In the spring of 2020, the City of Saratoga Springs sought a public relations partner to develop a strategic, multimedia marketing campaign aimed at increasing the awareness, education and enforcement of the New York State Mask Mandate for public safety purposes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Baker Public Relations became the city’s official public relations partner to help execute the awareness campaign. The campaign, which Baker Public Relations named “Mask Up, Saratoga,” included various collaborative partnerships with city and county officials, local businesses, residents and visitors to ensure consistency throughout the community.
Baker Public Relations created a comprehensive marketing plan incorporating the New York State Department of Health’s COVID-19 standards while promoting the city’s rich history of Health, History and Horses. The Baker Public Relations team designed and branded the “Mask Up, Saratoga” campaign using the city as inspiration. With the goal to create friendly yet serious
graphics communicating the need for wearing a mask, Baker Public Relations met the mark. Themes included horse racing, natural springs throughout downtown and the city’s affinity for the arts, specifically ballet. The design also complemented city signage, mimicking its Victorian era inspiration. Content promoted mask-wearing, hand washing and social distancing: sitive campaign that highlighted the facts and helped win over the Malta community.”
To build credibility, Baker Public Relations coordinated and produced a series of public service announcements featuring well-known local figures such as dignitaries, store owners, doctors from the local hospital and other influential figures. These promotional pieces were used on the city’s social media platforms and provided each participant in the PSA series with an opportunity to share the videos, further distributing the message. Baker Public Relations also drafted monthly social media editorial calendars featuring PSA videos, campaign graphics, photos, and sharable and downloadable marketing materials in support of the city’s campaign – such as posters and kid’s coloring pages.
Despite placing the signs around the city during a charged political time, no reports of vandalism came to light. In fact, many businesses asked to buy signs from the city and Baker Public Relations used its toolkit to help distribute branded signage. More than a year after the campaign began, the signs remained, and unsolicited selfies were seen online with people and the signs. Some local groups even took the template and made their own version, including a local rowing organization. The videos Baker Public Relations created and published received more than double the average number of views on the city’s Facebook page.