Municipal projects present unique communications challenges. People need to know the short-term impacts and the long-term benefits.
It’s like being a teacher and graduation speaker at the same time.
When done well, public projects build community support by involving stakeholders every step of the way.
Midland Michigan Digs In
During the summer of 2017, the City of Midland embarked on a transformative Streetscape Project with far reaching benefits.
These benefits included freeing up space for outdoor dining and events and making the streets safer and more accessible for all.
But the long-term gains were not without some short-term pains.
During construction, much of Midland’s Main Street would be closed. Business owners were worried about how construct would impact their sales.
Midland approached Q+M to communicate the benefits of the project to all stakeholders (residents, business owners, visitors), while also ensuring that everyone was prepared for construction impacts.
We conducted stakeholder focus groups with business owners, meetings with city staff and the Streetscape Committee and reviewed information both relevant to the community and to the project.
From our meetings, it was clear that the whole community was behind this project. We knew that success for this project would mean communicating this sense of joint ownership and pride.
In May, Q+M delivered the Marketing and Communications Plan to the City of Midland and the Midland DDA.
We debuted a name and identity—Dig In Midland—that captured the small town spirit and partnerships that made the project possible.
To roll out the new identity, we created DigInMidland.com and all collateral print and digital materials.
While Dig In Midland just launched in June, the results are already very encouraging. Hundreds of people are visiting DigInMidland.com every day and media outlets are adopting the name and brand to communicate about the great things happening in the community.
Even though storms have pushed some project deadlines back, the people of Midland, including business owners and City Staff, remain optimistic, upbeat and excited about the project.
We look forward to celebrating with the City of Midland when the project is complete.