hiking.
    • Created and posted original Facebook content that engaged our audience. We used the following strategies for our content:
    1. Photos were SCVOSA’s most successful asset on Facebook. We learned that our audience reacted positively to the Santa Clara Valley’s surrounding hillsides, wildlife, and beautiful landscape.
    2. Targeted boosts helped increase our number of likes, comments, reactions and shares on each post.
    3. Engaging messaging such as asking questions about photos, or sharing upcoming event also resulted high engagement with the Facebook page.
    • FCP also provided strategic counsel and training to SCVOSA’s staff for how to continue to grow and build their social media platforms in the future.

    The Result

    When our work began, approximately 500 people liked the Open Space Authority Facebook page. Today, over 20,000 people are part of SCVOSA’s Facebook community — a group that is actively engaged in responding to content, attending events and activities, learning about the value of the region’s open space, and joining the e-newsletter list. Because of the success of the Facebook page, thousands more people in Santa Clara County are part of the vibrant network of interconnected open spaces, trails, wildlife habitats, and thriving agricultural lands. This work has been a model for Open Space districts across the state.

  • David and Lucile Packard Foundation

    The Challenge

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    Beginning in 2003, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation engaged Full Court Press Communications to provide media relations and communications support to promote voluntary, universal preschool education in California. The Foundation asked FCP to help its grantees communicate more effectively about the importance and impact of preschool education.

    Our Work

    From the onset, FCP understood that in order to increase support for preschool education, grantees needed to talk about more than just California’s moral obligation to help children. They also needed to explain why preschool education made economic sense. After all, providing preschool to all of California’s children is a large investment. FCP crafted a communications plan that included all grantees. We also helped release four RAND reports on the economics of investing in universal preschool. From these massive reports, FCP worked with grantees to ensure that the economic payback numbers – $2.62 for every dollar invested in universal preschool by the public sector – were woven into the fabric of the statewide conversation. Finally, we convened a first-of-its-kind conference at UC Berkeley for national and state education reporters to help them understand the crucial link between preschool enrollment and success in school and life.

    The Result

    Thanks to focused, consistent messaging by all of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation grantees, the conversation about universal preschool was transformed in California. Opinion leaders and Californians viewed universal preschool not as a costly burden, but as a necessary investment. Additionally, grantees increasingly became trusted voices for educating civic and community leaders on the value of investing in children.

  • NAPA VALLEY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION/ IMMIGRATION

    The Challenge

    When the Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) wanted to convene a civic and community dialogue on the impact of immigration in their community, they reached out to FCP. Knowing that immigration is often a very emotional and difficult issue for communities, NVCF and FCP had to strike the right tone and be deliberate about including all Napa Valley voices in the conversation.

    Our Work

    FCP supported the Napa Valley Community Foundation by providing media capacity, strategic counsel and media training related to the release of the “Profile of Immigrants in Napa County” report, produced by NVCF and the Migration Policy Institute. We developed a strategy for previewing the report with small, diverse audiences before it was released to the broader community. As part of our media relations strategy, FCP worked with NVCF and its partners to develop messaging, press releases, editorials and social media tools to help them fully surround and engage their target audience, including those who had divergent opinions. FCP also assisted NVCF when it hosted a 200-person community meeting that allowed participants to delve deeply into the report findings. Finally, we provided guidance to NVCF as it worked to highlight personal stories, specifically by providing counsel on the development of three mini-documentaries with three very different stories of immigration in the Napa Valley.

    The Result

    As a result of our collaboration, FCP was able to raise awareness of the “Profile of Immigrants in Napa County” report throughout the region and the state. The report was covered by NPR’s Marketplace, New American Media, Univision Nacional and more. Additionally, media outlets like the Los Angeles Times participated in the NVCF’s community meeting on immigration in Napa County. Thanks to media coverage and effective community engagement, the Napa Valley Community Foundation was able to highlight personal stories on both sides of the immigration debate. Even now, it is continuing the immigration conversation in a civil, thoughtful and respectful way.

  • SOLANO COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH

    The Challenge

    Solano County is one of the unhealthiest counties in California. A significant percentage of adults in the county smoke cigarettes and many adults and children are of an unhealthy weight and have been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes. Solano County’s community members needed more access to fruits and vegetables, fresh water, smoke-free spaces and health classes. As Solano County Public Health Department worked to increase healthy options, they found it difficult to keep the community informed about new and existing programs that help make Solano County’s environment more healthy. That’s where we came in. The department asked FCP to help share these messages with the public by spreading the word about how to make health-minded choices in Solano County.

