January – May 2010

The Problem:

The Salem Main Streets (SMS) organization is a volunteer commercial revitalization program developed for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. As a non-profit organization with limited staff, SMS did not have the available budget to invest in a marketing and public relations strategy to promote its sponsored events or even the organization itself.

The Solution:
The SMS organization opted to partner with Salem State College’s EXPECT program: an experiential learning program that allows local businesses to partner with a group of supervised public relations and advertising seniors to gain real-world experience in communications and marketing. A group of four collegiate partners were tasked to work alongside the SMS program manager and her superiors to develop a public relations strategy and community outreach program for SMS and its city-sponsored business revitalization events.

To combat the constricted marketing budget, our team first introduced the Facebook and Twitter social media channels into the SMS’ marketing strategy to reduce monetary spend on printed marketing collateral costs and create awareness of SMS events to new audiences to boost attendance to yearly festivals, fairs and community events.

To ensure SMS was able to reach traditional audiences, we created a series of press releases, media advisories and photo opportunity communications highlighting the Salem Restaurant Week and Salem’s So Sweet Festivals to local media outlets.

In addition, our team opted to redesign SMS marketing collateral with more refreshed alternatives, including brochures and a modernized logo, featured below.

The Results: 
A three month experiment, the SMS director was highly pleased with the results. The organization quickly gained a healthy Twitter follower base – which now expands more than 2,000 persons, and has continued its partnerships with the EXPECT program.