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Engaging the San Diego Community in an Inclusive, Transparent and Accessible Outreach Process to Provide Input on the Redevelopment of Pepper Park



12 million

community touchpoints generated over four months


in-language flyers distributed throughout the community


local media outlets engaged for coverage


residents attended community workshops


people attended hosted pop-up events


The Port of San Diego has been working with the City of National City, businesses and community stakeholders to rebalance land uses for the National City Marina District based on public priorities. As part of that effort, the Port sought community input to inform the improvements and redesign of Pepper Park, a key public amenity. In support of the Port’s commitment to engaging the community in an inclusive, transparent and comprehensive outreach process, NST, in collaboration with other partners, developed and executed a comprehensive strategic PR and marketing plan to invite and encourage the community to provide input on the redesign of the park through a series of public workshops and pop-up events.


NST crafted a community outreach strategy to reach the residents of National City exactly where they were. The plan was designed to break down as many barriers as possible, including language, proximity, time availability, lack of computers or internet connectivity, childcare and comfort level with in-person gatherings, to reach a diverse demographic representative of National City.

The team started with the creation of a messaging platform with key messages that could be used consistently across all community and stakeholder outreach, available in English, Spanish, and Tagalog. Using the approved messaging platform, the team crafted materials in all three languages including: website copy, digital and physical event invitations, electronic newsletters, 6,000 printed flyers, posters, press releases, media alerts, social media content, Linktree press kits shared across social channels, Facebook Live sessions, QR codes, images and graphics.

NST conducted localized media outreach to print, online and broadcast outlets, offering spokespersons for interviews in English and Spanish. The team also managed direct outreach to public officials, supplying plug and play content toolkits to make it easy for local officials to communicate the details of events and their importance to constituents.

NST coordinated one virtual community workshop, one in-person community workshop, and three pop-up events to reach a broad, diverse audience, offering evening and weekend options at locations evenly spread across the community.


This project exceeded the Port’s objectives, delivering an inclusive and accessible outreach process that generated valuable input from the community and furthered the Port’s positioning as a transparent agency that values inclusive community engagement.

NST generated more than 12 million community touchpoints over a four-month period through publicity tools including the Port of San Diego’s website, email marketing, social media marketing, earned media coverage, stakeholder communications, community newsletter and calendars, flyer distribution in three languages and word of mouth. Most local San Diego media covered the news, including CBS 8, NBC7, Fox 5, KUSI, XEWTV Canal 12, The Star News, KPBS, ABC 10, the San Diego Reader, San Diego Metro and the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Community outreach efforts also secured 623 combined responses to feedback surveys distributed to community members, more than 100 individuals attended the three pop-up events, and 363 people participated in the community workshops.

Services Provided

Community Outreach


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