First AmendmentThe First Amendment states “Congress shallmake no law respecting an establishment ofreligion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; orabridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; orthe right of the people peaceably to assemble, andto petition the government for a redress of grievances.”1 The constitution was created September17, 1787 and ratified June 21, 1788.Communication between people haschanged since the First Amendment was first created.The Internet has been a big changing factorin how people obtain and share information.Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitterand Myspace open many new portals for peopleto communicate through. These social sites alsoprovide more opportunities for the government tocheck up on you.The article “No place to hide: Privacy invasionand censorship” explains how government isasking search engines to hand over the personalinformation of customers. 2 AOL, Microsoft andYahoo all agreed with the government request, butGoogle denied.The government is also listening in onphone calls and looking at personal conversations.Today the government feels “that they have theright to arrest citizens without charges and imprisonthem without access to counsel or the judicialsystem.” 3 The government’s actions are causing441. “Bill of Rights/ Legal Information Institute.” Cornell University Law School.Cornell Law School, n.d. Web. 20 Mar 2010. .2. McMasters, Paul. “No Place To Hide: Privacy Invasion and Censorship.”NorthCountry Gazette (2006): n. pag. Web. 10 Apr 2010. .3. “First Amendment/ Free Speech.” American Press Institute. American Press Institute,January 31, 2006. Web. 22 Mar 2010.
people to censor what they say and do, infringingupon their first amendment rights.The Florida First Amendment Foundationdeals with trying to protect the citizens’ of Florida’sFirst Amendment rights, including invasionof privacy and censorship. It does this by makingpeople aware of current issues going on through itsinformational seminars and weekly news letters.The Florida First Amendment Foundationdeals with the Sunshine Laws. Established in 1967,the Sunshine Laws state that “all state, country andmunipal records are open for personal inspectionand copying by any person. Providing access topublic records is a duty of each agency.” This laidthe foundation for the basic rights of access to mostboard, commission and other governing bodies ofstate and local government agency or authoritymeetings. 1 The Florida First Amendment Foundationworks specifically to protect the First Amendmentrights of Florida’s citizens. To help peopleunderstand “the requirements and exemptions toFlorida’s open government laws,” the AttorneyGeneral’s Office publishes a complete guide togovernment bodies known as the Government-inthe-SunshineManual. 1 Each year this manual ispublished by the First Amendment Foundation inTallahassee with no expense to Floridian taxpayers.1. The “Sunshine” Law. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.myflsunshine.com/sun.nsf/pages/Law55
numbers in its professional membership. Thefoundation has recently announced its full supportfor the upcoming website, “Transparency Florida,”which will “provide a current picture of the operatingbudget as well as daily expenditures by stateagencies.” 1 This information will be available tothe general public, but is most useful to media andlaw professionals.Florida FAF is a strong supporter of SB 440by Senator Gelber (D), Miami Beach 2 and its companion,HB 241 by Rep. Fitzgerald (D), Sarasota 3 ,which will make the legislation process more opento the public. If approved by the public in the 2010general election, the proposed bill will “open thelegislative process up to more sunshine by amendingthe constitutional provision relating to accessto legislative records and meetings.” 1The foundation honors one member eachmonth, giving credit to those who work hardto protect the First Amendment. For the March“Member of the Month”, Florida FAF chose tohonor the law firm Thomas, LoCicero & Bralow,which has offices in Tampa, South Florida andNew York. 4 The firm routinely assists businessesand individuals in several aspects of law concerningthe First Amendment and the Florida SunshineLaws. 4 Firms such as Thomas, LoCicero & Bralow,along with many other organizations and individualsdonate money to Florida FAF to aid in the1.“Putting the Sunshine in Government.” First Amendment Foundation. Netphiles,05 Mar 2010. Web. 23 Mar 2010. .2.“Session: Bills: flsenate.gov.” The Florida Senate. The Florida Senate, 03 Mar2010. Web. 23 Mar 2010. .3. “Session: Bills: flsenate.gov.” The Florida Senate. The Florida Senate,03 Mar 2010. Web. 23 Mar 2010. .4.“Member of the Month.” First Amendment Foundation. Netphiles, 04 Mar 2010.Web. 23 Mar 2010. .77
