The Village at Gateway
Situation: The ability to see what others can’t imagine takes vision, courage, and persistent persuasion. The developer of The Village at Gateway saw a brighter future for the historic South Norfolk community in Chesapeake, VA, but he needed the support of neighbors and community leaders. His plans called for the creation of a dynamic mixed-use community that included retail and office space, condos, and community amenities, including a new public library. South Norfolk had become an economically distressed area in need of new vision and a catalyst for change.
Results: Recognizing the need to enhance the development’s reputation and increase awareness about its available office and housing products, the development team tasked Gray Ryan Communications with crafting and implementing a reputation management strategy. That approach included public relations, social media, content marketing, and community engagement. Gray Ryan coordinated consistent conversations with business and civic leaders in the area, some of whom participated in video testimonials supporting the development. Additional tactics included a monthly community newsletter that highlighted local events, businesses, and people making a difference.
Gray Ryan also secured a number of high-profile media placements, including a front-page feature story about The Village at Gateway and revitalization of South Norfolk in The Virginian-Pilot, the region’s largest daily newspaper. Gray Ryan coordinated an op-ed from the developer in the Pilot as well, extoling the progress in South Norfolk and advocating for additional support. This feature story and op-ed solidified relationships between the development team and neighbors. The Village at Gateway has spurred additional development in the neighborhood and is delivering new condo buildings.