The German Village Society has hired two local firms to help in a rebranding effort and to develop a more effective communications strategy.

The society's board of trustees voted March 12 to pay Geben Communication $13,000 and Warhol & Wall St. $15,000 for the project, said Delilah Lopez, the Society's executive director.

"The organization is looking forward to engaging current and potential stakeholders in this project," Lopez said. "Their feedback will help us identify which current strategies work well in addition to our opportunities.

"The end product will be a cohesive brand and communications plan that will arm our staff, board, volunteers and stakeholders with one strong and unified voice with a clear value-proposition statement," she said. "Today, our organization's value is not as widely known as it can and should be."

Heather Whaling, CEO of Geben, said the first order of business is a kickoff meeting to understand what the Society's short- and long-term goals are from an organization standpoint -- where it is and where it can go.

Geben also will distribute an electronic survey, conduct a communications audit and conduct interviews with Society staff, board of trustees' members, residents, event sponsors and visitors to the historic district, Whaling said. The communication will provide an insight report and messaging platform, while Warhol & Wall St. will use the information to focus on tactical execution, she said.

The project should take 8 to 12 weeks, although a launch date has not been set, Whaling said.

The rebranding element is not imminent, Lopez said.

"We may find, through the discovery phase, that our brand is strong, but the way in which we communicate it is where we should focus our efforts," she said.

"We look forward to working with these two thriving professional firms on this project and the opportunity to have stakeholders go through this process with us."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary