June 05 2012

Social Media Implementation by Sasaki Associates, Inc.: An International Planning and Design Consultancy

Sasaki Associates VimeoPlanning should be participatory; however, it’s often very difficult to get stakeholders to contribute to planning processes. Mail-in survey return rates are low, and more often than not, residents don’t want to sit through a Saturday morning design charette. Marketing online and social media platforms give urban planners and architects a set of contemporary tools to promote participatory city planning.

Social media can take the form of an informational blog, such as The GRID, or social network websites like Facebook and Twitter. These tools make planning more participatory by making it easier for stakeholders to contribute ideas about the design and elements of their communities. Sasaki Associates, Inc., an international, interdisciplinary planning and design firm, chose to share their experiences regarding social media implementation with The GRID.

Sasaki Associates, Inc. began utilizing social media to enhance their internet marketing campaign and update their clients and interested parties during winter of 2011. Since then, they have utilized Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Vimeo accounts. The company maintains one firm account for each of these platforms and encourages individuals within the firm to build their own social media presence. According to Liz Rosenbaum, Communications Specialist, Facebook represents the firm’s culture while LinkedIn showcases the firm’s professional reputation. The company engages with Facebook on a daily basis to update potential clients and share relevant articles. On the other hand, Sasaki Associates uses LinkedIn on a weekly basis in order to update professional accomplishments. Through Twitter, “the informal, smart voice of the firm,” Sasaki Associates is able to engage throughout the day with clients and potential leads.

Generating interest in social media platforms is not always easy and Sasaki Associates, Inc. had difficulties at first. In recent months, the firm has made significant progress “both in terms of support for our corporate efforts and in terms of individuals wanting to participate.” Liz Rosenbaum explains that implementing a social media program takes “a lot of patience, ongoing self-education, experimentation, and strategy.” As a result, the firm has experienced a steady increase in their networks, new collaborations, and even media coverage!

What other ways can social media marketing benefit a small-to-medium sized urban planning firm or environmental non-profit?

Credits: Image and data linked to sources.

Patricia Kent

Patricia Kent wrote for The GRID between October 2011 and October 2012. During this time she was a graduate student in Community & Regional Planning with a concentration in Latin American Studies at the University of New Mexico. She was also a recent transplant to Mammoth Lakes, CA. Her interests ranged from political theory and public policy to sustainable tourism. A strong advocate for participatory planning practices, her studies focused on community capacity building and economic development. She believed in fostering entrepreneurship in communities. Currently, Patricia is working on economic sustainability policies that benefit both the preservation of the Eastern Sierras as well as the ever-increasing tourist population.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 at 1:16 pm and is filed under Branding, Content, Environmental Non-Profit, Internet Marketing, Technology, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


One Response to “Social Media Implementation by Sasaki Associates, Inc.: An International Planning and Design Consultancy”

  1. Patricia Says:

    Congratulations to the Sasaki Associates, Inc. Team for winning the 2012 National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Firm!

    See them on the APA website here: http://www.planning.org/awards/2012/

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