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The strength of a small team

“The biggest reason this project succeeded was because we could embrace the storm. Chip away at our little corners of the marble, doing the things we know how to do. At some point we formed a rough blueprint that we were all working from. But because this team is so great at their own pieces, it came together so beautifully.” -Jonathan Hart, Owner and Design Director at Bigmouth Creative.

The project Jonathan refers to here is OneChiFam, Chicago Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) initiative to equip new parents with the savvy tips they need to know in the thrilling and terrifying weeks of becoming moms and dads through the first 12 months.

The project started as a booklet that covered the gamut of what to expect from how often babies should eat to what vaccines they should get to what’s to come as babies grow. But it quickly turned into a voluminous campaign of omni-channel content including a new logo, a video series and a scalable website to share with Chicagoans embarking on the journey into parenthood. The booklet was also translated into four different languages (Arabic, Chinese, Polish and Spanish) and distributed in select hospitals across the city as takeaways for new parents.

Bigmouth’s creative team came together to reflect on its approach to this campaign.

Chip away at our little corners of the marble, doing the things we know how to do.

Most small business employees understand the need to wear many hats—but in a remote working world, it’s often about using many tools.

Meet the team

Jonathan Hart

Owner + Design Director

Cate Laga

Director of Client Services

Joy Keller

Director of Digital Experiences

Kap Coleman

Writer + Creative Strategist

blog-Q

What were the initial thoughts running through your mind when you were first briefed on this project?

Kap Coleman, Writer/Strategist, Mom:

That it was close to home. I thought it was a great opportunity to improve something that needs improving.

I was a very new mom at the time. I was familiar with the content, I was living it. I received tons of loose papers in the hospital and went home feeling like I learned very little. I wanted to, first and foremost, make sure the content was presented in a clear, approachable way. But, we were still waiting to see the content CDPH had for us to work with; I was thinking about how many pages this booklet would be and what it would really take on our end to make it approachable.

Cate Laga, Account Director, Mom:

The project was appealing to me because I could relate to it. It was also my first big project at Bigmouth and I was really excited to get introduced to and work with this team. I was ready to dig in and ask all the questions: Why is it happening? Who started this? How many people are involved? Things were a little confusing for us to navigate early on, there was a change of hands on the client-side and we were working with someone brand new to CDPH, but she had a pediatric background and was a blessing to work with.

Joy Keller, Digital Experiences Director, Mom:

I looked at it more functionally – I think this project was really unique, in that we had the opportunity to make a lot of decisions around it to make it what it turned out to be, which is a little new for me. But we had to empower ourselves to go for it and just do what was best for them. It would have been a miss on our part otherwise.
blog-Q

How did you feel about OneChiFam expanding into different areas?

Jonathan Hart, Bigmouth Owner, Design Director:

We started asking questions that sparked the client’s interest: How do you plan to strategically brand this project? What are your plans for distribution? What else can you do with it, where else can you go?

That’s when they really started to see what we could do for them aside from one deliverable. The great thing about being a nimble agency is that the minute we get those answers from them, we can turn around and do something with it.

Cate Laga:

In general, the immediate reaction from big agencies would be, ‘we have to hold.’ That’s what I would have been told to do if I were at any other place. In this case, not being able to make quick decisions was ultimately going to hurt us. That’s the testament of a nimble agency – we knew our client wasn’t going to have all the information we needed to optimize this project. So, we made recommendations based on what we thought was right, and we were received with open arms. We were educating them, and they trusted us.
blog-Q

What were some challenges you faced when digging into the project?

Kap Coleman:

It was a challenge for many reasons, it was a lot of content. But there were also so many contributors with different voices. It was coming from many pediatricians, and all written differently. So we had to go through all the content, then organize it, then determine what we felt was best, then what was important to new parents. We also had to make sure we were including content the client felt was critical to helping parents thrive, like cultural heritage, and bi-lingualism, and exploring the city. And we spent a lot of time rewriting the content so that it was best for the audience.

Cate Laga:

It was definitely a testament to your work ethic, Kap, because it was definitely a lot of content. This thing could have been 5,000 pages. You had to ask, how do we create this into something that works? So much strategic thinking went into what it is now, we changed it up. It could have been really really long.

Kap Coleman:

I was adding things like sleeping charts, and breastfeeding illustrations. Feeding is all you do for the first few months and getting sleep is all you think about! I knew I would have referenced that section constantly, so making it perfect was important to me. We really broke the content down and included charts and infographics that parents could read at a glance. I’m really proud of that section.
blog-Q

Can you talk about the need to make the content gender neutral? How did you account for inclusivity on a topic that essentially touches everyone in some way?

Jonathan Hart:

It’s a very complex thing to navigate in the realm of society on its own, but throw in medical concerns where it’s also a very complex world and then trying to combine those two things together, and it seems like an almost impossible task. With our partnership with CDPH we tried to solve for it, but there are things that will continue to evolve. You just have to account for everything and you can’t make assumptions. Be specific where you need to be specific, and be vague when you can be vague.
blog-Q

What is the biggest success of OneChiFam from your perspective?

Jonathan Hart:

CDPH now has something that’s a really, really powerful platform for powerful resources. We thought this was originally going to be baby focused, then it became more about full families. We built them a website around “One Chicago Family” that lives at the center of all the content we helped them create. That website could theoretically, and functionally as it stands, scale into this huge hub for everything that content can do. We built it to potentially be a huge city-wide success. There’s so much more that could live under One Chicago Family.
blog-Q

What is the biggest success of OneChiFam from your perspective?

Jonathan Hart:

A small business like Bigmouth can be really good for a client like CDPH. It’s not just about the client relationship. We’re very passionate about what we do and passionate about the subject matter. We didn’t need to wade through levels of agency bureaucracy. Process is important and keeps things moving and keeps everyone accountable, but being able to turn on a dime and respond in a different way, being easier to pivot. It makes us more valuable as a partner.

Joy Keller:

Collectively, we were all involved on a personal level, and we care. It was crucial for CDPH to hire a firm like us that cares.
onechifam-logo

OneChiFam

To learn more about the outcome of OneChiFam, take a glance at our case study or visit onechifam.org.