Planit hired to highlight Baltimore neighborhoods

Nonprofit Live Baltimore has brought on the agency to draw attention to neighborhoods off the beaten path and to match prospective residents with those who already live there.

BALTIMORE: Nonprofit Live Baltimore has turned to brand communications agency Planit to draw attention to it as a group that can help people interested in moving to the city find the right neighborhood.

Last year, Baltimore City gained 1,100 residents, making it the first year in six decades the city recorded an increase in population. To guide potential residents through the city's 250 neighborhoods, Live Baltimore has released the latest iteration of its “One Overs” initiative, which delves deeper into what makes specific areas special.

It will highlight neighborhoods such as Washington Village/Pigtown, Reservoir Hill, Waltherson, and Highlandtown. The common thread between these “One Overs” is that many are adjacent to better-known areas and offer more affordable home prices, ranging from $100,000 to $181,000.

As part of the initiative, the nonprofit has revamped its website to provide a hyperlocal guide and personalized experience. Updates include the Neighborhood Know-It-All program, which matches current residents of Baltimore neighborhoods with those new to the area, as well as neighbors looking for the best food, activities, and other highlights.

It also includes a customized interactive map, which highlights public transit options and landmarks, and a financial incentive section that details tax-credit opportunities.

Planit is mostly relying on media outreach for the project, according to Caitlin Mills, director of PR at the firm. It has targeted both mainstream print and broadcast media, as well as trade publications. The firm is highlighting that Live Baltimore is an “unbiased” resource for people looking for homes in the city. It has also helped to clarify the organization's messaging.

The nonprofit chose Planit as its partner because of its “proven track record of understanding the city” and because the agency's offices are based in Baltimore and most if its employees reside there versus the suburbs, said Steven Gondol, executive director at Live Baltimore.

To supplement the firm's outreach, it is also performing grassroots activities and social media updates. The agency is planning two events at which it will highlight some of its latest endeavors.

NYC & Company, New York City's marketing, tourism, and partnership group launched a similar effort called “Neighborhood x Neighborhood” to draw more tourists to areas outside of Manhattan. This spring, it highlighted several neighborhoods in the Bronx.

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