Police collaborate with college students to re-brand their social media image

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SARASOTA, FLA. - Sarasota Police have a new marketing strategy; it's called "Blue + You" and it was created by students from Ringling College of Art and Design.

Genesis Silva has spent the last several months redesigning the Sarasota Police Department's web-page.  “What I did is I focused on functionality and organizing information so it makes more sense,” Silva told ABC 7.

Silva is not a police officer and was not even hired by the SPD; she is a senior at Ringling College of Art and Design and part of the new collaboratory class.  “It is this new class that allows different students from different majors to come together and solve real world problems.”

Thanks to a partnership between Ringling College and Sarasota Police, one of the collaboratory class's first projects was to help re-brand the Sarasota Police Department's social media image.

“Re-branding isn’t just creating a new logo or redesigning a new patch or something like that for the police. Re-branding is really, how is the police brand seen as a whole? How do people perceive it?”

Senior Gabriella Thompson was in charge of the brand group for the project. “We decided to not so much re-brand the police per se, but to re-brand the way that they connect to the community and their outreach to the community,” said Thompson.

What they came up with was Blue + You.

“It is the whole idea of the police is your neighbor and they are inviting you over to their house. They are opening their doors to you and that is what we want people to know that the police isn't just a building that they lock you up in, it is friendly place and it is a place you should be able to call home and a place you should be able to be comfortable at.”

The students designed Blue + You to be multifaceted.  “The logo can be overlayed with verbs that kind of reflect the relationship,” said Thompson adding “it is really malleable which is really neat because we want this program to be very malleable.”

Sarasota Police unveiled the Blue + You marketing strategy Friday morning during a press conference.  “I just want to personally say thank you to the professor and to the students for coming here, working closely with us, understanding what our department is about and what our vision is and they grasp that and were able to turn it into something that is tangible.” said Chief Bernadette DiPino.

The first Blue + You community night is Saturday April 26 at 7:30p.m. The police department is hosting a free movie night and showing Despicable Me 2.