HighGround’s digital expertise is derived from impact data that demonstrate how, and by how many people, our digital messages are received.  These data arm our team to execute disciplined messages, created for each campaign, to be paired with thoughtful deployment strategies. From the earliest days of the internet where the concept of launching a website was brand new, to launching our first campaign twitter account more than ten years ago, the HighGround team has been on the leading edge of integrating digital and interactive elements into our campaign efforts.  We have watched digital assets evolve from novel experiments to essential campaign elements and have continued to grow our expertise accordingly to account for this transition. 

Our digital components are created in house, giving us the ability to rapidly respond to the ever-changing digital landscapes. Our internal team can build websites, develop and deploy email strategies and design innovative social media content to advance integral digital branding. We rigorously monitor news outlets to ensure the latest relevant content is being circulated on the appropriate digital stage.

Our approach to the online landscape correlates with all other moving parts of our campaign strategy. We align subject matter to reflect the overall goals of each campaign and generate content that compliments other campaign material such as direct mail pieces and print advertisements.

Our combination of internal and external resources creates a superior blend of content creation with digital execution.  At each stage of the growth and evolution of the digital space, our team has received recognition and accumulated multiple awards for creatively deploying assets for maximum effect.  HighGround’s digital efforts have been featured on Fox News, CNN, the Drudge Report, New York Daily News, Talking Points Memo, and many others. 

Innovation

Our forward-thinking approaches have led our team down a path of firsts – embracing innovation and being among the first to explore new technology.  In fact, HighGround was the first in the country to launch a Virtual Reality (VR) political commercial.  Our work with Art Haynie on Yes for Peoria allowed visitors to experience the natural beauty of the mountains in Peoria.

This was particularly effective for seniors who would not be able to make the hike to experience it firsthand. The innovation turned heads and drew attention to a local down-ballot issue that would not have received very much attention otherwise. Our work eventually took me the prize for the first ever Best Use of Virtual or Augmented Reality Reed Award from Campaigns & Elections.

HighGround’s track record of innovation stretches back more than 15 years when we worked with Mighty Interactive and Bohnsack Design to blaze trails on interactivity during a time to static websites.  During the Yes on 400 campaign, the HighGround team developed a voter-centric website that housed a one of the first ever interactive maps.  The site allowed voters to interact with the various modes of transportation and allow them to zoom-in and interact with the map.   It also provided specific information detailing budget numbers, how many miles of freeway will be in the plan, how many miles of light rail, how many buses and park-and-ride lots will be included. The innovation of the website won multiple awards including the Transit Initiative Award for Most Innovative Use of the Web from the American Public Transportation Association as well as a Pollie Award for Most Innovative Use of Technology from the American Association of Political Consultants.

Creativity

Our team has a unique ability to utilize humor and creativity to draw organic attention to substantive policy issues. During Governor Jan Brewer’s bid for a second term, we used humor to add clarity and draw attention to the immigration debate following the passage of SB1070. To highlight critical facts about the immigration issue, our team launched the “Arizona Sing-A-Long” which featured a singing frog that revealed top cabinet officials had condemned the law without even taking the time to read it. The Singing Frog Video  went viral and rackedup more than 732k views on YouTube and took home a Pollie Award for Best Use of Humor in a Candidate Web Video. 

During that same campaign, we launched creative websites to draw attention to Governor Brewer’s campaign and draw distinctions between her and her opponents as well as President Obama.

One example was celebrating the President’s birthday by launching a website (www.happybirthdayfromaz.com) that allowed people to email digital “birthday cakes” to Obama with messages such as “We Can't Afford Your Health Care Policy” and “Visit Arizona, See for Yourself.”  The site was an overwhelming success sending more than 44,500 digital “cakes” and the campaign able to collect more than 40,000 unique emails that we utilized for outreach and fundraising.









Social and Earned Media
 

HighGround dedicates a great deal of time to researching new methodologies and trends so clients can be sure they are being offered the most innovative strategies.   We recognize that “social media” is the current “must-have” item.  As such, our team has dedicated time and expertise in creating specialized, tactical social approaches that generate meaningful metrics and outcomes for our client.

We intensely focused on social media during our time spent working with the David & Gladys Wright House.

