Reboot Illinois hires Allison to tout public affairs tool

Media startup Reboot Illinois has hired Allison+Partners to raise awareness of its Sound Off tool, which helps concerned citizens reach state elected officials.

CHICAGO: Reboot Illinois, a media startup that aims to improve state government, has hired Allison+Partners to help it launch its Sound Off tool.

The goal of the platform is to connect concerned citizens quickly with Illinois elected officials on important issues facing the state. Consumers can find the tool at the top of the Reboot Illinois homepage or at the bottom of most articles on the website.

The Sound Off tool displays several key topics, from pension funding issues to possible changes in the income tax structure. When Illinois residents enter their address, it shows them their corresponding state officials and opens an email with suggested language for specific issues. Consumers can then edit the messages and send them to state politicians.

Possible recipients include the state's governor, State Senate president, speaker of the House, Senate and House leadership, and individual senators and representatives.

After a consumer sends the email, the platform presents him with the option to share a prewritten Facebook and Twitter post encouraging family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers to also sound off.

“We have some really significant challenges; we have the worst funding of our pension system in the nation and the second-highest unemployment in the nation, behind only Nevada,” said Madeleine Doubek, COO of Reboot Illinois. “This tool fits into our mission of getting more people involved in state government and politics.”

Allison is providing message refinement and media relations support to generate awareness of and engagement with Sound Off. Reboot hired the firm after interviewing several agencies as part of an informal RFP process. It chose Allison because of its experience juggling PR and public affairs, as well as its creativity, Doubek said.

“What's cool about Sound Off is that it's not just getting people in touch with state legislators…but it's reaching all of the people who are in a position to make a difference on an issue,” said Greg Dunn, GM of Allison's Chicago office and account lead.

Allison opened its Chicago office in 2011. The firm, which is majority owned by MDC Partners, launched a Silicon Valley branch this summer.

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