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Building a Place and
a Community with
Digital Communications and
Social Networks
2007 – 2010
Major investments with massive
frustration, the Great Recession,
pent up demand, and we were
old and stodgy;
u...
“A new approach is called for on the waterfront – one that is both more
deliberate and more experimental... The massive ex...
Fort Point Channel
Fan Pier/ Seaport
Boston
Marine Industrial
Park
Convention Center
Area
7
Four distinct
neighborhoods
Draw on Curiosity for Purposeful Interaction
Create an Emotional Connection
Encourage a Call to Action
Use low-involvement...
Comm.
Strategy &
Tactics
Immediate Communications Strategies:
Dare to be different
Be risky, humble, nimble, always have t...
Positioning The Boston Innovation District is
poised to be on the forefront of the
Idea Revolution, and change the
way ind...
New Media
Traditional Media
Independents (early and eternal entrepreneurs)
Developers
RE Professionals/Site Selectors
Foun...
Change brand identity
Shift brand attitude and inspire investment.
Tactics
Met with key players (internally and externally...
Change brand identity
Shift brand attitude and inspire collaboration and
ambassadorship.
Tactics
Met with local associatio...
Build brand awareness
No one comes. Introduce and inspire commitment to
the vision through experiences.
Tactics
Met with l...
Comm.
Strategy &
Tactics
Internal Communication
TBD
Develop Brand Guidelines soon
External Communication
There should be a...
What Happened?
The conversation spread globally and hyper-locally.
Broad local discussions were combined with extreme vert...
Building a Place and a Community with Digital Communications and Social Networks
Building a Place and a Community with Digital Communications and Social Networks
Building a Place and a Community with Digital Communications and Social Networks
Building a Place and a Community with Digital Communications and Social Networks
Building a Place and a Community with Digital Communications and Social Networks
Building a Place and a Community with Digital Communications and Social Networks
Building a Place and a Community with Digital Communications and Social Networks
Building a Place and a Community with Digital Communications and Social Networks
Building a Place and a Community with Digital Communications and Social Networks
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Building a Place and a Community with Digital Communications and Social Networks

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Boston's Innovation District was groundbreaking in many ways including in how communities were shaped with tremendous in person citizen engagement and digital communications.
This presentation was given in May 2016 to a Graduate Marketing Class at Northeastern University in Boston.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Building a Place and a Community with Digital Communications and Social Networks

  1. 1. Building a Place and a Community with Digital Communications and Social Networks
  2. 2. 2007 – 2010 Major investments with massive frustration, the Great Recession, pent up demand, and we were old and stodgy; until January 4, 2010.
  3. 3. “A new approach is called for on the waterfront – one that is both more deliberate and more experimental... The massive expanse of the South Boston waterfront, with its existing knowledge base, opportunity for growth, and world- class infrastructure is ripe to produce world-class products and services” - Mayor Thomas M. Menino 2
  4. 4. Fort Point Channel Fan Pier/ Seaport Boston Marine Industrial Park Convention Center Area 7 Four distinct neighborhoods
  5. 5. Draw on Curiosity for Purposeful Interaction Create an Emotional Connection Encourage a Call to Action Use low-involvement, transformational persuasion tactics Low-involvement: Low-risk, no cost activities or services. Transformational: Intellectual stimulation or social approval (personal recognition) to help bolster the brand attitude and communicate information about the Innovation District for future opportunities. Comm. Plan Because the City does not offer an immediate, direct benefit, the strategy is rooted in leveraging the theory of social networks, inspiring influencers to become brand ambassadors and mutually- beneficial partners.
  6. 6. Comm. Strategy & Tactics Immediate Communications Strategies: Dare to be different Be risky, humble, nimble, always have the last word, and say “YES!” to everything. This is not your grandmother’s city. In concert with the spirit of the Innovation District, we must be as open and allow for idea dialogue. Nimble, fast, responsive, provocative, and imperfect are how we define ourselves. Perception is Reality Give people information by being the source that makes and/or publishes the news. Let’s face it, the more people know, the more accepting they are. Give the public the information and they will respect the effort and even join in the sentiment. And we make the news. Good, bad or indifferent, we make it and in order to control the message in today’s fast-paced, instant-communication world, we need to be the ones reporting it first, then the press as needed.
  7. 7. Positioning The Boston Innovation District is poised to be on the forefront of the Idea Revolution, and change the way industries and economies of the world thrive. A playground where individuals and companies inspire their ideas to define the direction of the future. A place where we can all make history.
  8. 8. New Media Traditional Media Independents (early and eternal entrepreneurs) Developers RE Professionals/Site Selectors Foundations Associations Sector Leaders Institutions Global cluster groups Investors Target Audiences Financial Influencers Industry Influencers Social Influencers
  9. 9. Change brand identity Shift brand attitude and inspire investment. Tactics Met with key players (internally and externally) to discuss the future opportunities and current challenges. High Involvement-Informational in person (Seaport Square and Slideshare) Developers RE Professionals/Site Selectors Foundations Target Audiences Financial Influencers
  10. 10. Change brand identity Shift brand attitude and inspire collaboration and ambassadorship. Tactics Met with local association leaders and universities to discuss the vision and concept for the Innovation District and potential future opportunities. Targeted industry publications and international social media channels. Met with many international groups visiting Boston. (PWC New Zealand) Associations Sector Leaders Institutions Global cluster groups Target Audiences Industry Influencers
  11. 11. Build brand awareness No one comes. Introduce and inspire commitment to the vision through experiences. Tactics Met with local entrepreneurship groups/leaders to discuss the concept for the Innovation District and potential future opportunities. Determined their needs and responded. (Buzzient/GreenTown Labs/Kirsner, Wired, & Rxn) New Media Traditional Media Independents (early and eternal entrepreneurs) Target Audiences Social Influencers
  12. 12. Comm. Strategy & Tactics Internal Communication TBD Develop Brand Guidelines soon External Communication There should be a tangible marketing/media packet soon. The foundation for communications will be in new and social media - blog, Twitter, and by participating in others’ channels/groups. Twitter Style and Tone Smart, personal voice. Fun with appropriate punctuation Be gracious, but modest. Don’t RT kind words, just thank people. Community Building Talk when you’ve got something to teach. Follow the right people. More is not better. Support others’ news/events. Stay tuned in to what else is going on in the district. Listen x3. Frequency and Dialogue Conversations happen organically, but have the last word if possible. @IDBoston will RT misc info not from partners not directly aligned with vision RT with quote on applicable partner messages about events, etc in IDBoston Tech/Syntax Support Use robust system: HootSuite Think about allowing more access to handle Auto tweet blog post (weekly) Use active links to more information all of the time. Website: Original and Emotional Publish original content on updates weekly via blog. Always better to communicate our original information as opposed to mentions in other media outlets (press page). Advance the emotional connection between the ID and our key audience to increase attachment and participation. Sustain and expand organic growth of the ID as an independent concept leading the future of Boston. Event pages to expand and connect the communities Tumblr: Press & Posts Set up Google Alert, add bookmark, thoroughly approve content, and publish. Be mindful of images vs quotes and frequency of pushes to Twitter.
  13. 13. What Happened? The conversation spread globally and hyper-locally. Broad local discussions were combined with extreme vertical issues. Perception became reality. Demand drove opportunity in existing RE supply, which drove new RE growth. It became self-sustaining. The emotional connection inspired collaborators to find ways to profit and a community to create (and defend) a place.

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