By Jorge Casuso
July 16 -- The Bayside District has a new director
of marketing and communications, and she hopes to bring what
is literally a world of experience plugging Santa Monica across
Debbie Lee, the former vice president for business development
with the Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau, is
now responsible for general marketing, promotions and public
relations for Downtown.
Lee plans to use her ten years of experience in marketing
and community relations to help continue to build an image
of Downtown Santa Monica that is encompassing, while capitalizing
on the widespread popularity of the Promenade as an international
“Having an umbrella brand, a strong branding recognition
that is cohesive, is very important,” Lee said. “Especially
since we have such a limited budget, the focus is on programs
that lend a strong return on investment for our time and resources.”
“Third Street Promenade is such an asset to our community
and Downtown Santa Monica is thriving, so drawing attention
to it all will only enhance a visitor's experience,”
Spreading the word will require encouraging the media to
focus more on events that help promote the area, she said.
“Most of the coverage we receive in the local papers
focus on issues of district improvements,” said Lee,
who also oversees publications and other key communication
vehicles to promote and inform the public on issues related
“I’d like to also put a spotlight on the marketing
achievements and programs we offer, as well as the unique
special events that come to the Promenade,” she said.
Lee looks forward to building “strong synergistic
partnerships with companies that put a priority on community.”
To further that goal, the Bayside has partnered with Starbucks
to produce a summer and winter concert series on the Promenade.
A performance by rising recording artist Rocco Deluca kicked-off
the summer series and drew large crowds last month, Lee said.
“Special events take a great deal of coordination
and the revenues they generate enhance our budget, enabling
Bayside to produce proactive marketing campaigns and capital
improvements,” Lee said.
Nicole Nez, the Bayside's new events and marketing coordinator,
plans to maintain the focus on “events that put a positive
impact on the Promenade.”
“We receive so many special event and filming requests.
Many of them truly enhance the experience to the Promenade
and make this area unique.” Nez said.
Yet if the Bayside’s marketing campaigns are to succeed,
Lee said, more merchants need to get involved
“We’re creating an awareness campaign so new
merchants know we’re here and we offer marketing support,”
Lee said. “The more information they provide to us,
the better we can promote the area. Bayside is dedicated to
this and to strengthening our relationships with downtown
Editor's note: This article also ran in the Bayside Beat,
the monthly newsletter of the Bayside District Corporation.