protection of the Sunshine Laws and First Amendmentissues. 1 Florida FAF is a private, non-profitorganization. 2 This means that the organizationexists solely for educational and charitable reasonsand all money earned must go directly back intohelping the organization reach its goals. No shareholdersor trustees receive any surplus funds. 3However, charitable giving, which makesup 68 percent of revenue for most of these organizations,fell 2.2 percent in 2008. 4 This drop didnot affect educational, religious, or societal benefitcharities. Since Florida FAF falls into that SocietalBenefits charity category, it must be assumed thatif there is a problem in slumping donations it isnot due to a trend of the market.Despite the fall in donations to Florida FAF,the cause it is working for is still receiving attention.This January, the John S. and James L. KnightFoundation “announced a new $2 million, threeyeargrant to the National Freedom of InformationCoalition (NFOIC) to launch the Knight Freedomof Information (FOI) Fund and support state opengovernment groups. 5 The Knight FOI Fund providesup-front litigation costs such as court costs,and filing and deposition fees.” 5 The grants willbe used for ligation costs of trials concerning majoropen government issues.881.“Member of the Month.” First Amendment Foundation. Netphiles, 04 Mar 2010.Web. 23 Mar 2010. .2.“Home.” First Amendment Foundation. Netphiles, 04 Mar 2010. Web. 23 Mar2010. .3. “Non-profit Organization Definition.” Investor Words. Investor Words, n.d. Web.23 Mar 2010. .4. Giving From the Heart.” USA. United Service Organization For Health CareFoundation, 2009. Web. 15 Mar 2010. .5. “First Litigation Grants Approved.” First Amendment Foundation. Netphiles, 17Feb 2010. Web. 23 Mar 2010. .
Product/ServicesFlorida FAF’s products are the services it providesto public officials, legal and media professionals.It monitors Florida Legislature, stateagencies, the courts and local governments, whenpossible, for open government issues. The Foundationalerts its members of these issues throughperiodic reports of all open government activity. 1The Foundation also holds seminars allaround the state to provide information aboutthemselves and the Sunshine Laws. These seminarsare geared for government officials and journalistsas well as the general public. 1Another service Florida FAF provides is theFreedom of Information (FOI) hotline. This tollfreehotline is open to anyone interested in acquiringinformation or questions pertaining to theapplication of the Sunshine and the Public RecordsLaws. Florida FAF boasts an average of 150 callsper month, with nearly half of that coming fromthe general public. 1Florida FAF has also released a number ofpublications to help its market obtain information.Its Government-in-the-Sunshine Manual is an annualguide to Florida’s Open Meetings and PublicRecords Laws. Published in cooperation with theAttorney General’s Office, this manual providesFlorida FAF’s target market with up-to-date informationabout case law and attorney general opinions.1. “About the First Amendment Foundation.” First Amendment Foundation.Netphiles, 11 Mar 2009. Web. 23 Mar 2010. .99
The Florida Public Records Handbookcontains copies of the most commonly used publicrecords, where to obtain them and suggestions onthe types of information available from differentpublic records. 1pertinent Public Records and Sunshine Law informationon the inside covers. This notebook alsoincludes a list of open government resources forimmediate assistance with access issues. There areseveral blank pages in the middle of this book totake notes in. 1The White Paper, A Narrative History ofOpen Government in Florida details the history ofFlorida’s open government laws. This book comeswith a CD format of the Exemption Database, asearchable database with over 1,000 exemptions toFL’s open government laws. 1Florida FAF also publishes a laminatedfold-out page called the Quick Reference Guide.This page includes frequently asked questionsabout open government laws and a list of opengovernment resources when immediate help withan access issue is necessary. 1The Reporter’s Notebook is a standardnotebook, similar to the type reporters use, withFlorida First Amendment Foundation alsopublishes an extensive analysis and review of allopen government bills in its Legislative Report.101.“About the First Amendment Foundation.” First Amendment Foundation.Netphiles, 11 Mar 2009. Web. 23 Mar 2010. .
