Marketing, Communications and Events
Place managers narrate and communicate the identity and outward facing mission of the place to residents, tourists, businesses, and other stakeholder groups, thereby communicating the place’s unique brand. By expressing the identity of the place, the brand should invoke a sense of place, leaving individuals with the intangible feelings that one gets when engaging with the authenticity of the place.
The brand is used to market the place to these various stakeholder groups, attracting and inviting them to live, work, play and invest in the place. A diversity of tactics are used to market a place ranging from events, messaging, online engagement, street-level activation and more.
Main Street Grand Forks: The Longest Table
For the past two years, beginning in 2018, the Longest Table has welcomed local Grand Forks, North Dakota residents to sit down for a free meal in a welcoming environment with people they may not have known, to foster stronger connections, exchange stories, discuss community challenges, and spur civic innovation. Through conversations with strangers around the table, attendees are encouraged to listen attentively, share openly, consider thoughtfully, and dream big.
2019 Holiday Placemaking Initiative
During the 2018 holiday season, we saw a competing town center in our region offering holiday event content that was distressingly similar to ours – Shopping! Dining! Skating! Santa! We quickly realized we needed to take steps to truly differentiate and improve on our downtown holiday experience to make our downtown THE holiday destination.
ACTIVATE is a series of pop-up celebrations of public art that take place in alleys and other underutilized public spaces in the Loop. ACTIVATE is free to the public, bringing Chicagoans from 74 unique zip codes to the Loop during times that are traditionally less busy.
Each winter, the various departments within DDP work in tandem to light up Downtown Detroit – hence Detroit Aglow! The BIZ illuminates Downtown with seasonal lighting that enhances the physical characteristics of the Downtown parks and streets. The BIZ focuses on pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular gateways to make dark winter traveling brighter and safer. The DDP Parks team creates a season of programming centered around the tree lighting ceremony and the popular ice-skating rink.
Unbranded is an experimental pop-up shop showcasing the finest work of Dallas’ robust creative community. Sponsored by Downtown Dallas, Inc. throughout the past five holiday seasons, Unbranded brings together a unique, diverse group of vendors – typically local artists, artisans, and designers trying to expand their small, often online-only businesses – each year to provide a special, one-of-a-kind shopping experience for all Downtown residents, employees, and visitors.
Writing on the Walls
Writing on the Walls is an annual series of collaborative public art installations and events. At the inaugural event in March 2020, local, national and international artists simultaneously created two new landmarks in downtown Austin, including our city’s largest mural to date. This mural is located on the iconic Congress Avenue, 11 blocks south of the state capitol, and located at the gateway into downtown Austin.
BIG BIRTHDAY BASH
No parent wants to tell their child “no” to a birthday party, but in Memphis, a city where nearly a quarter of families live below the poverty line, parents may not have the resources to throw that dream birthday party. Watching families host small parties in our parks, we saw an opportunity to condense resources and throw the BIG BIRTHDAY BASH! Set on Mud Island River Park the event featured bounce houses, water slides, games, cake and more all for free and close to 2,000 people attended.
San Antonio Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Celebrations
Historically San Antonio has been home to numerous Día de los Muertos celebrations that would be hosted in parallel. Seeing an opportunity for collaboration, community leaders gathered the independent hosts to put together a united Día de los Muertos event that would make San Antonio a top destination for a Día de los Muertos experience. Partnerships with Visit San Antonio as well as community corporate sponsorships support allowed for a heavy marketing strategy to areas outside of San
Adams Morgan Date Nights
The purpose of the Date Nights campaign was to brand Adams Morgan as THE destination in DC for a “date.” We set up multiple date lineups and offered suggestions that would appeal to a diverse audience. From girls night out or a mother-daughter date night to a first date or anniversary – we assembled a “grid of dates” on our website which provided suggestions, incorporating dozens of our businesses.
Building Brand, Increasing Awareness, Celebrating Diversity: Financial District Online Interview Series
The Financial District Online Interview Series was created to leverage the diverse business and employee voices in Toronto’s Financial District to build the district’s brand, increase employee awareness of the Financial District BIA and celebrate the diversity of the area. Rather than create a new marketing/branding campaign, we used the people in the district to build the brand and speak to the strengths of the area while engaging area employees on social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).