In January 2022, the Mayor of Omaha announced that she was proposing the development of a modern streetcar. During the announcement and following weeks, Emspace + Lovgren’s earned media efforts kept timely and relevant information flowing to residents. But after the initial media success, it was clear that ongoing communication, from announcement through first ride, would be necessary to resolve misinformation and build enthusiasm for the project.
E+L, in partnership with HDR and key City of Omaha staff members, built and continues to execute a communications strategy that informs key stakeholders and residents of facts and current streetcar news through social media, community presentations, an e-newsletter and a transparent, central website.
The streetcar is expected to begin operation in late 2026, which is why we created an interim brand for the development phase of the project. “Omaha Streetcar On Track” builds enthusiasm and reinforces the importance of permanent rails for economic development, which in turn connects it to our city’s success and growth. This transitional brand sets the stage for a strong and trusted Omaha Streetcar Authority (OSA) brand in the future.
Bringing the brand to life, the streetcar website is information driven and underpinned by a robust newsletter strategy. Built on a public input platform, the site ensures those who are interested in the streetcar have the most up-to-date information and the opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback and request a presentation for their group or organization. Decision-makers can then track how well site visitors feel they are being informed and where they are located in the city, ensuring that information is spreading evenly to all.
As a new entity, we knew the Omaha Streetcar Authority (OSA) would greatly benefit from a social media presence to further spread factual information and updates. This also provided a platform for diverse stakeholders, including business owners, community organizations and neighborhood leaders, to voice support for the project in short, shareable videos. E+L continues to align social media with the overall campaign strategy, curating topics, creating content, responding to questions and analyzing data to make posts even stronger.
We’ve seen some great results from our efforts to get timely, factual, transparent information out to the public.
Years before the announcement of the streetcar’s development, E+L was engaged to increase streetcar education and support. We gained 1,179 recorded advocates, from city leaders to interested residents, through an array of tactics. These included publishing a robust case study, launching social media accounts and a weekly e-newsletter, attending events with a branded tent and swag, packaging and distributing a media kit, shooting testimonial videos and designing an advocates website to host information and calls to action.