It is one of the most comprehensive community awareness efforts to reduce Gun Violence in Milwaukee in years. Serve’s latest campaign focuses on inspiring Milwaukeeans to support successful inner city programs that are showing success at curbing the gun violence epidemic. The campaign, led by the Milwaukee County District Attorney, brought together the Milwaukee Police Department, Mayor’s office, Milwaukee County DA and dozens of non-profit social service organizations that are fighting gun violence on a daily basis. This unprecedented effort to focus the community’s efforts at getting to the root causes at gun violence before it happens, resulted in month-long media coverage on the issue of gun violence and the organizations that need help in continuing to fight it. The campaign featured a controversial TV PSA that shows the path of a bullet after it is shot and how it affects people throughout the community. The campaign also included web banners and print ads, and directs people to a website called OneMilwaukee.org.
The campaign generated an amazing 15 million gross impressions and over $350,000 worth of earned media coverage on the issue and for organizations fighting gun violence on the front lines. The website received over 14,000 visitors after the launch. Local media outlets donated another $75,000 of media time to the advertising. Featured organizations like Running Rebels saw a significant increase in awareness and funding following the campaign.
Most importantly, the campaign contributed to a larger citywide effort that resulted in an unprecedented 45% drop in gun homicides in 2008, a 23-year low in Milwaukee.