Dakota Communications began performing community outreach services for the Exposition Construction Authority in July 2008. Dakota is tasked with garnering support, educating, and informing the public about Phase 1 of the Exposition Light Rail Transit Line (Expo Line). The Expo Line will be an 8.6 mile light rail transit line that will travel along the Exposition railroad right-of-way between downtown Los Angeles and Culver City in less than 30 minutes.
Our extensive outreach strategy has included design, production and distribution of direct mail pieces to local residents, advertising campaigns in local ethnic newspapers, press conferences with local supporters, special events such as job fairs, editorial board meetings with the ethnic press, letter writing campaigns, door-to-door outreach, phone banks, and new media outreach.
As a result of our work, stories about the benefits and safety features of the Expo Line were published in the Los Angeles Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times, which are both widely-read newspaper publications in the African American community. Additionally, Dakota successfully obtained coverage of events in support of the Expo Line. Dakota organized a supporter’s event with Friends 4 Expo at the Expo Line Construction Field Office to present over 3,000 signed petitions that had been obtained under Dakota’s direction in support of the Expo Line. The successful event which featured community supporters and workers generated media coverage from outlets such as KNBC Channel 4 and CBS’ KNX 1070 Radio.
In April 2012, Dakota Communications was contracted by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority (Metro) to organize, plan and implement a “windshield tour” of the Expo Line for local ethnic media outlets. The purpose of the tour was to inform ethnic communities about the opening of the impending Expo Line by generating placement in ethnic media publications. More than 20 journalists and photographers from African American, Asian, Jewish, Latino and Russian media outlets participated in the Expo Line tour. As a result of Dakota’s relationships and follow up with ethnic media outlets, the Expo Line was featured in publications such as Rafu Shimpo, Wave Newspaper, and the Jewish Journal. Additionally, the Expo Line was featured on the Korean News Channel, KSCI Channel 18 and La Opinion developed a video which was featured on their website.