    Our Work


    Solano County Public Health Department received a multi-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) program. As part of this grant, FCP was hired to lead in branding, developing, and executing a two-year public health awareness campaign. The campaign, VibeSolano, spread the word about efforts to create healthier environments with and for residents. FCP created numerous social media campaigns, worked with reporters to publish dozens of articles and opinion pieces in local newspapers, and placed nearly $1 million in targeted paid advertising on TV, radio, cinema, digital, and social media.

    The Result

    VibeSolano resulted in an unprecedented number of media messages in a wide variety of venues that reached residents throughout the County. The campaign successfully raised awareness, promoted environmental changes, and spread the word about creating healthy options that will last long after this funding ends. Examples of the campaign’s success include:

    • A VibeSolano Facebook page which regularly shares posts and pictures with over 1,700 followers. FCP created the Facebook page, developed content, and ran ads to receive more followers and encourage our audience to engage with our posts. The combined posts on the page reached hundreds of thousands of people;
    • Nine radio ads placed on local radio station KUIC. FCP scripted and recorded these ads to promote VibeSolano initiatives and successes. The ads were heard about 4 million times in the last two years;
    • Eight Comcast television ads that were viewed an estimated 800,000 times. FCP outlined, scripted, directed, and worked the local videographer to edit three of the video ads. Those three were also played on the big screen before feature films in movie theaters in Fairfield, Vacaville, and Vallejo, and were seen more than 980,000 times. You can view:
    1. This video about Vibe Solano
    2. This video about the store makeovers
    3. This video about new water fountains
    • Nine original digital messages that had more than 11 million combined views, on a variety of websites. FCP worked with a local graphic designer to develop the branding and messaging for all digital ads. Here is an example:

    • Three large stand-up kiosks in local malls in Solano County. FCP worked with a local graphic designer to develop the branding and messaging for all outdoor ads. Each original mall ad reached an estimated 800,000 mall visitors. Here are the ad designs:

  • JACK LONDON SQUARE

    The Challenge

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    Ellis Partners, a commercial real estate and development firm based in the Bay Area, reached out to Full Court Press when they needed media relations and communications support for Jack London Square in Oakland, California. The firm was seeking first to highlight the groundbreaking of the iconic Jack London Market and then to highlight the square and the entrepreneurs and restaurants that chose to call it home.

    Our Work

    FCP worked with Ellis to host a “Launch” event featuring the leading politicians and business leaders of the day. FCP then built on its relationship with local business reporters to bring attention to the many new tenants, developments and events in Jack London Square – from food festivals, to restaurant openings to businesses that were moving into the region. We worked with Jack London Square representatives to draft press releases and calendar listings and were called upon to engage in media outreach and to handle media inquiries. Throughout this effort, FCP relentlessly promoted the unique and special qualities of Jack London Square and Oakland.

    The Result

    FCP’s efforts to promote Jack London Square and its new activities and businesses paid off. The development was featured in articles throughout the East Bay and received newspaper, TV and radio coverage. Coverage of Jack London Square can be seen in the San Francisco Business Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Oakland Tribune. There were also national “feature” articles about the development.

  • CALIFORNIA COMPETES: HIGHER EDUCATION FOR A STRONG ECONOMY

    The Challenge

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    In 2012, California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy contacted FCP to assist them with the release of a report titled “The Road Ahead – Higher Education, California’s Promise, And Our Future Economy.” The report focused on the number of college degrees and technical credentials necessary for California to stay economically viable in a global economy. With budget cuts looming for California’s colleges and universities and with the November elections receiving most of the media’s attention, FCP had to help California Competes break through the political noise with strong, defined messaging and relentless execution of our strategy.

    Our Work

    FCP worked with California Competes and its allies to release the “Road Ahead” report into the public discussion in May of 2012. We assisted the organization in creating a consistent message that resonated with their target audience and with the media. Through a teleconference, targeted media call-downs and consistent follow-up, FCP helped California Competes spread the message that the state needed to increase the number of degrees it was on track to produce by 2.3 million by 2025 to remain economically competitive. Additionally, FCP helped California Competes communicate about solutions to the degree crisis, including by having all allies consistently call for a streamlined and improved higher education system.

    The Result

    Our efforts received significant statewide and even national media coverage. In one month alone, the report was featured in 22 print stories, nine radio stories, three broadcast stories and on nine influential education blogs. The report continues to receive national and international media attention, with media outlets like the UK’s Times – Higher Education publishing in-depth stories about California’s higher education system as a result of the report. As important, the 2.3 million degree and technical credential number has now become part of the higher education dialogue in California, with civic and education leaders referring to it when advocating for strengthening and improving the state’s colleges and universities.