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The North Carolina Association of Government Information Officers has awarded the City of Kannapolis first place for its work in branding and promotion of the West Avenue Streetscape and Downtown Revitalization Project.

The City was recognized with the Excellence in Communications Award for its strategic communications plan to brand, promote and market the West Avenue Streetscape and Downtown Revitalization Project during the planning, construction and opening of the streetscape.

The Communications Plan included engaging city residents in the process through news releases, social media, email newsletters, maps, photos, a dedicated website, public meetings, hard hat tours, signage, and a huge opening event in the Fall of 2019. The goal was to engage and educate the public as the project evolved from the design phase to actual reality. As the design process began residents were asked to give input on the featured components of the downtown and as the project moved forward into the construction phase residents were kept abreast of what was happening. Throughout the multiyear process residents and potential investors in downtown were able to follow the construction process on the City’s website which featured a dedicated page to the downtown project with live camera webcam feeds of the construction, regular updates from elected officials and staff, hard hat tours, news releases, email updates and more.

During the process, the City also targeted potential private investors and businesses with specific messaging using social media advertising, media coverage, news releases, a targeted email newsletter and many other promotional avenues. A map detailing every block of downtown and the revitalization plan for the area was also used and updated regularly. The work also included developing a brand for West Avenue and ensuring it worked cohesively with the City’s overall brand.

“We are pleased to be honored by our peers for our work in this arena. The Downtown Revitalization Process and the West Avenue Streetscape Project is a team effort with elected officials and city departments working collaboratively together to make it a reality. To be able to document it and share it with our residents over the last five years has been an amazing journey,” said Annette Privette Keller, Director of Communications for the City of Kannapolis.

Since 1970, the North Carolina Association of Government Information Officers (NCAGIO), a 501(c)(6) nonprofit, has been dedicated to the principles of open government. Members are public information officers employed by North Carolina city, county, and state government offices, agencies, divisions, and / or departments. While titles and roles vary, many members serve as the media contact for their organization. Other roles may include public relations, public education, social media management, photography, videography, digital and print design, website management, speech writing, and emergency communications management, or a combination of these roles.

NCAGIO is dedicated to the professional development and enhancement of its members. The association offers opportunities for members to meet throughout the year to network and exchange information, resources, ideas, and news related to the public information profession.