Client: The State of Tennessee
Audience: Tennessee families
The State of Tennessee offers more than 2,000 programs to help Tennessee families live healthy, prosperous lives.
However, until summer 2013, they were difficult to find, especially online. Like independent nations, the six umbrella departments had widespread and varied channels of communication—some used the Internet, some depended solely on in-person visits, some were paper-based and each had its own interpretation of branding. Unfortunately because of this variation, Tennessee’s low-income, single-parent families—the primary beneficiaries of these remarkable programs—were not utilizing the programs.
In the summer of 2012, the State approached iostudio, our Nashville-based creative agency, to modernize, unify and streamline their entire communication platform.
The first step to any project we touch is research. We go brainiac on our clients, their audiences and their influencers to understand every nuance and every goal. It is impossible to succeed in content marketing without intense demographic and psychographic data—and any other data you can get your hands on. Tactics must be supported by data.
After completing a rigorous, 90-day deep-dive into focus group results and data analysis, we were able to support our gut suspicion—Tennessee families needed a “one-stop shop” website, supported by a high-speed mobile app and engagement-based social media. All in all, some solid content marketing.
Upon approval from the Commissioners, the Governor and the First Lady, iostudio took another deep dive, this time in content curating, editing and good ol’ fashioned “wordsmithing.” Our content marketing director, Gene Bedell (@Gene_Bedell) is a master of organization. Must be his nearly 10 years as a Marine (or his 10 as a publishing guru), but he can sort and apply logic to any mass pile-up of information. Gene “bucketized” the 2,000+ programs into four easy-to-digest categories: Health, Development, Education and Support. The team repeatedly met with Tennessee’s leadership, then augmented the reworked, existing content with more than 170 original, tip-centric articles. For social, the departments would write and post their own content, but they would now be guided by a strategic, statewide content calendar. This calendar ensures related content is pushed to correspond with major life events of Tennesee families. Brilliant.
While our in-house journalists tackled this, our creative team reimagined the branding. Government doesn’t have to look like an online filing cabinet. It doesn’t have to be oppressively formal or unintuitive. So, we opened the blinds and scrubbed the surface ‘til it shined. Essentially, fresh-feeling colors, engaging typography and a truly smart user interface brought warm energy to the whole initiative, which we retitled “kidcentral tn.”
With every interactive project we touch, we think mobile first. As our dev team architected the website, mobile responsiveness was a priority (see the site here). Research revealed that the majority of the audience hit the web on a smartphone. With that, an app was a natural extension—offering a feature similar to a mobile refrigerator magnet providing vital info at a touch (search the free app on iTunes).
The next phase of kidcentral tn is about to launch. We created an iPad kiosk app that operates wirelessly in all health departments and doctors’ offices, again, to be as accessible and convenient to Tennessee families as possible.
kidcentral tn results offer us heartfelt rewards as lives are touched across the state. One Tennessee father reported, “Thanks for making a great site. I was able to use it already for locating dental services in my area for our situation.” A community provider shared a funny one, “By the way, I think the website is unusually easy to use.” Government made easy! A wild idea, but truly possible with smart content marketing.