In its 60th anniversary year in 2021, Malta Stillwater EMS celebrated decades of life-saving service to central Saratoga County. The agency was also faced with a new challenge: a public referendum over whether to establish an ambulance district for the Town of Malta. This district would create a taxpayer-funded revenue stream for the ambulance service, separate from the town’s general fund. The ambulance district had potential to be a highly controversial political subject, given that it would add a new line on property tax bills in Malta. To counter the chance of a negative public perception, Malta-Stillwater EMS engaged Baker Public Relations in a campaign to win over the community with facts and messaging to highlight the importance of supporting a new ambulance district.
Over the course of five months, Baker Public Relations organized four in-person community forums and one virtual forum on Facebook; produced a video in support of the ambulance company’s 60th anniversary; created and posted dozens of social media posts to the company’s Instagram and Facebook pages; sent out a mailer with the facts about the vote; secured yard signs and flyers that were sent and posted all over town; and wrote thousands of words of content that were used in various ways such as forum signage and website FAQ sheets.
When the vote came in November 2022, Malta-Stillwater’s ambulance district was passed in a landslide, with more than 60% of voters in support.
“Perhaps the greatest sign of Baker’s success was that, unlike other ambulance companies, we never had one person come to speak in outright opposition of the ambulance district at our forums,” said Malta-Stillwater EMS executive director Scott Skinner. “I credit Baker Public Relations for creating a positive campaign that highlighted the facts and helped win over the Malta community.”