The Foundation tracks the legislation through theCongressional session and provides its members witha weekly report of legislative activity. 1Florida FAF also aids in open governmentlitigation throughout the state. It joins important opengovernment cases and even takes cases on the citizens’behalves. 1This organization provides benefits to payingmembers based on the dollar amount the individualgives. General membership can come with a CD-ROM, a handbook and a membership card, as well as,depending on the amount donated, a brief bag. 21.“First Amendment Foundation Membership.” First Amendment Foundation.Netphiles, 12 Mar 2009. Web. 23 Mar 2010. .2. “First Litigation Grants Approved.” First Amendment Foundation. Netphiles, 17Feb 2010. Web. 23 Mar 2010. .111
ConsumerThe general consumers of the products and servicesof Florida FAF vary according to the fieldof work each consumer does. The consumer groupincludes reporters, lawyers, activist, and upper-levelstudents. Florida FAF also attracts large organizationssuch as radio, law firms and TV networks.Legal and media professionals are the maintarget market. Based on the high price of membershipwith Florida FAF, it is a critical aspect tounderstand the consumers’ economic status. In Tallahassee,government is known to be a high technologycenter focused on the economy. 2The one thing that all of these varied demographicshave in common is a desire to be involved in theworkings of the government, whether it is the person’sjob or civil duty. Due to the upper-level statusof the consumer, the brand membership tends tocater to each field. The consumers have a mindsetthat leans toward protection of public speech andhave media oriented goals for the First Amendment.1As of 2006, the population in Tallahasseewas 159,012. As of 1999, the general per capitahousehold income was $30,571. This smaller incomemakes it difficult for consumers to acquirememberships to Florida FAF. The consumers’main focus is to have their rights protected, whichis what Florida FAF is doing. This gives them anincentive to donate even a small amount. 3121. “First Amendment Foundation Membership.” First Amendment Foundation.Netphiles, 12 Mar 2009. Web. 23 Mar 2010. .2.“Tallahasse: Economy - Major Industries and Commercial Activity.” City-Data.Avameg, Inc., 17 Mar 2010. Web. 23 Mar 2010. .3. “Tallahasse (city) Quickfacts from the US Census Bureau.” U.S. CensusBureau: State $ County Quickfacts. U.S. Census Bureau, 23 Feb 2010. Web. 23 Mar2010. .
The consumers’ mind set is to use the governmentto proficiently complete their jobs. Withthat Florida FAF is attracting those that have aneed for government documents. Florida FAF willbe an asset to the main audience of legal and mediaprofessionals.in their field of work.The consumers currently using FloridaFAF tend to be more in the upper-middle class toupper class range mainly due to the high price ofmembership. They are also in a higher economicbracket because of their careers in broadcast news,law, or radio. 1 These consumers join FloridaFAF to donate to the cause, attend seminars andunderstand the government on a more intimatelevel. This knowledge allows the consumers to useFlorida FAF and understand the importance it has1. “First Amendment Foundation Membership.” First Amendment Foundation.Netphiles, 12 Mar 2009. Web. 23 Mar 2010. .1313
Geographic Market AreaDemographicsWhen compared to the rest of the UnitedStates, Florida has 6.02 percent of the population,based on the 2008 census data. 60.8 percent ofFlorida is between the ages of 18-65 with a medianhousehold income of $47,802. The three largestethnic groups in Florida are White persons (nonHispanic) at 60.3 percent, Black persons at 15.9 percentand Hispanic or Latino persons at 21 percent,five percent higher than the US average. About80 percent of Floridians are high school graduatesand 22.3 percent go on to obtain a higher degree. 1between the ages of 18-65. The top three ethnicgroups vary drastically from the state averagewith White persons (non Hispanic) at 60.3 percent,Black persons at 34.2 percent and Hispanic orLatino persons at 4.2 percent. Those in Tallahasseehave a higher than average high school graduationand college degree attaining percent at 89.9 percentand 45 percent respectively, but a lower medianhousehold income at $30,571. Tallahassee alsodoubles the state average for persons living underthe poverty level with 24.7 percent. 1PsychographicsThe capital and heart of Florida’s governmentis Tallahassee. Tallahassee holds 8.7 percentof Florida’s total population with 74.4 percentFloridians often see themselves as two statesmerged into one. The division comes from a longand unique history blended with modern cities141. “Tallahasse (city) Quickfacts from the US Census Bureau.” U.S. Census Bureau:State $ County Quickfacts. U.S. Census Bureau, 23 Feb 2010. Web. 23 Mar2010. .
