ISSUES MANAGEMENT CAMPAIGN FOR A STATE AGENCY
COLORADO CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION
The Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) needed to gain statewide understanding and support following a period of explosive population growth and demographic change that led to increased violations of fair housing laws and decreased awareness of those laws.
Informal research, including individual meetings and focus groups, was conducted by Ayers Strategic Public Relations to determine the extent of the problem, emerging trends and other potential issues. A well-known research firm also was retained to conduct a formal telephone survey, administered in both English and Spanish, to determine citizen knowledge and level of support of fair housing laws. This research led to creation of the Colorado Fair Housing Initiative, a statewide education and communications program.
The initiative was designed to raise awareness and credibility of the CCRD, stress the importance of state and federal fair housing laws, and position CCRD as the leading source for information and guidance regarding fair housing in Colorado. The program was developed around a community and media relations platform to improve two-way communications with CCRD’s constituents and included a series of statewide community and media meetings to introduce new services and capabilities to key publics. Additionally, a clearinghouse was developed to store up-to-date information on all fair housing issues, including relevant case information.
The Fair Housing Initiative enabled CCRD to take a pro-active role in shaping and guiding an emerging issue in Colorado through preventive education programs and by building credibility and awareness throughout the state.