Our list of services is extensive and ever changing. Come back often to see what’s new at Gleason Group.

Branding

Strategic Planning

Marketing Programs

Web Marketing Strategies

  • Website Design and Development
  • Online Technologies
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Data Base Development and Management

Social Marketing

Organizational Development

  • Process Design
  • Capacity Building
  • Technology Solutions
  • Data Base Development and Network Management

Video Photography

Photography

Public Relations/Public Affairs

A Special Teams Approach to Marketing

Situation

The investors of Salt Aire Dunes knew that the quality of their marketing team would make the difference in the success of their premier luxury and green real estate development in the Pacific Northwest. The team would create the brand that would help sell future developments, effectively reaching the upper-income technology sector in that region and throughout the western states, while building a compelling campaign that would maximize the revenue potential.

Gleason Group offered the best of both worlds. Understanding the project’s scope, a team was created with extensive knowledge of the national market, upper-income targets, web-based and public relations strategies and a keen business sense for creating relationships and opportunity throughout the real estate sales cycle. The team’s sensitivity to the interdependency of the economic development opportunity in Westport, Washington between the residents, developers and prospective buyers is tantamount to success.

In concert with Art Dyson, the world-renowned architect on the project, the marketing strategy includes creative concepts that mirror the artful approach to the project’s architectural design.

While this little-known seaside community that has suffered from decades of neglect, is now realizing opportunities for large-scale developments, it is critical to convey — to the entire community — the vision for a development that is sensitive to the needs of its residents and neighbors, and committed to green spaces, wildlife preservation and available affordable housing. The benefits of economic development must be demonstrated to long-term residents concerned about increases in property taxes. County supervisors and planning departments are also being educated on the economic and community benefits.

The entire marketing plan must address both the need for greater regional awareness of the benefits of the Westport area while authentically connecting a pessimistic community to the hope in the vision of their revitalized community. 

Approach

Gleason Group maintains a network of professionals that can be connected to customize a client’s marketing objective. As the Salt Aire Dunes project moves from the strategic planning phase to the development of the website and collateral, this team continues to consider multiple objectives as they create elements of the marketing program that will compel their target population. Much of the web-based strategies will incorporate a strong public relations foundation.  Feature articles and news segments on the Westport region (see Seattle Magazine May 2008), the vision for the Salt Aire Dunes development and the reputation and work of Art Dyson will be orchestrated.  As the region works to spotlight the beauty of Westport’s eighteen miles of undeveloped coastline, Salt Aire Dunes marketing team will create a national and regional awareness of the investment and economic opportunities in this premier real estate development.

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Building and Leveraging Brand for Effective Social Marketing

Situation

It was shortly after the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992 when institutional and business leaders from throughout Fresno came together to form the Fresno Leadership Foundation. This organization was created to address the needs of the community inside the city’s toughest neighborhoods. Without a strategic plan, many were convinced that Fresno would be the next city to experience a tragedy like the LA Riots. 

A cohesive organization evolved, committed to the inclusion of all people regardless of race, religion, economic status; one that championed the leadership ability of the people within their own neighborhoods. The challenge was to create an organization — worthy of funding — to foster reconciliation throughout the city of Fresno. 

The development of a brand and effective, relevant communication was critical to establishing a citywide connection and inspire all neighborhoods to act by volunteering, advocating for and financially supporting the work. Linda Gleason was brought on board to direct an all-volunteer team of marketing professionals to develop and execute the marketing effort.

Approach

The first phase of the project involved a name change for the organization.  Fresno Leadership Foundation became One by One Leadership with a mission to change the soul of the city — one person, one leader, one neighborhood at a time. 

A semi-annual magazine was developed that was distributed both in the city of Fresno and nationally. The magazine, The Soul of Our City, told real stories about the individuals encountered as a result of the work and the outcomes.  These stories gave a face and a name to people often disenfranchised, highlighting their willingness to turn their situation around when presented with opportunities.  These widely publicized stories gave voice to the organization and held it accountable to the relationships it was creating and to the outcomes it was promising.

