We created a comprehensive initiative giving voice to 250,000 businesses in a campaign to settle a seven-year-old, nearly billion-dollar class action lawsuit against the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC). Utilizing social media, patch-thru calls, television and earned media, our efforts ended in an unprecedented $420 million settlement.
Faced with the dual challenges of both engaging thousands of class members who were unaware of the lawsuit and reversing the BWC’s refusal to even discuss settlement, we developed an unconventional strategy that targeted the Governor, rather than the BWC. Carrying the message, “Governor Kasich, we need your help,” the campaign capitalized on his pro-business philosophy. We used earned and paid media to tell the personal stories of businesses and families harmed by the BWC’s actions.
With a $500,000 budget and a 30-day window before the deadline for the BWC to file another appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, the campaign garnered the Governor’s attention and support by utilizing live patch-through calls, social media, statewide earned media and online and television advertising. During that period, we engaged thousands of class members, resulting in statewide news coverage and editorial support that ultimately persuaded the Governor to take action. Within days of learning that the Governor had personally viewed our TV ads, the BWC opened settlement talks. Within weeks, a settlement was reached, class members avoided the risk of an adverse decision by the Supreme Court, the case was resolved one to two years earlier than it would have if litigation had continued, and every class member filing a claim received 100% of the amount owed.