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Project Insight: McMahon Ryan Mobile Support Unit


Gun and other violence is a serious issue in the Syracuse community, affecting neighborhoods all over the city. These are areas with few resources for support after a traumatic event. The McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center, Street Addiction Institute and Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office decided to do something about it.

They created the concept for a Mobile Support Unit, a vehicle that would be dedicated to providing emotional and psychological support as well as preventative education. They would need strong messaging for the campaign and the Mobile Support Unit itself, so we started there.

The primary focus of the effort was not only the support provided after an incident, but also spreading a message of peace to prevent events from happening. We chose the tagline “Helping Our Community Heal” to describe this mission. It was a simple phrase that explained what this initiative was all about. From there, more copy began to form. “Peace in the Streets,” “Hey Neighbor, Let’s Keep the Peace” and “Mobilizing Care in Our Community” supported our central message and were integrated into the design of the Mobile Support Unit wrap.

This behind-the-scenes video captures the entire scope of work that went into the Mobile Support Unit project.

Designers thoughtfully drew in other important elements to give the vehicle a welcoming and inclusive tone. The color orange synonymous with Syracuse and McMahon Ryan’s purple were selected to give this vibe along with the aforementioned phrases. Peace signs and hearts were subtly included in the design across all media.

We had to address client concerns that the Mobile Support Unit could come across as a means of law enforcement collecting information following a crime. So, we carefully crafted messaging to focus on the true services being offered in collateral pieces and on the McMahon Ryan website.

Ads designed to create awareness of the vehicle and initiative simply utilized the “Helping Our Community Heal” tagline. We saturated the neighborhoods where the Mobile Support Unit would likely have the most impact with transit ads and billboards. Social media ads also targeted these areas as we also helped earn editorial coverage and placed print ads in community publications.


The Mobile Support Unit is a wonderful resource in our own community and we were proud to support it with thoughtful and strategic creative that built a message and brand around this important initiative.

About The Author

A journalist by trade, Shane tells stories that connect brands with target audiences and inspire them to act. He’s a writer, not a copy machine, and that approach brings exceptional content to every print or digital piece he pens.

Shane taps into his past as a reporter and editor to develop clear messages that resonate in every medium, be it blog or brochure, sponsored content or script.

Daily newspapers developed a habit for idea generation, attention to detail and knack for question-asking. His background as a magazine and web editor keeps client communications grammatically sound and effective.

Shane’s word-based deliverables range from long-form features to concise digital copy to persuasive prose. He’s been on both sides of the PR pitch and puts some muscle behind ABC’s media relations.