Friday, September 29, 2006

Marketing campaign brings region a dose of imagination

A marketing campaign started this month seeks to spur economic development in Western Pennsylvania by touting the region's possibilities.

A consortium of economic leaders guided by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development worked with several top marketing firms to introduce the slogan, "Pittsburgh -- Imagine what you can do here."

"First and foremost, the campaign is designed to be an attention-getter," said Pamela Golden, senior vice president of Regional Marketing. "We want to drive economic growth by encouraging people to get to know more about the region." Read more.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Q&A with Michael Porter

The Harvard professor and popular author explains the "location paradox" and talks about the competitive challenges facing the U.S. Ever since his 1990 book The Competitive Advantage of Nations, Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter has been regarded as a leading authority on the economic development of nations, regions, and cities. Both as an academic and consultant, Porter is best known for his work on the importance of developing a specialty in industrial clusters—high concentrations of companies in a sector such as semiconductors, cars, or textiles. In an interview with Senior Writer Pete Engardio, Porter explains why he believes globalization has actually made industry clusters and local advantages even more important, rather than weakened them.

More here

New North Takes Regional Approach

New North pushes to become driving force

By Mike Hoeft
DE PERE — From its new location in De Pere, the New North economic development initiative is poised to foster better collaboration in marketing a regional brand, officials say.

New North, which promotes an 18-county region in Northeast Wisconsin, moved recently to 1716 Lawrence Drive, space provided by WPS Energy Services. The donation, which also included loan of a research assistant, allowed the fledgling group to move from the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry offices in Appleton.

That there was no cost was a big factor in the move, said Paul Jadin, president of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and a New North executive board member. It shows the private sector is getting behind it, he said.

"We're happy WPS Energy Services offered a loaned executive and space for a year," Jadin said. "Now we're in a position where New North can assert itself as a driving force for the region."

New North is a "terrific way of looking at the entire Northeast Wisconsin area to attract businesses," said said WPS Energy Services marketing manager Mike Welch, whose company serves commercial and industrial clients in 22 states. New North aims to attract better jobs, which means a better tax base to support public services.

"It's beneficial for all residents, so we're the beneficiaries as well," Welch said.

New North grew from its predecessor, the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Development Partnership.

Jerry Murphy, who started in January as executive director of New North Inc., said De Pere provides a central location from which to promote the area. The office has good highway access to U.S. 41, Interstate 43 and Wisconsin 29.

In his first six months he's made a lot of "windshield surveys" in visits to area communities.

"I've got an eyeful and earful on important selling points. That will help define a regional approach to economic development," he said.

The idea is that communities needn't compete with each other. While they'll still champion their own identities, communities have a common fabric that holds them together. People who live in Sheboygan, for example, may work in Green Bay and recreate in Manitowoc.

New North does not have to re-invent the economic development delivery system, Murphy said.

"One of our principle mandates is collaboration," he said. "That means maximizing resources and tools available to minimize redundancy."

Murphy's challenges will be to unite the organization and raise capital.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, New North reached its fund-raising objective of $330,000. Next year the goal grows by more than a third. At that point, the public grant cycle will be exhausted.

"So the bar is high, but it demonstrates the private sector is engaged," Murphy said.

Murphy, 51, has spent his career in the Great Lakes area. He grew up in Milwaukee and has a master's in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

He later worked in Ironwood, Mich., as an economic development resource specialist and executive director.

Prior to joining New North, Murphy worked as executive vice president of the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise since 2002. The Buffalo Niagara Enterprise is an eight-county regional economic development organization charged with marketing and managing business development projects in Western New York.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Key Part of Region's Marketing Done in India

NORFOLK -- When companies around the world get marketing calls about high-tech business opportunities in Hampton Roads, there's a chance that they come from a firm based in India.

The Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, the agency that tries to bring jobs to the region by pitching it to businesses, has outsourced some of its marketing work to two firms in India.

The alliance, which represents 15 area localities, recently began a marketing initiative focusing on the research assets at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and NASA Langley. It is part of an effort to add a high-technology component to its global economic development operation.

More here

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Longview TX leaders hope branding will boost image

Longview's economic development leaders agreed Wednesday to help this city feel better about itself — and then spread that positive image outside the community.

The Longview Economic Development Corp. board of directors voted unanimously to fund $30,000 toward hiring a consultant who will help Longview understand what it is now and what it wants to be later.

The total cost to hire Tennessee-based North Star Destination Strategies will be $76,000, not including expenses, said Lester Lucy, Longview Partnership board chairman.

He presented the proposal for hiring the consultant to the board Wednesday.

The Partnership, which includes Longview's Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, hopes the effort will be paid for through a collaboration, with a third of the cost being paid each by the Partnership and local businesses, the city, and the economic development agency, he said. Read more here

OK Leverages PGA Event for ED Marketing

EDMOND — Behind the doors of one of the 17 chalets in the Corporate Village at the Senior PGA Tournament, fans will find there is more going on than just following the leader board on one of the flat-screen television monitors placed around the room.This chalet is shared by seven sponsors and the primary purpose is to bring business and commerce into Edmond, the Oklahoma City area and the state of Oklahoma.Janet Yowell, an Edmond resident and chairman of the Oklahoma Governor’s Economic Development Team, said, “The purpose of the chalet is to support the economic development efforts of the staff to recruit more business for Edmond and the greater Oklahoma City area as well as the state of Oklahoma. More here

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Latest Advice from Leak and Goforth

According to statistics provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during a community-preparedness workshop Thursday, hundreds, even thousands of economic-development organizations are chasing a few hundred new and relocating industrial prospects annually.

