Case Study


Pittsburgh, PA

Date of Project


Client Type

This Trek Included

Content Development
Public Affairs
Brand Stewardship

Digital Communications
Audience Development
Event Planning

Organizational Advocacy
Brand Building
Strategic Planning

Integrated Organizational Marketing Strategy/Implementation & Shared Services Marketing Model

Economic Development South

Economic Development South (EDS) is a unique, multi-community collaborative focused on strengthening residential and business communities throughout the South Hills region of Pittsburgh. Working through regional government, nonprofits, residents, and businesses, EDS strives to make the South Hills a more accessible place to live, work, and play.

Trailhead: Where We Started

Municipalities in Pittsburgh’s southern region are communities that rely on EDS for economic development support. As a non-traditional community development corporation, EDS provides support to its communities through marketing, real estate development, transportation development, environmental initiatives, and business growth.

EDS quickly grew after its creation in 2010, adding additional communities of influence and an expanded staff. With rapid growth came a need for a professional image and organizational infrastructure to support the efforts and programs being implemented. Organizational growth also led to decreased attention to audience segments, organizational messaging, and attention to appropriate and strategic delivery methods. Addressing these issues became critical to achieving financial support, advancing community support, and building organizational awareness.

Trek: Steps We’ve Taken

EDS began working with TrailBlaze Creative to establish a professional identity that matched the organization’s brand. The TrailBlaze team began by designing new, revamped logos, stationary, and identity guidelines to dictate the tone, style, and rhetoric of future branding. Moving next to collateral development, the TrailBlaze team focused on completing web assessments and improving internal and external messaging.

EDS and TrailBlaze worked together to establish elevate412, a unique shared services marketing model that is the first of its kind in Pittsburgh. In this configuration, TrailBlaze provides regular marketing staffing to support the organization’s strategic and tactical needs on a regular basis, along with five other organizations with community improvement missions.

Beginning with organizational marketing assessments, TrailBlaze worked to evaluate the internal and external culture of EDS, identifying key audience segments and messages, and built an infrastructure to support marketing and operational tasks. TrailBlaze also assisted in the development of critical messaging such as a mission, vision, and tagline, each of which support the promotion of the organization. On a day-to-day basis, TrailBlaze supports EDS with tactical elements such as fact sheet development, social media management, surveying, and more – functioning as an internal marketing department for EDS.

Summit: Vision Realized

Through comprehensive rebranding and the adoption of a shared services marketing model, TrailBlaze Creative continues to assist EDS in realizing its organizational and tactical goals with a unified identity and strategy. In addition to support with marketing tasks, TrailBlaze Creative offers ongoing website maintenance and support to ensure that EDS community members are able to navigate the organization’s website with user-friendly functionality. TrailBlaze Creative is also helping EDS move into their next phase as an organization, assisting with their continued work to ensure “clean streams, green neighborhoods, and vibrant communities,” within and surrounding Allegheny County watersheds.

Are You Ready to Start Your Trek?

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TrailBlaze Creative
PO Box 97930
Pittsburgh, PA  15227

(855) 907-4453

Copyright © 2023 TrailBlaze Creative. All Rights Reserved.