Tag Archives: marketing

Creativity Changes Our World

Megaphone on pink background with conceptual colourful balls spheres in airWhen’s the last time your organization got creative–really creative–in a customer-facing way? Our guess is if anything’s pushed you there, it was COVID-19. And lots of parking organizations pulled out the creativity to get through the pandemic, and even thrive.

The winners of this year’s IPMI Marketing Awards thought way outside the box to reach customers, communities, and prospective partners during the last year or so, and their winning projects offer inspiration and concrete ideas that can be carried forward. Don’t miss this year’s winners; they’re all in the June issue of Parking & Mobility and will be recognized in-person at the 2021 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo in Tampa, Fla., this fall.  Read the article and go forth and create something awesome!

Essential Skills: Maintenance, Legal and Operational Risk Management, & Marketing for Industry Leaders, Instructor Led Training April 12 & April 13, 2021


This course has sold out.

Essential Skills: Maintenance, Legal and Operational Risk Management, & Marketing for Industry Leaders

Nearly every aspect of parking and transportation operations require dealing with some degree of risk.  As professionals within this industry, how can we appreciate what risks are necessary for provision of service and what risks can be reduced or eliminated through design, controls, technology, transfer of liability, and other means? This class will cover all of these!  Parking Facility security will be discussed in terms of risk management, insurance coverage and reducing your liability exposure. Identify your potential liabilities. What steps can you take to reduce lawsuits from both your employees and customers? The marketing and public relations session will demonstrate an approach on developing a value proposition and other marketing strategies that is easily distributable amongst avenues of marketing and communication. And the maintenance/forensic engineering session will review different types of parking structures and typical distress conditions, to help operators save time and money.

This multi-day course exclusively offered by IPMI aligns with the CAPP Job Analysis: specifically, Domain I: General Management, Domain II: Project Management; Domain V: Marketing and Public Relations

Overall Course Objectives:

• Explore the significance of distress conditions and the resulting financial impact.
• Examine repair construction documents and construction phase services.
• Illustrate the various elements of risk management and identify liabilities.
• Examine legal concepts and terms of insurance coverage.
• Recognize the importance of implementing external communication policy and protocol.
• Effectively and consistently engage in community involvement through peer to peer interactions in-person and remote.
• Identify operational, financial, and functional risks common to parking and transportation operations

Essential Skills for Industry Leaders is a Multi-Day class with four sessions:

Day One sessions

  • Financial Risk Management: 2 hours on 4/12/2021, 11 am – 1 pm EST
  • Maintenance/Forensic Engineering: 2.5 hours on 4/12/2021, 2pm – 4:30pm EST

Day Two sessions

  • Marketing and Public Relations: 2 hours on 4/13/2021, 11 am – 1:00 pm EST
  • Operational Risk Management and General Liability: 2 hours on 4/13/2021, 2 pm – 4 pm EST

Offers 9 CAPP points or .9 CEU’s towards application or recertification

For more information, contact professionaldevelopment@parking-mobility.org


Brett Munkel, CAPP, Vice President, University Services, SP+

Brett oversees and maintains higher education and medical client relationships throughout North America for SP+. He has more than 15 years of relevant experience, previously working with Walker Consultants and Edwards & Neff Engineering.   Recognized for his experience with the planning, operational, and financial aspects of the industry with a focus on the specific needs of campus environments, he is a CAPP and a Board Member of PTAG, CPTA, the APO Board.

Al Bustamante, Walker Consultants

Al is a Senior Vice President and National Director of Forensic Restoration and Building Envelope Services at Walker Consultants. An expert in the evaluation, testing, and design repairs of a variety of structural, architectural, and material distress related projects, Al has over 18 years of experience in the assessment and repair of such structural systems as conventional and post-tensioned reinforced concrete, steel frames, and masonry. His experience related to façade evaluation and repair design includes working with different stone cladding materials, curtain walls, brick, and concrete.

Britney Cooper, WGI Inc.

Britney Cooper works for WGI in Business Development and resides in Houston, TX. She began her career in the parking industry in 2015 where she previously worked at Walter P Moore as their Parking Services Coordinator and DESMAN as a Marketing Manager. For the past two years, she was selected to speak at the IPMI conference. She is a member and actively involved in the Texas Parking and Transportation Association and the Houston chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services.

Michael J. Ash Esq., CRE, Carlin & Ward

Michael J. Ash, CRE, joined Carlin & Ward in 2019.   Mr. Ash’s areas of practice include Litigation, Redevelopment Law, Real Estate, and Municipal Law specializing in real estate value litigation, specifically, Eminent Domain and Real Estate Tax appeals.
Mr. Ash brings 15 years of experience acquiring real estate for public projects to represent property owners in eminent domain acquisitions.  Mr. Ash has handled hundreds of condemnation cases for all manner of public purposes.

2020 IPMI Professional Excellence Award- Marketing: Melissa Maraj-Bubela

Melissa_Marja_BubelaMelissa Maraj-Bubela

Texas A&M Transportation Service

The Texas A&M University Transportation Services Marketing and Communications unit is a powerhouse of creativity charged with safeguarding the public image, promoting services, and telling the university’s story. As manager of this unit, Melissa Maraj-Bubela leads the marketing and communications charge for one of the largest parking and transportations operations on any college campus in the country.

Maraj-Bubela joined the department in 2015. Since then, the department has garnered national and international recognition, including being awarded an IPMI Parking Matters Marketing & Communications Award for three consecutive years. She manages two websites and two mobile apps that target nearly 200,000 combined users each year. She also oversees seven social media platforms, leads branding and image campaigns, and maintains media relationships and media inquiries, community relations, and public engagement.