Newspaper ads and radio public service announcements were designed and developed for the local publications and stations.  Each ad articulated a facet of the mission and the work, proclaiming the following headlines:
“Anyone who doesn’t believe the heart of our city can be saved, hasn’t felt its pulse.”
“The answers to this city’s problems don’t have to be found, they were never lost.”
“Does our city have a soul?”

Regular e-mail communication was sent to an extensive database that showcased successes and continued to share the realizations of dreams in pockets of poverty-stricken neighborhoods that are so often neglected. Annual events were held to showcase the work, honor the stakeholders, champion new perspectives on poverty and raise support.

Results

In just a little over five years, One by One Leadership, a member of the Leadership Foundation of America, became the flagship Leadership Foundation in the country. During this time $1.85 million in local dollars and $5 million in outside amounting to almost $6.9 million dollars had been released into the community focused on one by one transformation.

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Using Communication to Build a Movement, a Business Strategy

Situation

With a mission to increase the number of effective charter schools throughout the state, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) www.myschool.org has realized significant gains in many regions including Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego. Charter Schools are public schools that offer an alternative to the traditional public school run by the Unified School Districts.  Many charter schools have a theme such as Arts and Science or Tech Ed and they strive to create relevant, engaging curriculum to serve all children.  Charter Schools often locate in areas where children are underserved by the traditional public education system.  Research has proven charter school successes with children who were once under performing in a traditional public school environment.

The San Joaquin Valley is a region that is plagued with high unemployment, chronic poverty and low performing schools. Together with the support from the Department of Education and the James Irvine Foundation, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) made a commitment to increasing the number of quality charter schools in the valley.

Faced with the reality of overwhelming negative public perception for charter schools locally and only a few high performing schools to date, Fresno General Manager John Madrid knew he needed more than a typical communication strategy.  The goal was to change the public’s perception of charter schools and create an understanding of the benefits of including charter schools in the educational offerings.  With a strategic plan for Fresno, CCSA could then take this approach to their other Valley markets and systematically grow the number of high quality charter schools for the entire region. 

Approach

CCSA, Fresno chose Gleason Group to outline the goal and objectives of this initiative and design and execute a strategy that would build on existing relationships and the interdependency of systems and organizations.  The objective was to convey a vision for a healthy charter school movement while building a willing coalition of local influencers committed to its success. Gleason Group recognized critical local circumstances and structured an approach to capitalize on this timing. Much of the success of this initiative would be measured by growing local support for the CCSA, the inclusion of charter schools as a solution in community-wide discussions on education and inventive ways to address improving the high school graduation statistics.

The process designed by Gleason Group included a framework for community change based upon relationships.  Leveraging these existing relationships, influencers go from limited understanding to believing in the value of the vision and ultimately being willing to personally support the cause.  By assessing the market through research and interviews, a strategic plan was drafted that outlined the objectives and tactics necessary to create a community-wide movement.  Specific communication strategies were recommended to work in concert with marketing mediums currently employed by CCSA.  Recommendations were made on how to build and track the CCSA, Fresno network so that internal and external relationships are nurtured, leveraged and expanded.  The strategies designed by Gleason Group also work to build an active coalition of empowered school leaders.

Results

As we begin to move into Phase 2 of the process, CCSA Fresno is armed with a systematic approach to advocate for charter schools and grow their market that begins with the value of relationship and works together with the community they serve, providing educational choices to all Fresno area children.  This framework can now be customized to other CCSA regions to achieve similar objectives both in their external target markets and within the culture of their member schools.

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Cause Marketing — A Tale of Bridging Two Cities

Situation

Southwest Fresno has been the victim of neglect and disassociation for decades.  In 2000, when Fresno was ranked the worst among the country’s 50 largest cities in concentrated poverty, southwest Fresno was identified as “ground zero.” Residents experience a third of the city’s murders, a gang population that is five times the national average per-capita, failing schools and lackluster programs that fade as funding does.

