Refreshing Perceptions of a Legacy Brand
Curley & Pynn since 1996 has managed strategic public relations and marketing communications for the Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor), a state-funded economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida to strengthen the innovation ecosystem of a 23-county region.
In 2020, Curley & Pynn led a survey of key stakeholders that confirmed what a new CEO heard anecdotally in his listening and learning tour – many believed in The Corridor’s mission, but could no longer articulate its relevance and were unclear how to collaborate effectively.
As The Corridor’s 25th anniversary year approached, we led work to better define and build awareness for how partners could “connect with The Corridor,” reinforce its legacy of impact, and refresh perceptions about its relevancy as a resource for entrepreneurs and network partners.
As a member of the CEO’s strategic task force, Curley & Pynn coordinated a series of in-depth interviews with stakeholders to better understand their needs and perceived gaps within the innovation ecosystem where The Corridor might add value. Through these interviews and online research, we gained a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial journey and how The Corridor might better collaborate with its partners to support innovative startups across the region. The task force also defined a new vision and philosophy for the organization, as well as a set of internal expectations for organizations with which The Corridor would connect and collaborate.
Curley & Pynn leveraged this work in partnership with brand and marketing firm, PRISMATIC, to develop a brand that more accurately represented the organization’s strategy under new leadership. Together, we created a communications plan to roll out the brand and sustain momentum in The Corridor’s 25th anniversary year. Tactics included the brand reveal at an annual gathering of the region’s innovation community, the introduction of a podcast, updated approaches to social media and editorial content, and support for thought leadership opportunities.
The new brand launched in February 2022 to an audience of 2,000+ attendees at Synapse Summit, where The Corridor CEO moderated a panel discussion with the three university presidents who also serve as co-chairs of The Corridor Council. Rebranding efforts amplified ongoing communications throughout the year, resulting in 52 new articles that generated 108.7 million impressions and a 12% increase in new followers across all social media channels. Additionally, the related launch of a new podcast, Tech’s Potential, resulted in a 12% increase in website visitors and an incredible 1,522% increase in LinkedIn pageviews. This momentum led to invitations for The Corridor’s CEO to speak at more than 20 community events.