Connecting The Long Term Unemployed to Opportunity


A consortium of Michigan Works! career service centers, encompassing nine counties, sought to reconnect with long term unemployed (LTU) individuals. Existing data demonstrated that job seekers who are unemployed for more than 27 weeks have significant challenges getting hired. Needed was an effective communications strategy to attract these individuals to local Michigan Works! centers and help put Metro Detroiters back to work.


The Tanner Friedman team conducted comprehensive quantitative and qualitative research to build a better understanding of the motivations and barriers for long term unemployed workers. We developed a multi-platform communications strategy – including digital and traditional media as well as video – to proactively communicate Michigan Works! services and benefits.


Through targeted radio and digital advertising campaigns, Michigan Works! reached more than 33 million prospective job seekers, experienced significant website engagement through a campaign-dedicated landing page and saw increased traffic within their centers. Fox 2 Detroit, WDET, WWJ, Voice of America and a variety of additional regional media outlets also featured stories about the plight of LTUs and the Michigan Works! campaign. The Michigan Works! staff also saw a substantial increase in inquiries from new and current clients about the specific services promoted as part of the strategic communications campaign.