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Miami gardens launches community involvement campaign

Published January 6, 2014 at 7:31 am

Localized marketing campaigns don’t always have to be about connecting a product with a consumer. Sometimes, they can be about a community connecting with itself.

That’s the goal behind a new initiative based in Miami Gardens, a small city in Florida. After a number of high-profile homicides and an incident in which a storekeeper filed a civil rights complaint that purported that police were using improper tactics, officials realized that citizens felt disconnected and uninterested in their own neighborhoods.

A new website, Miami Gardens 111, in conjunction with other marketing efforts, hopes to reverse this trend and foster better relationships between police leadership, residents and city officials.

Campaign organizers have employed the hashtags “#MGMatters” and “#MyLifeMatters” on Facebook and Twitter, hoping to underscore not only the fundamental importance of each life, but also what a profound difference a single person can make.

The site also includes information and links about activities, events and employment opportunities. Mayor Oliver Gilbert hopes that by keeping youth more active and invested, crime can be reduced.

“We have to better engage all of their time and their energy,” Gilbert said. “When we see 14, 15 and 16-year-olds committing crimes, we can’t have them out there idle. That’s an issue.”

The exchange of information isn’t just one way. Like any flexible marketing campaign, organizers are also listening to what their target audience has to say. Focus groups are being conducted to understand how best to serve city residents, and have yielded valuable insights like a centralized events calendar, a peace rally and a youth non-violent summer to be held January 14 at Carol City High School.

While marketing might not be able to solve the problem of violence for good, it can certainly play a valuable role in raising awareness on the subject.

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