Our Case Studies

+ Raise Awareness. Increase Influence. Build Success.

The Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Public Library Foundation

The Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Public Library Foundation

Message Development, Strategic Communications Planning


The Chicago Public Library is internationally recognized for its leadership in reimagining the role of libraries, designing programs and promoting technology initiatives that connect Chicagoans of all ages and all backgrounds. The Library is a portal for opportunity in the 21st century. Many of the Library’s signature programs – from early childhood literacy to free homework help to CyberNavigators computer training – are made possible by funding from the Chicago Public Library Foundation. Over 30 years, the Foundation’s private funding from individuals, foundations and corporations has provided $80 million to the Library. After years of growth, each organization sought fresh, clear messaging to build on their legacies of success, to raise broader awareness of the reinvention of the Library, and to increase private funding.

Our Work

Beginning in late 2014 and into 2016, Melcher+Tucker Consultants collaborated with the leadership of the Library and the Foundation to build messaging frameworks tailored separately to each organization and its stakeholders, while recognizing their interconnectedness. Key goals: develop messaging to elevate brand awareness that will increase use of Library programs by current users, attract new users, and inspire new private donors. We met regularly with each organization, and with both carried out interviews and focus groups with library staff and management and with private and foundation contributors to the Foundation to test familiarity with the full array of Library programs and the role of the Foundation. MTC also met regularly with FCB Chicago to coordinate the messaging with a new advertising campaign. And, for both the Library and Foundation, we developed strategic communications plans across all channels.


A central concept emerged that unites stakeholders in the Library and the Foundation – curiosity. It is the idea that the Library is home to those who are curious, providing physical and digital space to Chicagoans of all ages to explore, connect, and grow. The Library connects the community to the highest-quality programs and services. Foundation funding provides new opportunities for the curious, and helps make a great Library exceptional. Messaging was tested with staff and board members of the Library and Foundation. The “curiosity” theme was rolled out in 2016 through marketing and advertising campaigns across Chicago and will underpin the communication of both organizations.


  • Seigle’s, Inc.

    “Melcher+Tucker are long on thoughtful advice, old and new market savvy, and media sense.  Their earned media results were remarkable.”

    Harry Seigle former chairman of Seigle’s Inc. and founder and principal of The Elgin Company

    Remaking a Homebuilding Icon

    Seigle's, Inc., one of the country’s largest regional manufacturers and distributors of building supplies, embarked on a strategy to focus predominately on the professional builder, shifting away from direct-to-consumer sales. Deciding not to compete with the big-box retailers, Seigle's concentrated on building relationships with both local and national homebuilders, and began preparing for its largest acquisition, a deal, which would cement its strategic change of direction. Yet, the $260 million, family-owned company based in Elgin, IL, lacked significant visibility and for its new strategy and branding.

    Melcher+Tucker Consultants began a comprehensive engagement to help define the company’s brand proposition and carry out strategic positioning to raise Seigle's profile among key constituents. Media relations activities included targeting local and national trade and general interest publications, aimed at promoting the new corporate strategy; establishing Seigle's executives as knowledgeable sources on industry and economic issues; and, highlighting distinctive policies such as corporate governance. MTC also helped develop a series of customer forums and accompanying monographs designed to increase awareness and credibility, and rewrote all of the website content.

    Seigle's new strategy was featured in major profiles in papers ranging from the Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal to the New York Times and throughout the industry’s leading trade journals. Owner-brothers Harry and Mark Seigle authored columns, and became regular sources for industry stories. In less than 18 months, MTC helped Seigle's convey its key messages to its core audiences. In September of 2005, Seigle's was sold to Stock Building Supply near the height of the housing cycle.

  • JPMorgan Chase

    Contributing to Communities in Which It Operates

    JPMorgan Chase, one of the world’s largest financial institutions, began planning its first “Community Partnership Report,” a publication that was to demonstrate to employees, investors and other stakeholders the firm’s commitment to support “healthy, vibrant communities where we live and work,” in the words of former Chairman Bill Harrison. With operations in 50 countries, the challenge was to select case studies that represent the firm’s interests in community revitalization, public education, and arts and culture – and, to write the profiles in an analytical style similar to that in the best news magazines.

    Working with JPMorgan Chase executives around the world in marketing, corporate and social responsibility, philanthropy and community development departments, Melcher+Tucker Consultants was responsible for reporting and writing the case studies that form the core of the 48-page Community Partnership Report. We interviewed dozens of sources at the bank, at community and cultural organizations around the world, and among those directly benefiting from the firm’s activities – from London to Dallas to Johannesburg and Hong Kong. The case studies we produced: Brooklyn, “Revitalizing Downtown;” Texas, “Building Sustainable Communities;” London, “Inspiring Children;” South Africa, “Opening Doors to Opportunity;” and, Hong Kong, “Responding to SARS.”

    The Community Partnership Report was distributed to JPMorgan Chase stakeholders around the world, and made prominently available on its web site. The report was widely praised for its breadth of coverage, stunning photographs, and, perhaps most important, crisp and sensitive writing that illustrated the firm’s impact on communities it serves.

  • Cannon Design

    Creating Path-breaking Architecture for Clients Worldwide

    OWP/P l Cannon Design is a leading architecture, design and engineering firm specializing in healthcare, education and corporate/commercial design. Operating as OWP/P, before its merger with Cannon Design, the firm, with offices in Chicago and Phoenix, sought to raise its visibility both locally and nationally for individual architects, specific projects and other areas of expertise in an effort to distinguish the firm’s work and ideas.

    Melcher+Tucker Consultants began the engagement assisting industry leadership teams in developing internal messaging for the roll out of a new strategic plan. We then worked with each of the firm’s practice leaders and marketing coordinators in Chicago and Phoenix on a range of activities, from media training and writing press releases to story development and promotion of people, new projects, special programs, and trends, both to Chicago-area and national trade and general-interest media. We also were involved in developing the messages and media plan for the firm’s 50th anniversary celebration held in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Throughout, we positioned leaders as expert resources on projects and trends, including sustainable design, healthcare technology and prototypes for new schools.

    The firm, its innovative approach to design and its leaders have been featured in profiles in such major media as FastCompany (where we also launched an education design blog), the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, Chicago Public Radio, and Architect. OWP/P, which merged with Cannon Design in 2009, is a global leader in both its operating approach to architecture and its delivery of built work across a range of industry sectors, with widespread awareness of its brand and operating philosophy.