Public Relations & Marketing Plan

Executive Summary

Each year, through the budget planning process, the District adopts the marketing and PR project work plan and budget. After adoption of the project work plan and budget, an implementation plan is developed for duty assignments, measuring objectives set forth, and for evaluation purposes. This communications and tactics plan matches the project work plan to the approved budget. The Marketing Directors oversees plan implementation under the direction of the Executive Director.

In addition to business marketing activities listed below, the District creative team also supports all functional areas of the adopted service plan including business and economic development, public safety and environmental and urban design and mobility activities. The marketing committee meets monthly to receive reports on activities, review the plan implementation and provide feedback and makes recommendations for adjustments as may be needed. The creative team members meet with the Executive Director and staff on a weekly or as needed basis.

Plan Objectives

  • Brand and promote the Montrose District as a place to live, work, entertain, shop, and do business: This objective is to publicize the Montrose District as a destination for relocation, entertainment, and a business-friendly location.
  • Be an information and education resource: Through our resources, the District will continue to grow our base of information/content relevant to:
    • Our established local business relationships and community,
    • Developers and independent parties interested in doing business within the district, and
    • Our strategic partners, community members and patrons.
  • Educate the public and business communities on Montrose District projects and programs: This objective is focused on educating our community about the programs and plans of associated with the Montrose District. The tactics intended for this objective are to publicize and continue a nurturing-style of education throughout the year that explains the programs being implemented and their on-going progress. These programs represent the growth of our brand and branding efforts.

Current Programs

Business Relations (Ambassador) Program Business Visits
(In support of objectives: 1, 2, and 3)

Visiting the businesses allows the District to meet members of the community face-to-face and build a better relationship. The business visits are used to deliver newsletters and postcards and gather contact information for our database, as well as inform businesses on  the services the District has to offer and how this might assist in helping businesses increase sales, market their goods/services more effectively, etc…The visits also help to build a better database of contacts for email and mailings. The visits are also used as a way to gather community news and updates. In addition, the BA relays information to the Executive Director and Director of Services on issues and concerns of businesses that need to be addressed by the District.

MEDIUM: This is an in-person physical visit with physical collateral.

TIMELINE: Goal: 40 businesses per month, per BA.

Press and Media Outreach
(In support of objectives: 1, 2, and 3)

Major releases are to be targeted and focused at Houston media (e.g. Houston Chronicle, CultureMap, Houstonia, Swamplot, HBJ, television and radio media as well as select bloggers). Stories of interest, especially those related to District-sponsored activities and initiatives like the bi-annual recycling event, business workshops, bridge lighting and others, as they occur and should be pitched to city and regional press/publications, serving to promote development and interest in the district.

Targets for publication include the Houston, Midtown, Neartown, Upper Kirby and Downtown area publications and any vertical publications. Some releases are targeted for digital distribution across no- and low-cost distribution services and a paid service on a case-by-case basis.

Media releases not directly involving District sponsorship (but are geographically, economically or otherwise tied to the Montrose District) will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis so as not to promote favoritism of any particular business, person or event. Overall benefits of coverage should be discussed before making a final decision.

Provide a press release template to businesses opening in the District as one of the District’s services to neighborhood stakeholders that can be downloaded directly from website.

MEDIUM: Mailed, digital, e-mailed.

TIMELINE: As needed or required.

District Events

Events in the community help drive traffic and increase exposure for the District businesses. Events also help brand the District and showcase the great amenities available in the Montrose area. The District has several established events including: a quarterly business mixer, bi-annual recycling events, a business workshop seminar series and a holiday decorating contest.

Bi- Annual Recycling Program
(In support of objectives: 1, 2, and 3)

The District highlights its contribution to improving a better quality of life in the Montrose District through its participation in this event. This program gives the District an opportunity to highlight its support for programs that are of significant benefit to the immediate community. These events will continue to take place at HEB in partnership with CompuCycle, Tradition Bank and Interstate Batteries.

MEDIUM: This is an in-person physical visit with physical collateral.

TIMELINE: April 25 and October 24.

Business Workshops
(In support of objectives: 1, 2, and 3)

The Business Workshop Seminar Series for 2015 is proposed to be changed to 3 events per year in April, July and October. The workshops are proposed to be held on a Saturday in the selected months and topics for each would be as follows:

April – Developing a Business Plan (Speaker: Bobby Heugel (requested submitted) or other notable business owners).
July – Marketing/Social Media (Speakers: Amber Ambrose/Tawny Tidwell and other notable marketing experts).
Oct. – Public Safety and Doing Business with the City (Speakers: city staff, others).

MEDIUM: This is an in-person physical visit with physical collateral.

TIMELINE: As noted above.

Business Mixers
(In support of objectives: 1, 2, and 3)

The business mixers are held quarterly in March, June, September and December. They take place the 4th Thursday of the month from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with the exception of the December mixer which takes place the 3rd Thursday.

2015 dates – March 26, June 25, September 24 and December 17.

MEDIUM: This is an in-person physical visit with physical collateral.

TIMELINE: As noted above.

Holiday Decorating Program
(In support of objectives: 1, 2, and 3)

A holiday decorating program officially kicks-off the holiday season in Montrose. At this event we provide information regarding the holiday decorating program and encourage businesses to get involved.

MEDIUM: This is an in-person physical visit with physical collateral.

