Could neighbors help? The pandemic toll was hurting small business along with spirits, livelihoods and the economy across the City of Renton. Heart-and-soul establishments of the city’s six primary retail neighborhoods needed a boost to revive and recover.
JayRay invited neighbors in to “Make Yourself at Home in Renton.” The campaign featured a quirky neighborhood flair with social distancing decals in the shape of dragon feet, honoring Renton’s ambassador and notable sculpture. Dragon cutouts on light poles pointed the way to free parking. Shoppers were greeted with friendly door mats and window decals. Curbside A-boards and gift guide ads lured pedestrians and drivers inside and online. Meet Your Renton Neighbor blogs told inspiring stories of favorite business owners. Renton residents and wannabes entered a Renton staycation sweepstakes with a hotel package and shopping and dining credit. Social influencers posted about neighborhood delights on Small Business Saturday. News stories extended the campaign’s reach.
The campaign brought a surge in social media followers, hundreds of sweepstakes entries, and millions of organic social and paid media impressions. Website users and pageviews increased 1,000% each during the campaign. The results earned year-round funding. In year two, the campaign was broadened to invite out-of-town guests to “Start Your Story in Renton.”