Marketing

Your route is selected, your dates are set, your funding is secured, and your permits are submitted... now you just need to get the word out!

We have seen Open Streets programs take anywhere from one month to two years to put together.  It can depend on many factors. it is important to note, however, that more time is not always a good thing. It can lead to unnecessary frills and expenses.

An Open Streets program is the type of program that can come together quickly and affordably with the right support place (ie. funding, political will, a strong team). 

While there are many important factors involved in delivering a successful Open Streets program, it is important to remember these two rules: 

1. You need a safe, secure route. 
2. You need people on it. 

Keeping these in mind throughout your planning process will help you prioritize your actions. Would it be nice to organize a giant flash-mob with your volunteers? Yes, that would be cool. Have you issued a press release yet or setup a webpage? No? Okay, get on that. Hold on the flash-mob. 

To help you in rolling out your Open Streets program we have provided the following helpful tips related to marketing and promotion, and remember, you can always connect with us by visiting our forum.


The Marketing Stage

 

Idea Stage

IDEA STAGE

Identify supporters and challengers.

Begin connecting with people, pitch your basic idea and getting a sense of the appetite for the program.

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PLANNING STAGE

Get the program on the radar.
Must Do:
  • Develop a cohesive message with your team.
Nice To Do:
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IMPLEMENTING STAGE

Your plan is going ahead. You can now make your program public. PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE. INFORM, INFORM, INFORM
Must Do:
  • Make sure your team is on point with key messages.
  • Identify the media contacts on your team.
  • Develop promotional materials (see below this graphic).
  • Make sure your website/web-page/facebook page has basic, up-to-date information about the program.
  • Get on social media! Follow these tips.
  • Plan your press releases.
  • Set up public meeting(s) to connect directly with people and answer questions.
  • Check with your local authorities about regulations regarding notices for residents and businesses affected by the road closure. Prepare your notices and plan to send them out a few weeks prior to  the week of your event at a minimum. It’s easy to miss or forget a notice.
  • Organize a volunteer team to distribute print information and posters.
  • Ask businesses along the route to promote the program. Use public bulletin boards to display posters.
Nice To Do:
  • If you can, make a 30 second video that you can use to promote your program through social media, on your website, etc.
  • If you have the money, implement an ad campaign. Radio ads are often affordable, effective choices.
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DAY-OF OPEN STREETS

Yes! Open Streets is finally here! Now get out there and let other people see your success
Must Do:
  • Identify and prepare media contacts for interviews.
  • Identify a media gathering point and time. Combine this with something that will generate a positive story.
  • Have someone dedicated to connecting with people on social media, posting photos, re-tweeting etc.
  • Make sure you have someone recording the day. Identify or hire someone to take photos and videos.
Nice To Do:
  • Consider hosting a press conference—plan this carefully and be aware of the optics—during the early hours, the road may not be full (yet!).
  • Seek out and take advantage of attractive photo ops for media and supporters!

 


Basic Promotional Materials

Must Have
  1. Key Messages
  2. General Information One-pagers
  3. Business specific one-pager
  4. Notice to affected residents
  5. Poster
  6. Press-release
Nice To Have
  • Video
  • SWAG to hand out to volunteers, media, public etc.

 

 

 


Examples of Must-Have Promotional Materials

CicLAvia's Opportunities for Business Information sheet

Open Streets TO's One Page Information Sheet

 

In the early years of your program, marketing is key. You need to focus time and energy on getting the word out--but that doesn't mean it has to break the bank. Some of the most effective marketing tools are low-cost, like social media, grass-roots networking, earned media, and partnerships with radio stations or newspapers. Focus on getting the best bang for your buck. Keep in mind that if you are working towards a Healthiest Practice Open Streets program--one that happens with predictable regularity--your marketing efforts and related costs will decrease as participants, residents, and businesses begin to see your program as part of their city and build it into their routine.