Rasta Geary

One St. Pete: Local Residents Launch Grassroots Campaign to Unite the City

The citizens of St. Petersburg are launching a grassroots public service campaign to unite the city as a single community. The campaign launches at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2011 when images will be projected onto the sides of 20 downtown buildings.

Kevin Hohl, chief strategy officer for HD Interactive, had the idea the morning after the fatal shooting of St. Petersburg police officer, David Crawford. After enlisting support from friends, the campaign was born.

“St. Petersburg is a wonderful city full of passionate people, but we thought it needed an injection of pride,” said Hohl. “Our hope is that this dramatic display of art and technology generates some curiosity and a renewed sense of city pride. We’re encouraging residents to take a brief moment to remember why we choose to live here and to commit to being a positive member of the community. We may not always agree, but we can move forward together.”

Beginning at 9 p.m., giant QR codes will be projected on the buildings. When scanned with an app on an iPhone, Droid, or Blackberry, this unique barcode directs the mobile user to the website where they can pledge to be part of One St. Pete. At 10 p.m., the images will begin to rotate with photos of St. Petersburg residents holding up one finger, including a mother, an artist, a child, a firefighter, and Mayor Bill Foster. A Facebook page was also created for residents to ‘Like’ the campaign and add their own photos.

In addition to HD Interactive and a team of more than 40 volunteers, supporting companies include Industrial Strength, a national audio-visual company, Pinstripe Marketing, a St. Petersburg marketing and PR firmTim Boyles Photography, St. Pete Pier, the City of St. Petersburg Arts and Economic Development departments, and Blue Lucy, a local design firm and art gallery.

“I’m a St. Pete native, so when Kevin approached me about helping with the campaign, I didn’t have to think twice,” said Ginger Reichl, president of Pinstripe Marketing. “We know that pledges of unity from city hall or the chamber of commerce aren’t enough. The citizens must come together as one.”

See the story in the St. Petersburg Times: One St. Pete campaign launches to help heal, unite divided city