Cook + Schmid, a full-service public relations, public affairs, advertising and
marketing firm, received first place for strategic programs in the public affairs category at the 2013 Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence Awards hosted by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The agency earned the Silver Excellence Award in Public Affairs for its public support and outreach efforts regarding the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan, which will transform the bayfront into a thriving residential community and waterfront resort destination; bolstering the local economy by creating jobs and increasing public access.

Cook + Schmid worked closely with the Port of San Diego, City of Chula Vista, Pacifica Companies and various stakeholders to develop a strategy for presenting key messages, engaging important community influencers, developing presentations, acknowledging and addressing opposition, gaining media coverage and communicating the plan’s benefits to all audiences.

The agency developed a strong, distinguishable brand identity for the project, and created supporting collateral material to communicate the economic and public benefits of the bayfront transformation. Along with a project website, Facebook and Twitter accounts were used to establish an integrated, online presence for the campaign that allowed for easy navigation among various online information sources.

“We are extremely appreciative of all the partners, stakeholders and developers who were major players in achieving the plan’s approval by the California Coastal Commission,” said Jon Schmid, Cook + Schmid CEO and president. “The public’s overwhelming support would not have happened without the team’s unfaltering determination to accurately communicate with audiences.”

The campaign was successful in generating local support for the CVBMP, resulting in an unanimous approval from the California Coastal Commission. Recently, the Port Master Plan was approved by the Coastal Commission with amendments to incorporate the CVBMP.


Cook + Schmid provides strategy development and implementation of integrated public relations, public affairs, advertising and marketing campaigns. Clients include private and public companies, organizations, institutions and government agencies. Since 2006, the San Diego-based PR firm has won four Silver Anvils, the Public Relations Society of America’s highest national honor for strategic programs. Cook + Schmid also offers in-culture and in-language Hispanic marketing and public relations, as well as social media, website, interactive, and mobile application development. Cook + Schmid supports campaigns throughout the nation and Southern California, including San Diego and the Inland
Empire (Riverside County and San Bernardino County).