Tasked with the creation of mainstream/general PR campaign surrounding the project, I chose to target individuals that work in or frequently visit the city, and may have seen or been affected by the construction works, as people are far more likely to care about or take an interest in things that affect them directly (Illes and Sahakian, 2013). I also aimed to target individuals that already had some level of interest in Melbourne city culture (especially food, coffee, art culture) when creating my media content, as they were likely to respond more positively to the key messages of the campaign.
I approached the campaign with the questions: How can I not only make Melbourne city dwellers aware of the project, but make them relate to or care about the project on a personal level? Which feature would be the most effective in mobilising, engaging and influencing a public which may already hold negative perceptions of the project (due to extended construction works)?
I ultimately chose to focus on the construction of laneways as the cornerstone message of the campaign. Laneways, such as Centre Place and Degraves Street, are iconic fixtures of Melbourne’s urban landscape. Populated with cafes and boutiques, laneways tie together several elements of Melbourne’s identity and character as a modern, stylish city (Jolliffe, 2010). In particular I used the campaign to connect laneways and arcades to Melbourne’s broader culture and ‘liveability’, a key source of pride for Melbournians. – George