Throughout her time with the department, Maraj-Bubela has been at the forefront of the department’s most impactful initiatives, successfully spearheading the communications and media outreach for noteworthy campaigns such as the rollout of the largest bike-share program for a university and the implementation of the first U.S. Dutch-style unsignalized and glow-in-dark intersection installed on a university campus.

She has also led the implementation of the university’s Donations for Citations initiative and collaborated with the university’s Football Thursday gameday communications committee, which resulted in unprecedented social media engagement for the university, international media coverage, and university-wide recognition. Furthermore, she has participated in some of the university’s most notable events, providing communications support for events such as the 2017 Hurricane Harvey response and the George H.W. and Barbara Bush interments. ,

Creating a Sense of Community Through Parking

Parking & Mobility June 2019The City of Greenville, S.C., has 11 garages, four surface lots, and 800 on-street parking spaces, totaling close to 9,000 spaces. Many of the parking facilities are tied to development projects–hotels, office complexes, event venues, residences, restaurants, and retail. When Brittany Moore, CAPP, brought her marketing background to the parking industry and faced its sometimes negative connotations in the community, she decided to put her expertise to work to change people’s minds–and it worked.

In this month’s Parking & Mobility magazine, Moore, assistant general manager of parking services with the City of Greenville, shares how small changes, smart marketing, and working to build relationships changed how people see parking and helped foster a sense of community around it. With lots of takeaways and new ideas, it’s a great read–check it out here and let us know on Forum what you think.


THE BUSINESS OF PARKING | Partners in Marketing

By Bill Smith

SOMETIMES THE MOST VALUABLE MARKETING happens through partnerships. Companies that provide products and services to parking owners and operators are often in a unique position to promote their own brands while providing valuable added benefits to their customers.

Savvy parking consultants have been doing this for years. They publicize the results of the parking plans they develop for cities, explaining their recom­mendations and how they will benefit the communi­ty. This obviously promotes their own brands, but it also provides an invaluable service to their custom­ers by helping build support for the parking plan.
This can be a particularly good strategy for tech­nology providers. Most parking technologies are designed to improve the parker experience, but they can’t succeed if parkers don’t know about the tech­nology or aren’t aware that it’s available to use.

Launching a Program

Virtually any parking technology company can ben­efit from this approach. For example, by publicizing a new installation, parking guidance providers can attract new parkers who want more convenient park­ing to that garage. By doing so, they raise awareness of their products, while helping solidify their rela­tionship with the customer by helping the customer generate more revenue.

Similarly, a pre-booking company can promote going live at a particular garage, airport, or campus parking system. By generating publicity to inform lo­cal parkers that they can reserve parking in advance, a company can create more business for itself and for the parking owner it is serving.

Case Study

Recognizing that mobile payment only benefits driv­ers and cities if people are using it, PayByPhone has created what it calls the Adoption Success Model, a customizable program through which local market­ing and adoption programs are developed to meet a community’s unique needs and requirements. The marketing programs may include any of a number of approaches, including publicity (press releases and feature stories); social media marketing and advertising; and event partnerships with local radio, television, or print media companies.
PayByPhone’s program for the City of Seattle stands out. In summer 2017, they initiated the Soak In Seattle campaign. The summer-long campaign was designed to attract 6,000 new mobile payment customers and generate 840,000 new transactions. Those goals were exceeded through a combination of marketing tactics that included free parking of­fers, street team ambassadors, paid print and digital advertising and public relations, paid ads on social media sites, and a custom landing page.

One of the more creative—and fun—elements of the program was the “parking sticker” campaign. 

Through this campaign a car was covered bumper to bumper with stickers, and anyone who downloaded the PayByPhone app was given a chance to select a parking sticker off the car to win a prize. The marketing program was featured in numerous stories in local newspapers and on local television and radio, enhancing its effectiveness. PayByPhone has run similar programs in Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada and in San Francisco, Calif., as well as for private owners, universi­ties, and hospitals across the U.S. and Canada.

Through these programs, PayByPhone is generating revenue for itself, but it’s also promoting the interests of its customers and strengthening its relationship with the customer. This type of marketing presents a true win-win scenario for both entities.
This approach can be put to good use by nearly any busi­ness serving parking owners or operators. Whether your company is a technology provider, consultant, design firm, human resources business—really any type of supplier—it makes sense to consider marketing in partnership with your customers.

Read the article here.

BILL SMITH, APR, is principal of Smith-Phillips Strategic Communications and contributing editor of The Parking Professional. He can be reached at bsmith@ smith-phillips.com or 603.491.4280.


How to Use Social Media in Real Time

By Josh Cantor

Years ago, as social media started to explode, many had hesitation about using it for business and professional purposes. I remember attending several sessions even at the IPI Conference about the role of social media in a parking operation. It certainly takes a thick skin to be on social media in parking and respond to customers, like other service-based industries.

One thing I learned early on about using social media is that people appreciate being answered, acknowledged, and even corrected at times. It’s time consuming but worth the effort if you can use the tools to your advantage, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Reddit among others. As it’s tough to communicate when you’re limited to only being able to send occasional emails and knowing that not everyone drops by the parking website like they do espn.com, using social media to share information, often in smaller, more digestible chunks, has been helpful. Compared to an email where you are only communicating with one person normally, via social media, you can have everyone see your answer which will then often save others from emailing you with the same question. Often if our office gets the same question over and over via email or by phone, we’ll use social media to post and clarify whatever the confusion is about.

So for those still on the shelf about using social media in your parking operation, my advice is try it and have fun with it!

Josh Cantor is director of parking and transportation at George Mason University.