Firm recognized for its public engagement and community outreach in support of the Port of San Diego’s Master Plan Update 

SAN DIEGO, CA – Cook + Schmid, a full-service public relations, public affairs, advertising and marketing firm, received a Silver Bernays Award for Public Affairs at the 2016 Edward L. Bernays Awards. The event was hosted by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The agency earned the Mark of Excellence, along with HKS Urban Design Studio and the Port of San Diego, for the outstanding public participation program that led to the development of the Vision and Guiding Principles for the Port of San Diego’s Master Plan Update. The Vision and Guiding principles will guide the Port of San Diego’s New Master Plan Update, a comprehensive plan that will guide the future of San Diego Bay.

As a consultant to the Port of San Diego, Cook + Schmid created a public engagement plan that engaged a broad audience including stakeholders, elected officials across the region, the mayors and planners of the Port’s five member cities (San Diego, National City, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and Coronado), as well as the general public to gather the input necessary to develop a collaborative, holistic vision for the Port tidelands.

Outreach included a boat tour of San Diego Bay, which provided stakeholders with an opportunity for stakeholders to interact directly with design consultants. A series of facilitated workshops, conducted in both English and Spanish, captured input from community stakeholders, which provided another layer of information to inform the program. Surveys were also made available as a way to provide input, with more than 2,000 people completing the online survey. The public workshops were attended by many individuals who had never participated in discussions with the Port of San Diego.

Cook + Schmid also designed and launched a project website and implemented social media for communicating engagement opportunities and directly gather public input.

“It was an honor to help create a new Master Plan that will take a holistic, thoughtful and balanced approach to creating a vibrant, sustainable bay for future generations,” said Jon Schmid, president & CEO of Cook + Schmid. “The Vision and Guiding Principles are an important first step in the process.”

About Cook + Schmid

Cook + Schmid is a full-service marketing, advertising and public relations firm in San Diego, CA. Clients include private and public companies, organizations, institutions, and government agencies. Cook + Schmid offers multi-cultural marketing and public outreach, as well as social media, website, interactive technologies, and mobile application development. For more information, please visit