Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Call off the Funeral, the Press Release Is Alive and Well

According to surveys of corporate executives, public relations has proven to be one of the most effective marketing tools available to economic development professionals. Read how this tool is still a valuable one to incorporate in your marketing efforts.

by Christopher Parente

The press release is certainly not dead, as some PR people may have you believe. Yes, it's been loaded up with jargon. Weighed down with buzzwords. Scrubbed clean of any meaningful executive quotes.

But, in spite of it all, the press release can provide more value and is read by more people than ever before.

Get the full story.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Campaign takes 'pure, simple' approach to selling Longview

Pure and simple — words that best describe Longview and the people who live here — will form the centerpiece of a new city branding and marketing campaign that was officially launched Thursday.

The new logo, "Longview, East Texas, Pure and Simple," is the result of a nine-month study conducted by North Star Destination Strategies, a Tennessee-based company hired to develop a marketing campaign that will attract people, culture and industry to the city.

The city's new logo — the result of a $90,000 branding study — will be used to reflect the attitude of the town and its residents.

Kelly Hall, president of Longview Partnership, described the new brand as "very usable and a good reflection of the city.

"The look and the style is so crisp and fresh and fun. It is who we are," she said.
At a cost of $90,000, the branding campaign is a joint venture between the city of Longview, Longview Partnership and Longview Economic Development Corp. Each entity invested $30,000 to fund the campaign, Hall said.

"East Texas, Pure and Simple" is meant to be a catchy phrase the city and visitors will come to associate with Longview. Read more.

View a Powerpoint presentation here.
Read an editorial here.
Oops, seems the brand is not unique. Here's a follow-up story.
And another editorial commenting on the flap is here.
The sponsoring organizations respond here.
Which prompts another editorial.
Which prompts another response, this one from the ED organization.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Groups join to launch regional marketing effort

SYRACUSE — A group of more than 50 area companies, nonprofit groups, municipalities, and academic institutions have joined to begin a regional marketing effort.

Those involved are hopeful it will communicate the region’s key strengths and competitive advantages. The Central Upstate Regional Alliance is spearheading the initiative, which has as its slogan “New York’s Creative Core. Real. Smart. Easy.”

The alliance formed in 2004 to promote regional cooperation and work on issues outlined in the Essential New York Initiative Report, a report identifying strategies for economic development and improvement in the 12-county area. The alliance’s geographic area encompasses Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Seneca, and Tompkins counties.

“We think [Creative Core] is important because the region is the economic unit in the economic-development market today,” says Marilyn Higgins, vice president of economic development for National Grid in Syracuse and a co-chairwoman of the branding effort with Linda Dickerson Hartsock, executive director of the Cortland County Business Development Association and Industrial Development Agency. “Counties, cities, etcetera are too small to be seen and heard in the marketplace by site selectors and people who are looking to make investments.” More here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Plan for county growth focuses on arts, tourism

A two-year, $1 million study released by the Berkshire Economic Development Corp. pushes for more development.

PITTSFIELD — Once dependent on factory work to support its economic base, Berkshire County is looking for a new way to survive, and it's going to take more than museums and ski resorts to bolster the economy, a new countywide strategic plan reports.

Unveiled Friday at The Colonial theater by business and community leaders, the Berkshire Blueprint focuses on capitalizing on the county's untapped artistic resources, investing in education and better marketing of the region both to tourists and businesses.

"This is not a plan for one organization or one company," said Tyler Fairbank, president of the Berkshire Economic Development Corp., which oversaw the creation of the blueprint. "This is a plan for the county — a road map for success. There is no silver bullet, no one elixir. What we offer is silver birdshot, not as a solution but as a beginning. Read more.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Rival states consider economic teamwork

Here's an encouraging sign ....

Each year in November, teams from two bordering states trade bone-jarring tackles, touchdowns, and insults on a single Saturday afternoon.What if on the other 364 days of the year, those two rival states were friends instead of enemies, partners instead of competitors?

Ohio and Michigan are nationally known for their adversarial relationship on the college football field as well as for their sagging state economies.What if the Buckeye state and the Wolverine state played for the same team? Not in shoulder pads, but sporting business suits, hard hats, or lab coats?

What if this partnership were created in our own backyard, a joint economic development zone that could encompass northern portions of Toledo and southeastern Michigan and was supported by Toledo utilities? More here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Report suggests Erie County concentrate on tourism, retail and health care jobs

Erie County has “modest” resources for economic growth and should concentrate on creating jobs in areas where Erie County has real opportunities — retail stores, health care and tourism.

That’s the conclusion reached in a new report on Erie County’s economic development opportunities.

Greater Erie Marketing Group commissioned the report, which was released publicly at 8 a.m. by AngelouEconomics, an economic development firm based in Austin, Texas.

AngelouEconomics’ “Erie County Situational Analysis” is meant to serve as the first step in an effort to revamp Erie County’s economic development program.

The report says Erie County should target industries that are well-suited for the area. More here.