“As you know,” TVA economic-development representative Phil Scharre told a group of governmental and community leaders gathered at First Southern State Bank, “it’s a very competitive environment out there. It’s important to be at the top of your game.”

Scharre, TVA’s Deborah Cameron and site selection consultants Bob Leak and Bob Goforth led the day-long seminar designed to improve Jackson County’s ability to recruit industry. The seminar was put together by the Jackson County Economic Development Authority in association with TVA and local utility providers.

Read more here

Conventional Economic Development "Seriously Flawed" Says Federal Reserve Official

One of the best investments state and local governments can make with their public dollars is in high-quality, parent-involved early childhood development programs, an early education and economics expert told a local conference of educators Thursday.

Arthur J. Rolnick, senior vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said governments, in hopes of job creation, conventionally promote economic development by spending billions of public dollars in subsidies to get private companies to either locate or expand their business.

From a national perspective, however, new jobs aren't created, Rolnick said, they simply move from one location to another.

"The conventional economic development in this country is seriously flawed,'' Rolnick said. "Billions of public dollars are spent on job creation with zero public return. ... This is the wrong way to do economic development.''

Read the rest of the story

Saturday, April 29, 2006

New ED Metric Model Unveiled

A study of the Northeast Ohio economy provides a different way of analyzing and tracking the impact of economic development initiatives by mathematically analyzing economic data and determining there are eight key factors of regional economic growth. Dashboard Indicators for the Northeast Ohio Economy, released by the Fund for Our Economic Future, establishes statistical correlations between economic growth in jobs, output, worker productivity and per capita income, and the eight key factors (skilled workforce, urban assimilation, racial inclusion, legacy of place, income equality, locational amenities, business dynamics, and urbanization/metro structure).

The study demonstrates that when regional economies chart strong growth, they tend to score well in most or many of the eight categories, and when regional economies chart weak growth, they tend to score poorly in the eight categories.

The study provides a different perspective than most indicator reports for measuring the impact of economic development activities. The press release accompanying the Dashboard Indicators release puts it this way:

"While other regions in the country have developed sets of factors to measure economic performance, frequently they are based on what seems interesting or useful. By contrast, The Dashboard Indicators for the Northeast Ohio Economy is based on statistical analysis, not on anyone’s agenda or preconceived ideas. The study allows public policy makers, business people, civic organizations and the general public for the first time to see beneath the surface of an economy and to understand the full range of factors figuring in a region’s economic performance. The study will be used to guide policy makers when developing targeted programs for addressing specific factors of the economy and to track the effect of such programming. For organizations working together toward economic development across the region, the Dashboard provides a common point of reference."
The study concludes there is no silver bullet for economic growth but that, nevertheless, some factors correlate more strongly with economic growth measures than others. For example:
  • Skilled Workforce correlates strongly to output growth, per capita income growth and productivity growth;
  • Business Dynamics correlates strongly to employment growth;
  • Racial Inclusion and Income Equality correlate positively to economic growth;
  • Regions with Legacy of Place costs face greater challenges when repositioning their economies for growth;
  • The Locational Amenities indicator is positively correlated to per capita income growth but not as strongly as other factors.
“Perhaps the most interesting finding is that racial inclusion, income equality and ethnic diversity – measures of equity and fairness – correlate positively to economic growth. These factors are not normally called out in regional economic measurement tools, but in this study they are shown to be important to the economic picture. Arguably, as we improve opportunity for all people, there is inherent economic benefit to the region as a whole,” said Robert Jaquay, associate director of the George Gund Foundation and a member of the Fund for Our Economic Future’s volunteer staff.

While many technology-based economic development professionals around the country are increasingly looking at "wealth generation" as a measure of success, Dashboard would seem to indicate that if that wealth is increasingly concentrated in a smaller percentage of an area's population or business community, the overall health of the regional economy is likely to suffer.

The Fund for Our Economic Future is a multi-year collaboration of organized philanthropy in Northeast Ohio formed to encourage and advance a common and highly focused regional economic development agenda that can lead to long-term economic transformation. In 2004, more than a dozen philanthropic organizations committed $22 million to support a coordinated regional economic development strategy for Northeast Ohio (see Feb. 27, 2004 issue of the Digest). Since then, membership in the resulting organization, Fund for Our Economic Future, has swelled to 78 foundations and charities. The fund's budget has grown to $28 million, only $2 million short of its $30 million goal before 2007.

The fund worked with W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, Kleinhenz and Associates, the Universities Collaborative and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland to develop Dashboard Indicators for the Northeast Ohio Economy.

Dashboard Indicators for Northeast Ohio is available at:

Friday, April 28, 2006

The job that never ends: beating the local business community's drum is a lot harder than it used to be

IMAGINE YOU'RE A JUGGLER, and the number of balls you have to keep in play is doubled with every toss. That's what has been happening to many U.S. economic development agencies, says Kurt Chilcott, chairman of the International Economic Development Council.

Historically, economic development focused on bringing jobs into a region. But in the past 20 years, their roles have expanded to include working with existing businesses, helping create new firms and improving the assets that attract companies to a region, explains Chilcott. As if that weren't enough, the September 11 attacks and the recent recession have officials scrambling to buoy their economies. Increasingly, many say they're looking in their own backyards for business--but do their actions bear out that claim?


Welcome to the EDMarketing blog. This blog was created for persons engaged in the field of economic development or "place" marketing. Share your best practices, concerns or thoughts on the subject.