+ Marketing and Communications to Raise Awareness, Increase Influence, Build Success.

Writers Theatre

“Melcher+Tucker Consultants was instrumental in helping Writers Theatre craft the best possible fundraising brochure and accompanying materials for our On To A New Stage Campaign - a $32 million project to establish a Jeanne Gang-designed theatre center on Chicago's North Shore. Rick and Anne listened to the many voices at the table, and quickly assessed and understood the project and our potential audience. They integrated all of the project details and our story into a streamlined, cohesive, and high impact piece.”

Writers Theatre

Capital Campaign Collateral Development, Media Relations

Background

Writers Theatre, hailed as the “best drama company in the nation” by the Wall Street Journal, was launching a $34 million capital campaign – “On To A New Stage” – to build a signature new theater complex in the northern Chicago suburb of Glencoe. Designed by internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by principal Jeanne Gang, the new theater would recognize Writers’ reputation for excellence, allow for growth in audience and in new events for students and the local community. To prepare for the campaign, Writers needed assistance in developing messaging and materials to present to prospective donors, and training for development staff and board members to make “the ask.” Following groundbreaking for the new theater, Writers required media planning to prepare for the grand opening.

Our Work

Working with the development, artistic and board leadership of the theater, Melcher+Tucker Consultants and our graphic design partner carried out copy development and editing for the elegant fundraising brochure. We studied the competitive positioning of the theater, and led a team of theater executives and board members through fact-finding and messaging sessions to create the thematic narrative for the brochure – the vitality of Writers Theatre and the critical need for a new facility to sustain its distinctive artistic experience. Together with developing the content for the brochure, we equipped development staff and board members with an FAQ to answer the tough questions and make the strongest case for the new building. In the run-up to the official opening in February, 2016, we prepared a comprehensive local and national media relations plan to promote the theater’s artistic and executive leadership and the impact of the new theater on the broader Chicago theatrical community.

Results

The new brochure was produced and in the hands of fundraisers to begin discussions about the campaign with key stakeholders well ahead of the groundbreaking. Staff was also equipped with the additional messaging to support the campaign in presentations to prospective donors. Development staff and board members enthusiastically embraced the materials as integral to these important discussions, which helped meet targeted goals. Media relations, carried out with theater leadership and communications counsel, generated widespread excitement for the opening of the new center in early 2016. The opening received widespread Chicago area and national newspaper, magazine, TV and radio exposure, ranging from the Chicago Tribune and WTTW to American Way magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

Strategic Positioning

Understand where you are, determine where you can go.

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Media Relations

Tell your story persuasively, generate attention.

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Brand Development

Define and secure your most important asset.

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Fundraising Communications

Build your case, further your mission.

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Recent Work

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  • Fundraising Communications
  • Media Relations
  • Strategic Positioning
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Our Clients Are Saying...

  • “For Communities In Schools of Chicago working with Melcher+Tucker Consultants was like having a “third eye” with regard to understanding how to tell the story of our work supporting public school students. They have tremendous insight in forecasting which stories will resonate with Chicago media and beyond, and worked collaboratively with our organization, and our school and community partners, to develop rich, authentic stories that would raise our profile.”

    Jane Mentzinger
    Executive Director
    Communities In Schools of Chicago
  • “Melcher+Tucker Consultants provided us with a critical messaging framework that will help our Development Committee and our Development staff talk persuasively with our donors about activities that are at the core of The Field Museum – scientific research and discovery in the Natural Sciences. With their assistance, we are now able to communicate more powerfully the role our research and collections play.”

    Laura Biddle Clarke
    Former Senior Director, Institutional Advancement
    The Field Museum
  • “Rick Melcher exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism and dedication and it has been an honor and a pleasure to work with him.  I don't know anyone better at working with customers to understand what they need, and his thoughtful guidance and support were essential to our success.”

    Nell Minow
    Founder and Board member
    GMI Ratings
  • “Melcher+Tucker Consultants has played an integral role in shaping the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s communications and marketing for more than a decade. MTC’s message development and strategic outreach capabilities have enhanced our ability to raise awareness of hunger in Cook County.”

    Kate Maehr
    Chief Executive Officer,
    Greater Chicago Food Depository
  • "Over the many years I have worked with Melcher+Tucker Consultants, I have always been impressed with their professionalism, strategic thinking and willingness to do what it takes to get things done. Their cheerful competence and wise guidance helped me and my organization successfully navigate through complex and challenging situations."

    Andrea Durbin
    Chief Executive Officer,
    Illinois Collaboration on Youth
  • “Working with Melcher+Tucker Consultants was a satisfying experience for me and my staff.  Rick and Anne can be trusted to both design and deliver a highly strategized and well-executed product or plan in a timely and thoroughly professional manner.”

    Ann Lurie
    President
    Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation
  • "Melcher+Tucker helped us leverage our local work into the national education conversation. They not only help you tell your story, they know who you need to tell it to, and even who might fund it. When you work with them on a project - whether it's large or small - you have their full attention; they make you feel like you're their only client."

    Gabrielle Lyon
    Former Executive Director
    Project Exploration
  • “Melcher+Tucker Consultants brought the ‘best of both worlds’ to Ventas, an S&P 500 company, when they created our new website. They are experienced professionals who helped us craft and effectively communicate our message. Their investigative, hands-on approach and understanding of our business resulted in exceptionally clear and concise content. The site successfully portrayed our brand identity and communicated our strengths to multiple constituencies, from media to investors. Melcher+Tucker share Ventas's passion for achieving superior results.”

    Debra Cafaro
    Chairman and CEO
    Ventas, Inc.
  • “Melcher+Tucker Consultants was instrumental in helping Writers Theatre craft the best possible fundraising brochure and accompanying materials for our On To A New Stage Campaign - a $32 million project to establish a Jeanne Gang-designed theatre center on Chicago's North Shore. Rick and Anne listened to the many voices at the table, and quickly assessed and understood the project and our potential audience. They integrated all of the project details and our story into a streamlined, cohesive, and high impact piece.”

    Kim Swinton
    Director of Institutional Advancement
    Writers Theatre