Ocean Connectors recently received the 2016 SDX Non-Profit Brand of the Year Award! Ocean Connectors received this honor for building a strong brand through professionalism in advertising, marketing, commnications, and contributions to the community at-large. In order to qualify for this prestigious award, our team had to demonstrate significant progress in growing our market share and brand awareness during the past year.
SDX is a leading media, technology and marketing organization that provides its members with support, training and networking in each of these areas. SDX works with various agencies, brands, publishers, and start-up companies to pair their members with the tools and skills needed to advance their companies.
At the start of the year, Ocean Connectors was selected as the 2016 nonprofit recipient of the Ad 2 San Diego public service campaign, which resulted in thousands of dollars in free targeted advertising and a dramatic increase in our brand recognition and overall community awareness. Together Ad 2 and Ocean Connectors developed and printed new Ocean Connectors brochures, t-shirts, and hosted a community fundraiser event. We launched our first electronic newsletter in January (which now has over 609 subscribers!), produced our first podcast (which was listened to nearly 400 times!), launched an Instagram page and gained over 191 Instagram followers, increased our Twitter followers by 33%, and increased our Facebook engagement by 43%. In addition to our expanding network on all social media platforms, we underwent a complete website renovation that included a thorough webpage audit, security upgrades, social media integration, and improved search engine optimization. We are now monitoring site visits and performing regular updates to increase our online visibility and drive more traffic to oceanconnectors.org.
Ocean Connectors also launched a new Eco Tour program during the past year, which was featured online in both the San Diego Reader and San Diego Family Magazine. Ad 2 helped us develop an Eco Tour promotional video that aired over 40 times across San Diego County on over 20 cable networks. The development of the Ocean Connectors Eco Tour program was made possible through a capital grant from the County of San Diego, which enabled Ocean Connectors to purchase a passenger van to provide tour transportation, and the Port of San Diego. The Eco Tours are leading to increased community involvement and support for our mission, and have helped strengthen our organization’s operating budget
Even before working with Ad 2, Ocean Connectors was selected to participate in the Sage Project at San Diego State University (SDSU). We were paired with a talented SDSU student majoring in graphic design, who invested countless hours to provide our nonprofit with a complete brand book including attractive new logos, fonts, and pantone color schemes, as well as touchpoints for creating new materials to increase our brand presence.
Finally, Ocean Connectors achieved a tremendous organizational milestone at the start of the 2016-17 school year, when we enrolled a record-breaking 2,000+ underserved schoolchildren in our free education programs, encompassing every 4th, 5th, and 6th grade student in the entire National City School District in San Diego County!
For all these reasons, Ocean Connectors received this outstanding award from SDX. It is an honor gaining recognition from SDX and we thank them for their support!