Situation: Accessible and safe parking structures are vital to a vibrant city center. Difficulty in finding parking was keeping shoppers and diners circling our streets and staying away from downtown. Faced with the prospect of increased enforcement and rising costs, the LFUCG brought Group CJ on board. Our charge - to brand and create a communications plan for LexPark, and its new parking structure designed to make downtown more user-friendly.
Hot Idea: Parking being a traditionally sensitive subject, it was important not to ruffle any feathers. We approached the project with an upbeat attitude and created a user friendly look.
Cool Results: We launched a multi media campaign to let people know that parking was widely available downtown, as well as convenient and cost-effective.
Lexpark Social Success Story: Friend the parking people? Seriously?
In March 2013 Group CJ demonstrated to the Lexington Parking Authority Board of Commissioners that they quite a prolific presence on Facebook where citizens were busily sharing their opinions about LEXPARK. The activity was so widespread that there was not one, but four sites dedicated to LEXPARK.
Unfortunately the four sites included “Say no to LEXPARK” and “F*CK LEXPARK” and there in fact was no official site for Authority. At first a skeptical Authority doubted whether citizens would respond – a very natural response seeing most people friend family, sports teams and their beloved personal favorite brands. But they made the bold move and the story unfolded quickly and more positively than anyone imagined.
Four months later 1,000 people have signed up as LEXPARK friends allowing the Authority to reach 30,000 people per week through their extended friend network. Regular posts have started the process of shaking the negative image many have of the Authority by showing how parking is free after 5PM and that parking fees have now renovated once dangerous city garages and brought to the social world the exciting and advanced new “Helix” garage. The point was made that even something as seemingly unlovable as a parking authority has a good story to tell and if they don’t tell it, others will.
Social media has allowed citizens to get engaged and interested in what the Authority does and then in turn have allowed natural digital word-of-mouth to spread the good things LEXPARK is doing.