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Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact: 
Contact: Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Office: (804) 786-1022
Cell: (804) 512-2552 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Respect Richmond Logo

AG HERRING AND CITY OF RICHMOND RELAUNCH AWARD-WINNING “RESPECT RICHMOND” ANTI-VIOLENCE CAMPAIGN

~ “Respect Richmond”, originally launched in September 2017, has seen success through innovative advertising and marketing techniques aimed at breaking the cycle of violence in Richmond ~

RICHMOND (June 13, 2018) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring and the City of Richmond today relaunched the award-winning “Respect Richmond” anti-violence campaign following an initial six month run that saw a significant reduction in violent crime and gun violence in priority neighborhoods, millions of interactions with the campaign’s messaging, and multiple awards for its innovative approach to violence prevention. The campaign, which uses high-impact messaging and sophisticated marketing techniques to reach its audiences, will now run for an additional four months. The relaunched “Respect Richmond” campaign will have refined messaging and strategy and will run during the summer months, when research shows that violent crime rates rise.

 

Data shows that during the initial six months of the “Respect Richmond” campaign, violent crimes were down across the city compared to the year before, particularly in priority neighborhoods that have been a focus of the campaign:

 

  • Creighton Court saw the number of victims shot fall by 71 percent and there were no homicides in the neighborhood during the second half of the campaign, following three months of messaging.
  • Mosby Court saw a 75 percent decrease in homicides and a 43 percent decrease in victims shot.
  • Gilpin Court saw a 47 percent decrease in aggravated assaults.
  • Overall homicides city wide during the campaign were 21 percent lower than the same period one year earlier and violent crimes were down 12 percent.

 

“A single act of gun violence can reverberate through neighborhoods, or even start a cycle of violence that can affect entire communities. That’s why it’s so important that we work to prevent acts of violence and break the cycle of violence before it even begins,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “‘Respect Richmond’ showed some really encouraging results during our first phase, so we’re re-launching in time for the summer when research shows that violent crime tends to rise. Using innovative techniques and high-impact messaging, we’re going to try to reach people with a simple and direct message before they reach for a weapon. I want to thank the City of Richmond for partnering with us to implement this innovative campaign to make every neighborhood in Richmond a safe place to live, work and raise a family.”

 

“Now is a good time to remind people of the Respect Richmond campaign and its focus on violent crime, because the summer months are usually when we see an uptick in crimes against persons,” said Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham. “We can all benefit from this innovative effort by Attorney General Mark Herring, which uses social media to not only ask for tips about crimes that have occurred but also to remind everyone that crime affects all of us in some way. I encourage everyone to get involved in making Richmond a safer place.”

 

The innovative “Respect Richmond” campaign uses a dedicated website and an innovative messaging push on social media, websites, and gaming networks. Digital ads usually share a community engagement message until they are changed in real time to an anti-retaliation message in areas where violence has recently occurred. Ads are also strategically placed on websites, social media accounts, YouTube channels, billboards, movie theaters, and stores most likely to be seen by Richmonders at risk of being affected by gun violence.

 

During its initial six month run, the campaign garnered more than 8 million impressions, including nearly 5 million digital impressions. Tens of thousands of Richmonders were referred to the Crime Solvers website through Respect Richmond, increasing the number of tips and the amount of information received by Richmond Police.

 

The second phase of the “Respect Richmond” campaign includes:

  • RespectRichmond.com website - A one-stop-shop hosting all of the campaign's materials, including videos, news updates, statistics, information on reporting crimes, and more;
  • Digital Ads and Social Media Messaging - These ads will appear on gaming networks, social media and YouTube channels, and websites most likely to be seen or used by the Richmonders who need to hear these messages. The ads can be tailored and focused on specific audiences in priority neighborhoods in response to an outbreak of violence. The campaign will utilize multiple messages that focus on:
  • Individuals who are at risk for committing or being a victim of gun violence
  • Individuals at risk of retaliating with more violence
  • The broader Richmond community
  • Radio ads featuring prominent voices in the Richmond community;
  • Strategically located billboards;
  • Displays at convenience stores and other high-traffic establishments; and,
  • Television ads.

 

The second phase of the campaign will run through September.

 

Since its original launch last September, “Respect Richmond” has been the recipient of two awards: A Commonwealth Award in Public Service from the Richmond Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and a 2018 Excellence in New Communications Award in the Communications, Communities, and Collaboration category – Government division from the Society for New Communications Research.

 

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