Downtown Pittsburgh: A Digital Revitalization

What happens when outstanding economic development thrusts a city into the national spotlight? This high-class problem may be the envy of other cities, but is a problem nonetheless. Downtown Pittsburgh recently experienced this dilemma.

Known to be an invariably strong and vital city, Pittsburgh’s post-recession boom was an inspiration to the nation. But as its city center was praised for the country’s best restaurants, bars and urban living, Downtown’s digital presence had some catching up to do. That’s where The Ocean Group stepped in.

As an agency specializing in destination marketing, we understand what it takes to create online excitement that both mirrors and promotes the personal experience. We started with a custom website, designed to reflect the modern demographic of the city. Because Pittsburgh is a hub for higher education, a fresh-faced, mobile-friendly site that would resonate with a younger audience was key. At the same time, simple navigation and familiar imagery was needed to retain the core of this community. The result is an incredibly friendly, engaging site that is accessible to all.

While the bones for the content was created by The Ocean Group, it was key to the Downtown Pittsburgh management that they could handle the ongoing management from the ‘Burgh. So we included a customized, fully-featured CMS that is both robust and user friendly. Then we migrated thousands of data points from their pre-existing systems, ensuring that no valuable legacy content was lost.

Because the district is rich with music, live entertainment and events, we rolled out an event management system that could handle all levels of growth and expansion because we know Pittsburgh’s evolution is far from over. We also implemented a custom navigation plug in which enables a seamless user experience while also strengthening discovery. Of course, we tied all of this together with a social media feed to amplify the endless activity.

As the site rolled out, we made sure that the staff was empowered with comprehensive training so they could continue to feed content into this compelling platform. But because we continue to host, service and support the team, we remain connected and committed to the success of this partnership. Stay tuned to see what’s next for Downtown Pittsburgh.

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