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Released: 10/29/2010 

DRPA Responds to Philadelphia Inquirer Marketing Questions

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently wrote a story about the firms that DRPA engaged for marketing and communications services dating back to 2006. In our continuous effort to provide transparency, we wanted to share with the public our response.


Eight Marketing

Eight Marketing is a marketing service firm brought on to assist DRPA with the marketing and promotion of two of its assets - the Cruise Ship Terminal and the RiverLink Ferry System. The services included the promotion of the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal within the cruise industry and the establishment of the Cruise Terminal as a prime destination. In addition, Eight Marketing developed and implemented a marketing plan for the RiverLink Ferry System.

Eight Marketing assisted DRPA in developing sales and marketing plans to attract cruise lines to Philadelphia. Their work included creation of marketing reports to determine cruise line demographics and communication pieces such as press releases and email blasts to the media. In addition, Eight Marketing assisted DRPA in relationship building with key tourism contacts.

For the RiverLink Ferry, Eight Marketing developed the “From the Docks to the Doors in Minutes” marketing campaign. This included marketing support for the creation of the RiverLink Ferry brochure, the season kick-off events and ongoing marketing outreach.

In recent years, DRPA has renewed its focus on marketing the cruise terminal as an event venue. Eight marketing provided support in marketing the terminal through the development of promotional language to use on the terminal’s web site.


Deardorff Associates

Deardorff Associates is a full service advertising agency. Deardorff assisted DRPA during the implementation of PATCO’s FREEDOM Fare Collection System. Deardorff was instrumental in developing the strategic plan for the public outreach, education, communication, marketing and branding of the FREEDOM card and the re-branding of PATCO.

In preparation for the launch of PATCO’s new fare collection system, Deardorff utilized many research tools including focus groups and one-on-one rider interviews to gauge how PATCO riders viewed the transit line. The information gathered was used to develop PATCO branding - a new PATCO logo and tag line, “Your life. Your train.” and smart card branding- the name “FREEDOM” for PATCO’s smart card and the look of the smart card.

Deardorff Associates also developed an advertising campaign for the roll out of the FREEDOM Card and fare collection system that included billboards, posters, brochures and banners used to promote the launch of the fare collection system.

Winning Strategies

Winning Strategies is a public relations/marketing firm that assisted DRPA with communications strategy and ongoing public and media relations activities to promote the DRPA and PATCO. The work involved developing and implementing a marketing and communications plan for PATCO to raise awareness of its new fare collection system and assist with the conversion of customers from plastic tickets to the FREEDOM card. Along with this, Winning Strategies worked to establish PATCO’s “new” brand throught the region, expanding its presence as a regional system not just a South Jersey entity.

Following the success of the fare collection system and FREEDOM card launch, Winning Strategies focused on creating and fostering valuable business and community partnerships to maximize PATCO’s outreach efforts. Two programs were developed, the very successful FREEDOM to SAVE Program and the PATCO Cares Program.

Through FREEDOM to Save, retailers, restaurants, service providers and other companies provide discounts or other perks to users of PATCO’s FREEDOM Card. Participating businesses display PATCO-provided window decals and counter signs announcing their involvement in the program and PATCO promotes the participating companies and their offers through a special page on its web site, through social media and in-station events.

Representatives from Winning Strategies worked with the communities along the PATCO line to encourage participation in this program. Thanks to their efforts, more than 150 businesses in NJ and PA have joined the program.

The PATCO Cares program was launch in 2009. This community initiative was developed to help non-profit organization promote their good work and seek support. Through this program, PATCO gives select charities a chance to share their vision and goals with a large audience – PATCO’s 36,000 daily riders.

At just over a year since launched, the PATCO Cares program has assisted 10 non-profit organizations including Cathedral Kitchen, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ronald McDonald House and Wish Upon a Hero.

The PATCO Cares program was developed and managed by Winning Strategies.

In addition, with their assistance PATCO broadened its communication with its customers by introducing a monthly e-newsletter and delving in to the world of social media via Facebook and Twitter.

Winning Strategies was recently recognized by the Association of Marketing & Communications Professionals’ MarCom Awards. The agency won a MarCom award for their marketing and promotion campaign in support of the FREEDOM Card. The MarCom Awards is an international competition that recognizes outstanding creative achievement by marketing and communication professionals.

Bellevue Communications

Bellevue Communications is a full service public relations/marketing firm that was retained by DRPA to assist with communications strategy and ongoing public/media relations activities to promote the importance of relocating the Riverfront State Prison.

In addition, Bellevue was responsible for implementing a coordinated media campaign to promote both DRPA and PATCO. The coordinated campaign included radio, television and web ads, print ads and billboards. The ads appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Courier Post, The Philadelphia Tribune, Philadelphia Daily News, Gloucester County Times, Philadelphia Magazine, KYW Newsradio, South Jersey Magazine, NBC10.com, Philly.com, Sportsradio 610 WIP, 1210 WPHT, Comcast Cable Local and Comcast.net. Under Bellevue’s supervision the PATCO FREEDOM card received significant exposure including a feature on the NBC 10, 10 show’s Tim around Town segment and through a cable television ad promoting off-peak PATCO ridership. Bellevue was also responsible in assisting with efforts to get a major pictorial display involving the Ben Franklin Bridge Painting and De-leading Project and maintenance work in the Philadelphia Daily News.

Ken Snyder Communications

Braithwaite through Ken Snyder Communications was retained to carry out day-to-day public and media relations activities normally assigned to DRPA’s Corporate Communications Specialist while she was on maternity leave.

In addition, the firm was retained to assist DRPA’s Corporate Communications Department with ongoing communication issues such as communication strategy and messaging, public and media relations activities.

Braithwaite managed a market research effort designed to identify perceptions among those in the Philadelphia region regarding tolls and fares. This research led to the development of a communications strategy for the implementation of the DRPA toll and PATCO fare increases in 2008.


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