TIMELINE: As outreach requires. Event winners announced at December 17 year end mixer.
Presentations at Civic and Community Meetings
(In support of objectives: 1, 2, and 3)

The District will begin a pro-active outreach campaign to attend all HOA, civic, and other community organizations in order to relay information regarding the state of the area infrastructure. Talking points reading the infrastructure are in development and once agreed upon by the Business and Economic Development Committee and Board of Directors will be distributed at community events and monthly meetings.

MEDIUM: This is an in-person physical visit with physical collateral.

TIMELINE: On a continuous and tracked basis so that all organizations are visited each year.

TIMELINE: In development.

Printed and Electronic Newsletters/Reports
(In support of objectives: 1, 2, and 3)

  • A bi-annual printed newsletter is mailed to property owners and filled with articles about events and programs in the District, meeting times, and plans for future programs. This is a good general education piece with specific reports related to the District. It is also distributed to businesses via the weekly business ambassador visits.
  • The monthly e-newsletter is sent electronically to businesses in our database.  As a part of their weekly visits, the BA’s sign up the businesses to receive the e-news and help grow our database. Newsletter content is compiled daily/weekly/monthly and contains recent blog post excerpts like the regular My Montrose feature, upcoming community events, a featured Instagrammer and photo, and directs readers back to the website for more District information.

MEDIUM: Mailed, digital, e-mailed, and in person distribution.

TIMELINE: As noted above.

Printed Monthly Postcard Campaign
(In support of objectives: 1, 2, and 3)

Monthly postcards maintain a consistent touch with a physical marketing piece. The postcard is used to educate businesses with program information, request information, and drive traffic to the website. The postcards typically encourage signing up for electronic news from the District in order to gather additional email addresses and grow the database as well as increase brand awareness.

MEDIUM: The postcards are delivered via mail to area businesses in order to deliver a physical piece that gathers attention and supplements electronic correspondence and other community exposure.

TIMELINE: Daily/weekly/monthly.
Additional Printed Marketing Materials

The District also creates additional flyers, maps, economic development and real estate brochures, and public safety materials as is necessary to support our outreach program.

Web and Social Media Enhancements

Content creation and Distribution (Web strategy and Traffic Plan)
(In support of objectives: 1, 2, and 3)

The District website is a hub of information that encompasses information about the community and businesses within the District. Utilizing every means available for creating and documenting relevant content remains the chief focus for the website. Aside from filling the overall plan objectives, additional goals for this content include continued reputation management and capturing Search traffic by generating highly relevant content for searchers seeking information on Montrose-related topics of interest.
Subject areas are to include:

  • Culture, Arts, Food, District events, Social events, Music, Culture, Human-interest (words as well as video when possible)
  • CIP, Economic/Commercial Dev, Infrastructure, and Permits/Licenses News
  • Businesses and their services and community news

Mediums are to include:

  • Stories
  • Graphics & Photography
  • Videography
  • Distribution channels are to include:
    • Website posts:
    2-3 short, aggregated posts related to positive or relevant news recently covered by other media outlets per week, longer (500+ words) features at least once a week, 1-2 infrastructure, real estate or policy-related features per month, 1 in-depth human interest story per month, 1-2 video features (may or may not take the place of weekly feature) shot in a journalistic style, 1 My Montrose video interview feature per month, 1 photo essay per month

    Distribution channels are to include:

    • Website posts
    • Website events calendar
    • Website interactive map
    • Website pages
    • Press releases
    • Community partners and are supported by
      • Facebook
      • Twitter
      • Instagram
      • Email communications
      • Advertising
        • Google
          A paid campaign that drives external traffic to District demographic and business development information is used as needed.
        • Facebook
          In addition to daily posts and responses, a Facebook ad campaign supports content distribution and grows District awareness outside of the District with minimal cost.
      • Printed materials

    A website editor for guidance (Tawny), traffic updates on posts (for content’s sake) and just a general person to ensure consistency in voice, tone, grammar, etc.
    Content Team (Tawny, Amber, Other Writers TBD) weekly pitch meetings on Gchat or other internet tool (no need for in-person).

    Adding EditFlow plug-in to WordPress for added editorial functionality.

    Editorial calendar to highlight relevant activities that happen throughout the year.
    Once a month meeting of creative team — writers, videographers, photographers, social media, editor.

    Community Organization Outreach
    (In support of objectives: 1, 2, and 3)

    The Montrose District Content Creation team aims to reach out to community organizations to cross-promote community cause and event information, making montrosedistrict.org and https://www.facebook.com/MontroseDistrict a place for community discussion on relevant Montrose topics and a go-to source for information related to the community as it grows and develops. Goals include promoting productive community conversation with shared benefit of website traffic increases, reputation management, and an increase in quality content (owned and shared).

    Community Organization Content Outreach
    (In support of objectives: 1, 2, and 3)

    The Montrose District Content Creation team aims to increase outreach at the content level. Chief considerations include the highly “social”, digitally influential or community-minded (e.g. Pedestrian); engagement with community-oriented organizations (e.g. Complete Streets, or Neighborland) and identifying areas of alignment, to become a go-to source for the latest information regarding their concerns as they relate to the Montrose and cross-promote; share networking opportunities and information. The content team will also look at guest bloggers (e.g. Swamplot, Eater Houston, Lushtastic, The Bloggess) with followers and who are interested in sharing community-relevant content. The goals of this include earning social capital, growing our network, greater visibility for the District, and a greater understanding of the needs and concerns of the community and constituents.

    Proposed New Programs

    (In support of objectives 1 and 3)
    Flag Day – July 4th decorating contest.
    Additional Sunday Streets events.
    Concierge (hotel program).