Case Study

Background

The concept of a downtown greenway for the city of Greensboro, NC, was hatched as an avenue to encourage economic development, connect Greensboro’s neighborhoods, provide an alternate thoroughfare for non-motor transportation, add to Greensboro’s already abundant trail system, and provide public gathering spaces through a web of connected smaller parks and commissioned public art installations. In addition, the 4-mile urban loop provides multiple seasonal community programming opportunities surrounding the greenway’s four main spokes of engagement: health and wellness/fitness, public art and artists, nature/environment and green initiatives, and economic development.

Challenges

The Downtown Greenway was truly a project for the long haul—not just a few months or years but two decades. With funding needed on a regular basis, rights of way to be acquired, city zoning, construction bidding and timelines, and future unforeseen challenges and obstacles, the priority was to grow the ongoing level of city-wide support—both municipal and residential—while keeping the greater community engaged and invested throughout the entire build.

Strategy

The Downtown Greenway needed a voice in the community and to become a gathering place—both in person on the Greenway and online. Precise Creative joined the Education & Communications Committee, which met quarterly throughout the build, and met monthly with the Downtown Greenway project manager and assistant/campaign manager to stay on par with the latest news and events as well as provide feedback and input for further community engagement. We developed multiple social media campaigns over the course of nine years, including people using the Greenway in fun and interesting ways, businesses and nonprofits opening locations along the Downtown Greenway, educational opportunities highlighting the green ways that the Downtown Greenway makes the community a better place to live, free fitness events to promote the community’s health and well-being, as well as artist-focused grand opening events and much more. 

Execution

Precise Creative led the direction and daily management of the Downtown Greenway’s multiple social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Our execution included creating a community-minded voice that remained light, friendly, and excitable with a genuine caring and support for the people of Greensboro as well as other community businesses and nonprofits—both small and large. We spearheaded social media strategy, posting, and community engagement over the course of nine+ years, including attending events such as the signature annual Run 4 the Downtown Greenway (each fall) and Wheels on the Greenway (each May) to live post.

Results

The Downtown Greenway experienced an online net social media audience growth of nearly 14,000%, an average 200,000 monthly impressions, and average 4,000 monthly engagements over the course of nine years, which directly translated to ever-increasing trail use, event attendance, volunteer recruitment, funds raised, and overall community support, engagement, and excitement for the project throughout the course of the build. As the Greenway’s social media platforms get ready to transition to Greensboro Parks and Recreation management in 2022, they are receiving a robust community of followers and supporters who will continue to be both active and involved and keep using the spaces developed to connect Greensboro neighborhoods and bring the community together.

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