#19 – LynchPin Ideas

Posted on November 13, 2019


This is the company information page for the 2019 #ELGLHaverford award.

Learn more about the award program, and read about all of the honorees.

About the LynchPin Ideas

Engagement With ELGL:

  • Blogs, Webinars, Podcasts with ELGL? No
  • Events, Activities with ELGL? No

Working with the Company:

Describe your work and interactions with the nominee – how have you worked with them, on what projects, in what capacity?

  • I’ve worked with Laura Lynch and LynchPin Ideas for more than ten years on community branding and communication work.  Together, we’ve completed two community rebranding projects – the City of Riverside, Missouri (Upstream from Ordinary) and City of Raymore, Missouri (Come Home to More).  LynchPin also reverse engineered the brand for my current community (City of Merriam, Kansas) by helping us determine and refine the strategy behind our existing brand (Just Right).   Beyond these major branding projects, in each community, LynchPin has been our agency of choice for communication strategy, annual reports, newsletter content and design, graphic design, and other special projects.     

What was the product/outcome of your relationship with the company?

  • The reason I continue to choose LynchPin year after year and in community after community is their specific experience and strength working with cities.  Laura and her team are passionate about community involvement, and they understand how to capture and build upon the emotional connection our residents and businesses have to their city with the work we are doing in City Hall.  Working with a communication and public relations agency is a tough sell for many communities, but after each initial project with LynchPin, the elected officials and staff are excited to have LynchPin on board and looked for ways to continue to engage them in projects.  After a recent branding project with the City of Merriam, our City Administrator commented that he always innately knew the things that LynchPin shared during their final report, but didn’t have the words that fully captured them. The language and brand that LynchPin created for us during that project are now the foundation for a number of other projects in our community, including our Comprehensive Master Plan update and our new Employee Values program.  
  • CEO Laura Lynch has been more than just a vendor, she and her company have been a true partner with each project and initiative. She has repeatedly come to me with new ideas and ways to tackle our community engagement hurdles.

What are three words you’d use to describe the company?

  • Dynamic, Strategic, Committed

Describe the on boarding process for your work with the company – either when you personally started working with them, or when your organization did. What could someone else in local government know about starting work with this company?

  • When LynchPin Ideas kicks off a project, they first spend time getting to understand the players – not just within City Hall, but throughout the community.  Their project management team attends chamber and community events, meets elected officials and staff members not specifically working on the project, and takes special care to develop a good relationship with leadership in the organization.  They innately understand how to walk the line between respecting the role and authority of project staff, and building good will and trust among other parties who will be important to bring along throughout. Another area where LynchPin excels is listening.  They encourage the project team to dream big, but do a wonderful job balancing those ideas with what’s feasible based on budget constraints. LynchPin understands how to help communities get the most bang for their buck and is willing to explore creative solutions.  I also really appreciate that the LynchPin team is always looking for ways to assist and add value – even in really small ways. For example, during our branding project in Raymore, I was struggling to come up with a good tagline for a separate ballot initiative. My LynchPin team offered to do a quick hour of brainstorming for me and sent over a list of Raymore-specific phrases that I was able to use on a variety of projects.  I appreciated having a group that was familiar with my community but not caught in the weeds with me to jump in for the assist.   
  • LynchPin has a long history of successfully working with local governments and not-for-profits. Their own introduction was less about them and more about what they saw as potential for us as partners and an organization as a whole.

What is the company’s pricing structure? Please be as descriptive as possible.

  • The pricing structure is based on the scope of the project.  They provide an hourly rate and overall scope not to exceed.   

What’s the most interesting or fun aspect of your work with the company? 

  • My favorite thing to work with LynchPin on is branding.  As mentioned, I’ve done three community branding projects with them and I LOVE the outcome of each.  So many companies who claim to specialize in community branding create a logo or tagline that could be used in any community.  They are bland and don’t highlight the thing about your town that everybody knows but just can’t quite express. Laura and her team at LynchPin have a branding process that unveils that special something and then they frame it in a way that everyone can rally behind.  My favorite meeting in the process is the one where the LynchPin team unveils their work to the skeptics at City Hall or to the citizen committee appointed to help guide the branding process. It’s usually straight out a Hallmark move – people who were once grumpy get excited and there is this heartfelt moment of “Yes! I didn’t know that’s why I loved this place, but that’s exactly it.”  Cue fist pump.    

How has your relationship with the company evolved or changed over time? How has the company reacted to or addressed any changes that your organization has requested in the scope/focus of your work together?

  • I’ve engaged the LynchPin team at three different communities now and they are always one of the first phone calls I make when I start somewhere new.  They are at the top of my list because they are truly a trusted partner. LynchPin understands changing political climates, budget issues, and the need for quick pivots based on any number of things happening in the organization at a given time.  Whether it’s just a small brainstorming project or a complete community rebranding, they understand how to design scopes and projects that help me get my job done better and also meet the specific needs of the community. As I mentioned before, one of the areas LynchPin excels in is listening.  They do a wonderful job checking in for feedback along the way so that we get to the finish line together and everyone is satisfied with the outcome. 
  • In the three years we have worked together, I can say that I consider Laura a friend. She challenges me to look at problems at the City in a new light and provides advice and insight. It is rare to find someone like her who is more interested in seeing you and Raymore succeed.

Anything else to add about the company that we haven’t already asked you?

  • Laura has an incredible eye for talent, which is why it is no surprise that her company includes some of the most creative individuals I have encountered. Although they do not work in government, they have an intimate knowledge and interest in Local Gov that I have not seen in any other organization.
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