and foreign influence. The northern and centralsections of Florida were influenced greatly in thetime when tobacco was king, leaving the areadependant on agriculture and giving the peoplea truly “southern” mentality. Having a “southern”mentality means that, though larger cities arefound within the state, much of the population stillresides in small towns and congregations.The end result is the northern end of Floridatends to be more conservative and rural while thesouthern part is more liberal and urban. This divisionhas even influenced politics to the point whereNorth Fort Lauderdale commissioners suggestedsplitting the state into North and South Florida.The idea never made it higher than the Governorand was not reconsidered. 1The southern area of Florida, however,grew into larger cities and began to receive largerand larger numbers of immigrants. The whole ofFlorida has been subject to the influence of visitorsfrom all over the world. In 2004 Florida received76.8 million tourists.The State of Florida pioneered the idea ofgovernment public records in 1909. Since thenFlorida has continued to show overwhelmingsupport for transparency in all branches of government.A bill known as the Open Government Act isbeing currently voted on. This bill would combinethe Open Records and Meetings Laws, restrict thefee the government could charge for requesting1. “City Wants To Split Florida Into 2 States.” CBS News. The Associated Press,06 May 2008. Web. 23 Mar 2010. .1515
public records, require Sunshine Law trainingfor elected and non-elected officials and increasepenalties for officials who violate those laws. Thisbill and other similar laws demonstrate Floridian’sdesire for an open government. 1161. “Pass Open Government Act: Florida’s Sunshine Laws would get even better.”The Palm Beach Post Opinion. The Palm Beach Post, 12 Mar 2010. Web. 23 Mar2010. .
CompetitorsThe ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)and Common Cause stand out as the top twocompetitors among the herd of non-profit andgovernment watch dog agencies. ACLU is a majorcompetitor because it expands across the nation.It deals with hard hitting cases and subject materialthat draws the attention of charitable donors. 1ACLU deals with more direct ways the governmentcan take away a citizen’s freedoms, but isweak in specific cases involving open governmentand educational courses about Floridian rights.The ACLU offers information on human rights andassistance those in court who have been violatedby the government. 1Common Cause is seen as a threat to FloridaFAF because it has a strong and differentiatedFlorida office that deals with open governmentissues. Individuals can donate specifically to theFlorida branch of Common Cause 2 giving Floridiansless reason to donate to another Florida specificcharity. As a whole Common Cause is morefocused on how the government acts within itself,such as where money is spent, how elections areheld and ethical standards. 2 An individual can joinCommon Cause for forty dollars. A family canjoin for fifty. 2 All members receive information onpolitical changes and ways to be heard. CommonCause seeks to turn regular citizens into activists.One important strength both organizationshave over Florida FAF is that no matter how dif-1. “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself..” American Civil Liberties Union. AmericanCivil Liberties Union, 15 Mar 2010. Web. 15 Mar 2010. .2. “Ways to Give.” Common Cause. Common Cause, 10 Mar 2010. Web. 15 Mar2010. .1717
ferentiated their state branches become, the wholewill always be positioned as a national organization.This is a problem because most citizens donot understand the separation of powers betweenthe State and Federal governments, so they assumeall government action is due to the larger Federalgovernment. Our message will need to educateour target to the differences and change this weaknessinto strength.The ACLUThe ACLU is a major competitor to FloridaFAF even though it does not specifically enforceSunshine Laws. The ACLU is involved in higherprofile and edgier issues that catch the attention ofthe public such as capital punishment issues, druglaw reform and racial justice. The current sloganfor The ACLU, “Because freedom can’t protectitself,” demonstrates need to its consumers, somethingFlorida FAF is lacking. ACLU is also runningtwo national campaigns: 1“Keep America Safe and Free”A series of letters asking government officialsto vote “NO” on a year-long reauthorizationof the Patriot Act. This campaign hammers homethe ACLU’s core belief that even if it is in the nameof “safety,” American citizens should never havetheir right to privacy violated.181. “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself..” American Civil LibertiesUnion. American Civil Liberties Union, 15 Mar 2010. Web. 15 Mar 2010..
