Situation: Lexington residents and businesses would soon be getting their water quality management, sewer and landfill fees in a separate bill. Kentucky American Water, who previously included the charges for these services in the water bill, decided to end the billing and collections contracts with the city of Lexington. As if explaining how to pay this new bill wasn’t enough, it also brought attention to the fees for city services that may have been overlooked until now. And if just 10% of the community failed to pay the bill, the city had the potential to lose over 6 million dollars.
Hot Idea: Awareness, smart positioning and recognition of the new city bill were key. Group CJ, working closely with consultants, environmental quality, focus groups and the Division of Revenue, crafted a simple, hard hitting campaign that included mass media, direct mail, digital media and PR. Our approach was to let the community know what exactly their fees pay for - the somewhat progressive services that our city provides. And of course, remind them subtly that if they did not pay, there would be consequences.
Cool Results: The campaign launched with little pushback and a lot of bills being paid. In fact, the response was so overwhelming - people paying in person at City Hall - that the city decided to install and easy-pay drop box right on Main. Operationally, the transition was pretty seamless - partly due to the fact that we prefaced the change with landlords and began the campaign early with the right amount of reach and frequency.