Approach

Because of its proven record mentoring leaders in Fresno, Gleason Group was asked by a core group of seven Pastors and Christian leaders, to help them build infrastructure and capacity around their community-based programs.  Referring to themselves as the “Magnificent Spiritual 7” — after the movie with a similar title in which seven men came together to take back their town — these local leaders had recently made a twenty-year commitment to rebuilding the streets of their neglected community.  Collectively having spent 145 years ministering to these streets they once corrupted, these men understood that if change was going to come it needed to start with them.  After years of seeing resources come and go, they saw in themselves a resource that wouldn’t leave. These are their streets and their children. They needed to develop strong and sustainable programs that solved a myriad of problems including: after-school needs, pre-school development, mentoring, summer youth leadership, food resources, job readiness and helping the community work through trauma and grief in an existing program called Grief Share. These leaders were already touching upwards of 100 lives, providing an alternative to gang membership and opening their eyes to opportunity.  What would it look like if they could reach out to the community tenfold?

Working from a relationship of trust and mutual admiration, Gleason Group began by recommending naming the organization based on the book titled “Street Saints” authored by Barbara Elliott and featuring Brian King, the new CEO of what is now the Fresno Street Saints www.fresnostreetsaints.org. Gleason Group developed a strategic communication process, founded on strong marketing outreach, relevance and a compelling message with a public affairs approach. In this approach, influencers throughout the city had the chance to meet this team of seven and share their perceptions of the issues surrounding the overwhelming statistics.  From conference rooms to coffee shops, business CEOs and institutional leaders found themselves sitting with people who so often before had been separated by a gulf of misperception.  The conversations were powerful and with time, the bridge between the two cities, north and south Fresno was being built.

The community leaders were trained to articulate their circumstances, vision and plan and to create opportunity based on community needs.  With leadership development and mentoring by Gleason Group, the community is learning how to strategically plan, build capacity, scale their efforts and document their outcomes. Project results are sent in consistent marketing messages to the community influencers to keep them engaged and aware of the process and progress.

Gleason Group has partnered with Summit Software to build software that will allow the Fresno Street Saints to document and manage their community network. Using web-based technology, the residents working with the Fresno Street Saints evolve from aides, managers and volunteers into case managers as the documentation takes place on laptops and ultimately scanning devices right inside the community. 

Fresno Street Saints will document their initial encounters with youth and their families and continue to track that client over time, as it is the organization’s intention to interact with each of their clients more than once. As the clients benefit from several interactions through the network of community programs, the project can also record the progress from a sociological perspective.

Results

Today, Fresno Street Saints is an organization that continues to build and strengthen its community-based programs and build out the model of their work. With programs that address education gaps, health issues and job readiness, the residents will begin to set new benchmarks for themselves as a community and within their families. The technology that Gleason Group’s associates have developed will allow participants to record, measure and communicate progress. True success will be an empowered social network within southwest Fresno that will foster new habits of civic participation, thus transforming a once isolated community.

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  • California Charter School Association, Fresno, CA
    This marketing challenge required an understanding of the interdependency of the community sectors. The opportunity in the Fresno region for a healthy charter school movement gleaned investment from many of the nation’s most highly regarded educational foundation funders. Unification of the Fresno community is required to collectively recognize the opportunity and consider how to integrate it into the citywide efforts underway to improve Fresno’s educational landscape. Gleason Group determined that this project involves a systematic approach to communications, generating enthusiasm in the community to invest in this effort.
  • Fresno Street Saints, Fresno, CA
    Gleason Group designed a communication strategy that emphasized message as well as relationship and effectively positioned this organization to contribute to the work of restoring Fresno’s most challenged neighborhood. It is a strategy that required bringing the talent within impoverished communities to the fore, while illuminating the need to address the poverty within. The growing movement has gone beyond the “teach them to fish and they’ll fish for a lifetime” idea to the more insightful question, “Who owns the pond?”
  • Salt Aire Dunes, Westport, WA
    The investors of Salt Aire Dunes knew that their marketing choice would be critical to maximize the potential price point of their luxury condominium development while building a recognized brand and fostering good will in the community. Gleason Group designed a team with national client experience, upper-income targets, web based and public relations strategies and a keen business sense for leveraging relationships and opportunity throughout the real estate sales cycle.
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