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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