A PR Campaign to Build Awareness of NH Seacoast Greenway
Aqua Communications was engaged by the Rockingham Planning Commission (NH DOT) on behalf of multiple agencies to build awareness among drivers and bicyclists regarding the unveiling of the New Hampshire Seacoast Greenway – the first border-to-border marked road route of the East Coast Greenway (ECG). Aqua designed a communications strategy to highlight the newly established coastal route, encourage bicycle and driver safety along the route, and appreciation for the environment/health living.
As part of the PR plan, the New Hampshire Seacoast Greenway hosted a September inaugural celebration including members of the public and dignitaries to officially open New Hampshire’s segment of the East Coast Greenway at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth. The marketing event was publicized over several months leading up to the event with consistent messaging. Media at local print, broadcast, and online media outlets were invited to provide advance, first-person, and post-event coverage of the New Hampshire Seacoast Greenway’s Inaugural event. The new green road signage provided color for the reporters writing pre-event features throughout the summer months.
As part of the celebration, bicyclists and bipeds alike were invited to pave the green way by participating in a family-friendly community walk or one of two coastal bike rides, all of which converged at the museum grounds for the opening ceremony and ribbon cutting. The PR event featured live music, a bicycle raffle, various information tables, and speakers such as state senators, representatives, the mayors, and others.
The Inaugural marketing event was part of a full weekend of bicycling events in the Seacoast. These events included the Tri-State Seacoast Century Ride, which will brought more than 1,600 riders to the area for a 100-mile challenge ride; and the Portsmouth Criterium bicycle race in Portsmouth’s Market Square, featuring some of the top pro riders in the country plus a slate of kids races and a lifestyle expo, annually drawing over 7,000 spectators.
The Inaugural was hosted in cooperation with the East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA), the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Program, Rockingham Planning Commission, WalkNH, Seacoast Area Bicycle Routes (SABR), and the NH Seacoast Greenway Advisory Committee, including representatives from seven coastal communities and three state agencies, in addition to those already noted. All were asked to engage their stakeholders in the weekend of events.
Marketing sponsors were invited to participate to support the purchase of promotional materials and encouraged to engage their customers in the public relations activities. The 23.5-mile on-road route for the Seacoast Greenway largely follows Route 1A and Route 1B from the Massachusetts border to Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth where it meets up with Maine’s Eastern Trail. The PR event also served to raise awareness about the planned off-road route.