THE BAY SARASOTA.
ATLARGE was tasked by Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization to roll out a communications engagement plan for the master planning process of 42 city-owned acres of bayfront property in the City.
Following a series of initial meetings to categorize and analyze audiences with the SBPO executive board, confusion was identified among the target audiences, centered around two organizations – SBPO and Sarasota Bayfront 20:20.
A 9-person board comprised of trusted individuals with a diverse set of competencies, established to develop a vibrant and sustainable master plan for the City of Sarasota-owned 42-acre site and to propose an ongoing improvement plan for the site.
SARASOTA BAYFRONT 20:20
A volunteer group of community and civic leaders who, through 5 years of community activation, created the vision and guiding principles that shape the master plan.
There was no clarity about which organization was leading the initiative, who the group behind the master planning process was, or even a way to reach out to the organization and contribute to the campaign. It was clear a unified brand to funnel communication in and out of was priority #1. At the same time, the city provided an additional 11 acres just north to the master planning process, bringing the entire footprint to 53 acres of bayfront property.
- Strategy Mapping
- Graphic Design
- Environmental Design
- Audience Activation
- Craft CMS
- Adobe Suite
We observed parallel objectives shared by both SBPO and Bayfront 20:20 and synthesized an overarching goal. SBPO needed more than just a communications engagement plan. From this emerged a fresh brand, bringing a new face to a now audience-aligned initiative. The Bay was unveiled as a campaign that invited the community to “imagine the possibilities” the site could hold, effectively telling the true story toward a transformed bayfront.
Getting to “YES”.
Now with a public presence, The Bay needed to establish a voice that would not only be heard, but spark action. The goal was to create a community campaign that would move City Commissioners to vote “yes” for the bayfront revitalization on September 6, 2018. A multi-faceted approach was born using communications, marketing, service & environmental design, and activation events to entice the community and resulted in a transformative local movement.
Uniting A Vision.
A delicate yet robust communications strategy was formed to story-tell every phase of the master planning process – from hiring of the design firm to the vote to “yes” from City Commission. A series of press releases and OpEds were timely planned and presented to the media to help shape and guide the community’s vision for a revitalized bayfront while raising excitement and community support. Printed materials including rack cards, business cards, and promotional materials as well as swag items were created to help tell that story while at community engagements. The Blue Pagoda, the current home of SBPO, was transformed into a moving experience through environmental design to help guide the community through the planning process. And, to better reach a diverse and global audience, we provided visual and audio services through livestreaming, providing every phased presentation to a global market of community stakeholders.
Creating a Community Movement.
With our team’s strategic communications and creative design expertise, The Bay has garnered over 40,000 responses from community input as to what they envision for the bayfront. Through continued activation events, like Friday Festivals along the bay, the people of Sarasota had the ability to become directly involved with the efforts to revitalize the bayfront.
On September 6, the Sarasota City Commission met to decide on the future of the 53-acre piece of land. A record number of almost 300 community members showed up for the meeting in support of the Bay proposal, filling the commission chambers beyond capacity. The journey toward uniting the community came to a culmination when the commission unanimously approved of the bayfront master plan, a historic vote for the community.