RICHMOND TAX AMNESTY
CREATED BY TOM:
ABOVE: 2017 social media commercial for highly successful City of Richmond, VA tax amnesty initiative.
ABOVE RIGHT: Brochure form of tax amnesty marketing design, also utilized as advertisements in newspapers, on city transit (buses) and in citywide mailers.
City of Richmond Tax Amnesty Initiative
Prior to Tom Byrnes returning to public service in the capital of Virginia, the City of Richmond had never utilized social media as a paid advertising and promotional platform to inform citizens, as it had with radio and television.
In 2017, the City of Richmond offered a two-month tax amnesty program allowing citizens owing certain back taxes to “get right with the city” without any penalties or interest. At the launch of the program, the city was banking on collecting $2.4 million in revenue.
More than halfway through the program, those paying or signed up to pay by the deadline represented a collection total projected to fall well short of the $2.4 million goal (even with projections accommodating a number expected to wait until the very end to take action).
Tom made the case to add social media advertising to its paid public service marketing efforts, then launched and managed the city’s first ever multi-platform information campaign that included social media. The results were spectacular.
The Pew Research Center reports* nearly 70% of all American adults are Facebook users (the most used social media platform by all Americans), and nearly three-quarters of those users look at it every single day (more than half multiple times a day). An even higher percentage of American adults (73%) watch YouTube content. The “reciprocity” across social media platforms is also strongest with YouTube. Of all Twitter and Facebook users, for example, 95 and 87% of those users respectively also watch YouTube content. *Pew statistics updated March 1, 2018.
As with traditional marketing and advertising, social media and YouTube videos shared on social media platforms represent a now critical, if not outright superior way to share content with, advertise to and inform the public.
The video in the above left column was created by Tom and was among the tax amnesty videos targeted and run over a three week period in the Richmond metropolitan area; they were shared and viewed thousands of times.
The city ended up exceeding its collection goal by $400,000. Read more here.
© 2018 THOS. M. BYRNES