Case Wheeling and Dealing: Campaign for Bike-Share Program in Minneapolis Inspires Tourists and Residents Alike

Urban bike share initiatives may seem like old hat now, as such programs have cropped up in a slew of American cities in recent years. However, in 2010 many Americans had no idea what a bike-share program was. The only existing program at the time was Denver’s B-Cycle. Paris and a few other international locations were also leading the two-wheeled way.
So when Minneapolis decided to launch a bike-share program city officials knew that it would take a lot of citizen education at the front end and a sustained effort on the backend to get the program running smoothly.
Roepke Public Relations (RPR) got involved when one of its clients, Duffy & Partners, designed Minnesota Nice Ride’s logo. RPR agreed to write the messaging and pitches on that story, pro bono, for the launch.
The project debuted in 2010, and is now considered a model for other programs across the United States, a trend that Roepke makes sure to point out to publications around the world when they’re covering Minnesota.
“We started Nice Ride to make biking mainstream in the Twin Cities,” said Bill Dossett, executive director of Nice Ride. “With Roepke’s PR support and its relationships with national journalists, our experience became a national model for bike-sharing,” he added. “This national attention has been terrific for the active living movement and our ability to attract sponsors and partners, essential to the nonprofit model.” One of the key elements of the program prior to launch was creating messaging that explained bike share and instilled community pride in the locally owned program.


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