To celebrate a monumental moment for the acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, we implemented a plan that would flood the digital space and generate a great deal of attention around the hashtag #FLW150 for his 150th birthday. Our efforts were recognized by the Guggenheim Museum in NYC as being the most successful Frank Lloyd Wright home on Instagram and was awarded a Reed Award for Best Earned Media Around a Single Event Reed Award.  The campaign was a major success online as well gathering attention (including dozens of news stories) and collectively earning over 8 million impressions. Our efforts in support of the David & Gladys Wright House also included utilizing social media influencers and working with renowned artist, Steve Yazzie and his firm Digital Preserve on an awe-inspiring video series about the three goals of the home: “Preserve, Celebrate, and Inspire.”

Our team also recognizes that message discipline plays a leading role in the effort to create a digital brand. Our work for Arizona League of Cities and Towns is a prime example of this combined effort. The League’s Social networks are scheduled using content calendars that align with key events and legislative happenings. The content exemplifies the brands pillars and communicates critical issues through a branded lens. This type of uniformity creates a genuine interest in engagement amongst the audience groups.  Long before the evolutionof social media, HighGround was at the forefront of digital earned media, earning a Pollie Award for Best Overall Internet Campaign for our work on Joe Arizona creating a unique online persona and managing a massive online tee-shirt campaign on behalf of the Coalition for Arizona.         

Web Video 

Our team has a great deal of success developing both larger budget and lower budget web videos with great success.  We have effectively used web videos as a tool to communicate complex topics that can be seen as difficult to understand or require a logical explanation to an emotional topic. 

During the Medicaid Restoration debate in 2013, we faced a complicated topic regarding the state budget and what restoring and expanding Medicaid meant to the state.  We needed legislators to understand the need to support the proposal to protect the rainy-day fund, reduce uncompensated care, and prevent 63,000 Arizonans from losing their health care at the end of the year. To simplify the explanation, we utilized whiteboard animation to depict the complicated concept in the “Do the Math” Video.  Ultimately, the issue passed the legislature, withstood a referendum attempt, and the whiteboard video won a Pollie Award for Best Internet Public Affairs Division Web Video State/ Local.  In addition, Medicaid Restoration went on to be named the “2014 Campaign Excellence Public Affairs/Advocacy Campaign of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants.



Four years earlier, our team struck gold with a low-budget video that struck a nerve and brought facts to an emotional immigration debate.  To drive home the importance of border security, we generated over a million views with our No one is laughing at Arizona Video – 1,277,234 views, the video was featured on Drudge Report and dozens of conservative websites. 

Email Blasts, Websites and Digital Writing

Effective email is not something new to our HighGround team; we have been creating impactful and successful emails in house for nearly two decades. Our team has a proven track record of breakthrough email that stretches back to crafting one of the first ever “viral” flash emails with our Halloween themed

“Chris is Missing” email on behalf of the Jan Brewer for Secretary of State all the way back in 2002. The email had an astounding open and forward rate and ultimately earned a Pollie Award for Best Use of Email/Viral Marketing.In an age where almost all political emails are breathless fundraising asks aimed at creating widespread panic, we have been able to continue to create thoughtful, well-crafted email programs.  We develop emails internally which allows for creativity and rapid deployment. We’ve done personal emails, endorsement announcements, interactive polls, holiday themed emails, and voter reminders all in concert with overall campaign messaging.


Our team uses websites to continue telling the campaign narrative. Our team is equipped with talented writers that can quickly facilitate blog posts, op-eds, endorsements and topical narratives to be modeled for use on varied digital platforms.   We have proven winning website strategies that earn attention and awards such as the interactive map on Yeson400.com which won a Pollie for Best Internet - Website Initiative/ Referendum/ Constitutional Amendment in 2005 and the first of its kind property-tax calculator that anchored Yeson414.com, Save Our Healthcare  which won a Pollie for Best Initiative/ Referendum Website in 2004.

We are well versed in writing for the internet with the renowned HighGround blog averaging more than 65 views and 90 pages views per day and an astounding average open rate of 21.4% on email blasts.  In addition, we have successfully deployed regularly published articles and blogs on behalf of a wide variety of public and private clients.