The original goal was to launch a campaign for the new electronic billboard hosted on city property along Interstate 91, but instead, the city opted to begin a full campaign titled “Meriden 2020: Bringing it. Together.”
“Hopefully it relays that vision ,” said Juliet Burdelski, the city’s economic development director.
“That we’re bringing things together and really improving the city.”
The Meriden2020.com website was launched last week.
For now, the website acts as a launching pad to other websites including various recreational organizations in the city, school-related websites and some of the major transportation changes planned for the city. In addition, the website promotes the city’s own website and websites and organizations related to business.
The marketing campaign was launched in an effort to let city residents and people around the state know about Meriden’s plans to revive the city.
Included in the plans are the new Hub park, a new train station with improved rail service, renovated high schools, among others. The city’s contract with advertising firm The Lamar Cos. allows for 2,000 hours of free billboard advertising each year not only on the Meriden billboard, but several electronic billboards around the state. The year 2020 is meant to give residents a firm time frame for projects.
With multiple websites, including MeridenBiz.com and MeridenTOD.com, Burdelski said there are no immediate plans to combine them with Meriden2020.com, but they will likely eventually be brought together. The TOD (transit-oriented development) website is for promoting the city’s TOD plans, while the MeridenBiz.com page is used to promote business and economic development-related information.
For now, Burdelski said the goal was to get Meriden2020.com launched and to promote some of the city’s efforts as soon as possible. More content will be added in the near future, including the live web camera feed of the Hub redevelopment, 3D renderings of the planned park, and potential long-term programs for the site.
“What we are trying to do is familiarize people with the website and the brand and slogan,” she said.
At a recent City Council meeting, Don Wilson, a consultant working for the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, told the council that Meriden 2020 should go a long way in improving the perception of the city. Both the billboard and website, he said, could change people’s thinking.
“It will enhance the perception of Meriden as a great place to live and work,” he said.