“Spy Files”Spy Files is collection ofarticles showing the extent ofgovernment spying on everydayAmericans. This is a joint campaign with “KeepAmerica Safe and Free” that serves as the proof ora demonstration of the government oversteppingits bounds.The ACLU also has a “group page” on Facebookwith over one thousand members. 1 ACLU’sFacebook page has information on its cause, linksto its home page and places for members to writetheir feelings and concerns about government officialsor decisions. 2Common CauseCommon Cause is the other top competitorof Florida FAF. Common Cause deals more closelywith open government issues and has specific statedepartments. Common Cause’s current slogan is“Holding Power Accountable.” This plays to theconsumer’s need for immediate results. 2 Even ifit is not tangible, the consumer can feel like theyhelped hold officials accountable by donating.Common Cause does not have any traditionaladvertising, but its spokespeople can be foundin CBS news stories. 1 It also has a Facebook withover fifteen thousand members and includes allthe same features as the ACLU’s Facebook. 31.“American Civil Liberties Union.” Facebook. American Civil Liberties Union, 15Mar 2010. Web. 15 Mar 2010. .2. “Home.” Common Cause. Common Cause, 10 Mar 2010. Web. 15 Mar 2010..3. “Common Cause.” Facebook. Common Cause, 15 Mar 2010. Web. 15 Mar 2010..1919
Target Profile and InsightOur main target is categorized as a resident ofFlorida, between the ages of 35 and 55, withsome college education who makes over $35,000 ayear. Since the ultimate goals are to raise moneyand memberships, the age bracket includes thosemost likely to donate, mainly middle age individuals.Education is another big factor in our targetaudience, as it will surely dictate their interest inour message. The more educated our consumersare, the more likely they are to be involved in governmentaffairs and have the resources necessaryto donate. A salary of $35,000 a year allows ourtarget audience a comfortable living as a means forthem to expand out to the community and donate. 1Our target audience includes those in thelegal field, such as lawyers and paralegals, andthe media, such as broadcasters and newspaperreporters. The aforementioned occupations comein contact with government documentation frequently.Our target audience views governmentdocuments as a necessary piece of their occupationor cause. The target audience depends on the SunshineLaws, that in turn depend on Florida FAF.The majority of Florida FAF’s revenuedoes not stem from random one time donations.Instead, the revenue is generated by the yearlycontributions of members. Those most willing todonate see Florida FAF as an asset worth investingin. They see no immediate results, but they under-201. Brooks, Arthur. “Religious Faith and Charitable Giving.” Policy Review 121.(2003): n. pag. Web. 16 Apr 2010. .
stand the value of the program.Florida FAF opens and protects resourcesthat are vital for our audience’s success and wellbeing. As the only organization that specificallyand exclusively deals with Sunshine Laws andcontinued education thereof, Florida FAF providesguided help of Florida’s documentation system.They also hold seminars educating the target marketon requesting document information. FloridaFAF is the only organization that can make the sunshine in on Florida’s government.2121
Creative Strategy StatementThe message will convince Florida media andlaw professionals that Florida First AmendmentFoundation is a shining tool our target audiencecan use to illuminate government information.Support will be that the Florida FAF strivesto protect access to government information andprovide informational tools on how to utilize SunshineLaws, such as publications and educationalseminars.RationaleNinety-two percent of Americans find open governmentto be important. 1 This statistic shows thatwithout an open government, media professionalswould not be able to report on what the generalpublic finds important. Legal and media professionalsrecently have complained that the interpretationof the First Amendment is changing littleby little to favor political and corporate interests.With this change, media and law are finding it increasinglydifficult to access what should be openinformation.221. Dean, Bryan. “Open government “is very important,” survey shows.” NewsOK16 Mar. 2008: 2. Web. 6 Apr 2010. .
Brand CharacterFlorida FAF’s brand character is knowledgeable,current and passionate about its cause. It is also aneasily accessible expert on policing Sunshine Lawviolations.ToneMessage tone will be informative, innovative andwitty.RationaleThe tone is used not only to inform but also toentertain. Law and media professionals are mostaffected by changing legal interpretations of theSunshine Laws. Therefore, the professionals FirstAmendment rights would seem very limited withoutthe help of Florida FAF.Tagline“Florida FAF, shining light on the sunshine state.”RationaleThe tag shows that Florida FAF is dedicated tokeeping the government open and accessible. Thisalso shows that Florida FAF is knowledgeableabout open government laws and documents.2323
Communications ProblemSupporters of Florida FAF have decreased theamount of their donations due to the economicdown turn.Communications ObjectivesDespite financially hard times, supporters should continue to donatebecause the services Florida FAF provides are increasinglyimportant to their careers.Our objective is to increase membership and non-membershipdonations by 20 percent from July 2010 to November 2011.24