Legislative Director for Sen. Kirk Watson
PO Box 1068
Austin, TX 78711
July 2011 – November 2012
Scope of Work:
Public Education, Stakeholder Outreach, Public Involvement, Issues Management, Media Relations and Strategy.
Healthy ATX was a public education effort of the Austin Fund for Quality Health Care, a privately funded fiscal sponsorship of the Austin Community Foundation. Healthy ATX assembled the facts and informed the public regarding Senator Watson’s 10 in 10 initiative to create a University of Texas Medical School, new teaching hospital, modern community health clinics, increased behavior and mental health care, and more comprehensive cancer care.
Rifeline developed the Healthy ATX education campaign to raise awareness about health needs in Travis County prior to, and eventually concurrent with, political calls to action for a November ballot measure to fund health services in Central Texas. This allowed community needs to be highlighted in advance of offering a solution that the public could act on at the polls. Healthy ATX provided information to the public about the needs, opportunities, and challenges of health care in Central Texas and the potential benefits of addressing those needs with a new medical school and teaching hospital.
Public Information Awareness Campaign
Rifeline was hired to develop strategy, create the logo, generate messaging, and produce a website and presentation to promote community dialogue around our current and future health care needs. The campaign was launched during an April 2012 press event with speakers including Senator Kirk Watson, Doug Ulman of Livestrong, and Rosie Mendoza of Central Health.
In addition, Rifeline coordinated with a grassroots network of stakeholder organizations. The group included Seton Family of Hospitals, St. David’s Hospital & Foundation, Central Health, YMCA, Livestrong, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Travis County Medical Society, Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Asian Network, Hispanic Advocates Business Leaders of Austin (HABLA), University of Texas System, University of Texas at Austin, Texas Exes, Hermanos de East Austin, and Black Professionals of Austin.
Rifeline developed direct mail, purchased and developed online advertisements, and created videos and testimonials covering topics including the growing doctor shortage, lack of local specialized medical care, and long wait times encountered for those without insurance. The videos were shared over multiple mediums paired with demographic targeting which resulted in:
- 70,000 views across 20 videos on YouTube
- 400,000 people were reached an average of 38 times each on Facebook in the two weeks leading up to the election. We built unique, targeted universes for over three dozen endorsing groups ranging in size from a few hundred to tens of thousands, from Hispanic Physicians to Texas Exes.
- We developed a cable television advertising buy and worked with broadcast stations to develop and run public service announcements.
Keep Austin Healthy
Rifeline was also hired by the Keep Austin Healthy Political Action (PAC) to lead the campaign efforts on Proposition 1, a five cent tax increase for Central Health. Prop. 1 increased funding available for the poor and uninsured in Travis County, jump started the transformation of health care delivery in our community, created the opportunity for a University of Texas Medical School, and provided for additional mental health services. The proposition passed with the approval of 54% of Travis County voters.