Prairie Center for the Arts
Services: Social Media Management, Press Releases, Event Publicity, Logo Development
The Prairie Center for the Arts is a theater in Schaumburg, IL. The intimate 442 seat facility has exceptional sightlines and outstanding acoustics. With the furthest seat only 14 rows from the stage, the Prairie Center is an ideal venue to see a concert, play or musical.
Before hiring MECO Consulting, marketing responsibilities were handled by Prairie Center staff members. Staff members were working hard on their core responsibilities such as production and event planning. Understandably, public relations and publicity was an afterthought after completing the many logistics involved with stage productions.
The Prairie Center hired MECO Consulting in 2014 to assume Marketing Specialist responsibilities. Duties include developing and distributing press releases, social media management, e-newsletter development and distribution and advertising coordination. With a cohesive and consistent presence, ticket sales have increased and revenue overall has increased.
Working with MECO has allowed Prairie Center staff to focus on their positions and build their programs while MECO publicized those programs.
Mount Prospect Public Works Department
Services: Communications Strategy, Program Marketing Campaigns, Social Media Management
The Mount Prospect Public Works Department staff wished to make a more concerted effort to communicate the department’s role and program details to the community. There was an impression that important functions of the department were often overlooked or not properly communicated to residents.
Many of the projects under the responsibility of the Public Works Department are complex and technical and can be difficult to translate into laymen’s terms. In addition to regular maintenance and day to day functions, the department typically manages 15-20 major projects a year. Examples of these projects are sewer improvements, parking permits, road construction and other capital projects. Additionally, they can be involved in emergency or crisis situations as well, especially weather related incidents.
Staff wished to create a consistent and professional message and look for the overall communications. Especially in a time of public scrutiny and tight municipal budgets, they felt it was especially important to present a positive message about the important and vital work that the department performs.
MECO was tasked with helping to bring awareness of Public Works programs and responsibilities to the Mount Prospect population, and to make information easier to find and understand for the public.
MECO developed a Communications Strategy for the department, identifying specific marketing methods to use in getting their message across. To assist in the outreach efforts, MECO reviewed and provided recommendations for reorganizing the department’s web site. MECO was also asked to create and manage a social media program for the department.
In addition to these efforts, MECO has worked on many special projects with the department including outreach campaigns for several programs including implementation of an Automatic Water Meter Reading program, a Commuter Permit Parking program, implementation of new parking pay stations at the commuter parking lot and more.
MECO has also been responsible for assisting with design and production of street banners for the department for special events and seasonal rotations.
O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission
Services: Project Management of Web Site Re-Design, Web Site Maintenance, Press Releases
The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission web site design was last updated approximately 10 years ago. The site was difficult to manage and simple updates were cumbersome and time consuming. The navigation was confusing and the structure poorly organized.
MECO worked with web site designer Basecamp Web Solutions to create a new, fresh, technically up to date and significantly improved web site. The new site not only looks better but is much more secure from hacking, better organized and easier to update, saving time and money in web site maintenance over the long term.
MECO also assists the organization in day to day tasks of web site maintenance and press release distribution.
Mount Prospect Downtown Merchants Association
Services: Social Media Management, Event Marketing, Web Site Maintenance
When the Mount Prospect Downtown Merchants Association wished to they sought MECO’s assistance in developing a strategic plan for the organization. MECO met with the Executive Board and identified areas members wanted to focus on and methods to become more involved in and take on more of an advocacy role for businesses in the community.
The MPDMA knew they needed professional assistance in promoting their signature community events. MECO was brought on board to coordinate promotion of MPDMA community-wide events including 2 Pub Crawls and Fall Fest/Oktoberfest, efforts that included development and updating of print materials, press releases, social media and more.
MECO also assists the organization with maintenance of the web site and social media management.
Morton College – Careers and Technical Education Division
Services: Marketing Plan
Educators and staff members of the Careers and Technical Education (CTE) Division of Morton College had heard feedback from the community concerning a lack of awareness of the programs and benefits the division offers. Many students are non-traditional, older students who are changing careers or fields. Many would benefit from programs or courses offered by the CTE Division.
Staff of the division were frustrated by the decentralized communications functions at the college and wanted to make a concerted effort to gain more attention and recognition for their programs in order to increase awareness as well as enrollment. Some of the challenges the division faced included incomplete course listings in college publications, and difficulty navigating, finding information, and the registration process on the college’s web site.
In a time of public scrutiny and tight budgets, they recognized the importance of presenting a positive message about the opportunities available to students within the College’s district and beyond. For example, students completing their GED are eligible for four semesters of waived tuition, but many are not aware of this benefit. Additionally, several CTE programs are available to out of district students if their local community college does not offer a comparable course or program. This is a huge untapped market and they needed to research ways these people can be reached. CTE staff asked MECO’s assistance in creating a consistent and professional message and look for the overall communications of the division.
The goals of the project included: bringing awareness of the programs that the Morton College Careers and Technical Education Division offers to the public; making information easier to find and understand for the public; and increasing or maintaining enrollment for the programs in the Careers and Technical Education Division.
MECO met with faculty and staff and developed a Marketing Plan which performed a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat (SWOT) analysis and identified several strategic efforts the division could undertake to improve their outreach and communication.