Despite a sluggish economy, public transit fare hikes and service cuts, Commuter Check sought to increase awareness for and enrollment in its public transit voucher program in the San Francisco Bay Area.
LCI focused attention on a new federal law that increased the monthly tax-free benefit from $65 to $100, effective January 1, 2002, and showcased regional customer testimonials to localize the story for each media outlet. Using the news hook of the benefit cap increase to initiate discussions, LCI seized the opportunity to educate the media about the Commuter Check program.
In February, LCI announced a BART partnership that emphasized Commuter Check’s positive relationship with transit agencies. During April, LCI capitalized on tax day to pitch a story about the tax-savings that Commuter Check provides to employees and employers. On the feature side, LCI developed a green company story tied to Earth Day and the program’s positive environmental impacts.
LCI successfully negotiated media sponsorships with KPIX-TV and its sister radio station, KCBS, to maximize media exposure for Commuter Check. LCI placed $100 cap news in more than 20 outlets, demonstrating LCI exceeded PR goal by 400%. Media highlights included: San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, The Daily Republic, Alameda Times Star, The Argus, The Daily Review, San Mateo County Times, Tri-Valley Herald, East Bay Business Times, San Francisco Business Times, KNTV-TV, KRON-TV, KPIX-TV, KBWB-TV, KCBS-AM.
More than a 100 percent increase in Commuter Check sales. 76 new Bay Area companies enrolled in the Commuter Check program, doubling the monthly average of 38 new customers per month. In dollars, Bay Area employers purchased $4.76 million in Commuter Check vouchers in one month, more than doubling the six-month average of $2.35 million per month.