Why we did this
We partnered with ReadBoston to create an initial pilot program. The decision was made to start small, so we launched as part of the Boston Book festival. ReadBoston reached out to local authors and asked them for inspirational quotes they had written. These quotes were then printed on signs.
However, we wanted to create even more engagement with the project. We included a unique City phone number on each sign. If a person called that number, a message from the author would play. That message included the author reading their quote. After the message played, the caller would then have the chance to leave a message of their own. This gave us great feedback.
For the pilot, we displayed signs on lamp posts in front of the Boston Public Library. With the Boston Book Festival happening there, we knew that there would be a lot of foot traffic. We’re now planning the second pilot, which will focus on a specific neighborhood. This time, residents will choose the quotes they like best, and where they should hang.
Results and lessons learned
We had 19 callers call in to hear messages from the authors. That was more than we expected for such a small, short pilot.
Thanks to this success, we have plans underway to do a larger, second pilot program later this year, or next.