Wednesday, April 25, 2007

EDAWN Releases New Branding to Market Businesses in Northern Nevada

In an effort to change outside perceptions of northern Nevada and position the region as an emerging hotbed for business and industry, economic development leaders today unveiled a new business brand to help market the region to companies and skilled professionals nationwide.

The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), Northern Nevada Development (NNDA) and key partners introduced the new regional business brand, “Greater Reno-Tahoe: Welcome to Can Do” to a group of 1,000 at EDAWN’s Annual Luncheon. The brand was introduced to the community before it will be launched in key metropolitan cities representing the highest percentage of companies with high-paying jobs and skilled professionals to consider relocating to the region.

Recent research conducted through out-of-market focus groups found that corporate decision makers and young professionals weren’t familiar with where ‘Northern Nevada’ or ‘Western Nevada’ was located. By marketing the region as ‘Greater Reno-Tahoe,’ people will better connect the area to a more recognizable geographic location. Additionally, the tagline “Welcome to Can Do” addresses both the business-friendly climate available for companies and entrepreneurs looking to make a profit, as well as career and life possibilities open to young professionals and skilled workers in Greater Reno-Tahoe. More here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Piper deal may shape area's future

Aircraft plant would be one of area's largest employers

Should the aircraft manufacturer of "Project Osprey," Piper Aircraft, ultimately choose Tallahassee, one of five finalists, it will be the biggest economic and community-development news in many years.


With 1,500 employees - most recruited and hired within Leon and its contiguous counties - the company becomes instantly one of the area's largest employers and a key player in defining the region's economic future.

On city land, occupying buildings constructed for it by the city and possessed of cash incentives at least from local government and quite likely, the state of Florida, Project Osprey will come at a price paid by a hefty public investment.

Read more about how this community became a project finalist here.

9 Important Lessons about Nonprofit Branding

With considerable buzz surrounding the branding of places, this article provides some basic, but important tips.

When my daughter became a teenager, she proclaimed, “I want the freedom to make my own mistakes.”

“Well,” my wife and I offered, “if we could show you—from our years of life experiences—how to avoid mistakes, wouldn’t that be helpful?” Being a teenager, this didn’t quite sink in, but in my experience helping nonprofit organizations develop brand strategies, maybe I can impart some lessons that I’ve learned and help you avoid some common pitfalls.

Lesson 1: Success is in the process itselfSo have one! While the results of the branding process are not predictable, the branding exercise can be. So have a plan. Before embarking on the journey to review, audit, or reshape your nonprofit organizations’ brand, build a process that management or other stakeholders can sign off on. Once you have an approved charter, you can proceed in the knowledge that you and your branding team will be following a “blessed” road map making your destination assured.

If you engage a branding agency or consultant, ask to see their process first. While there are no right and wrong processes, the lack of a plan will certainly have you wandering in the wilderness instead of celebrating your results.

Lesson 2: Build a solid teamYou’ve heard it before: get the right people on the bus. When selecting members for your branding team, your decision will often depend on the size of your organization and the depth and breadth of their experience. In larger organizations, branding efforts are typically led by the marketing department, but this certainly doesn’t mean the team should be populated with only marketing types. You’ll often get more holistic results by engaging a cross-functional team including “front-liners”—staff with customer or donor contact. Keep the team small: six to nine members should be plenty

Make sure your team members can commit to the time and effort necessary to participate and contribute in a meaningful way. Developing a brand strategy is typically a several-months process, but it could be one of your organizations’ most mission-critical initiatives.

Read the other seven lessons here.

Branding in the Arab Gulf States

Theme branding losing to full identity ownership
By Naseem Javed, Special to Gulf News

With some one thousand theme-based-cities being developed at a phenomenal rate here in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the branding and name identities of such projects become nightmares. As in size, except a very few, they range between a few acres to even a single large dwelling.

Now this requires a new definition of the term 'city' so not to confuse the customers with other traditional metropolises.

For example, the introduction of Dubai Media City has become great success story, which extends the souk concept to its infinite extremes. More here.

But with the emerging jigsaw of cities, it will make it difficult to distinguish among similar overlapping-city themes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Indiana turns up schmoozing efforts

Before getting down to the nitty-gritty business of site selection and tax incentive negotiations, Indiana Secretary of Commerce Nathan Feltman wants corporate executives to relax and enjoy themselves.

That’s why he often takes them out to a ballgame. Yankee Stadium is a favorite venue. So is U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox.

“There’s no substitute for relationship-building face to face,” Feltman said. “When you’re in a more informal setting, you learn more.”

Economic development officials say networking is the first step in a process that, when successful, leads to industrial plant expansions and company headquarters relocations. Travel, food, gifts and entertainment, they argue, are a necessary cost of attracting jobs to Indiana. Read the rest of this story here.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Has the love gone out of ''I Love NY''?

March 14 at 3:00 pm marked the close of the Empire State Development Corporation's request for proposals (RFP) that "restore the I LOVE NEW YORK campaign to primacy among state tourism campaigns." In all likelihood, this deadline was Eastern Time.
Paradoxically, this (quoted verbatim) section of the request contains the precise reason these "restoration" efforts are likely to fail. (You can download the PDF in all its vague glory.)

Today the I Love NY logo is everywhere: recognizable and re-mixed. It so naturally represents its constituency—in both design and attitude—that one could assume the slogan had been carved into a tree ten minutes after the Dutch exchanged those beads. But the world's most well-known geo-logo, despite its seemingly punk, grass-roots credentials, is really the very contrived product of one Milton Glaser, who at the time was a designer for the Wells Rich Greene agency. Furthermore, when the logo was chosen in 1977, the idea of loving New York (City especially) was a bit ironic. A bankrupt metropolis abandoned to "drop dead," the idea of either tourists or residents loving New York was as much wishful thinking as truth.

Read the rest of this interesting look at branding here.

Effective PR on a Limited Budget

Though addressed to small businesses, this article has much to offer the economic development organization.

For small businesses with limited marketing budgets, conducting public-relations campaigns is a cost-efficient and often effective way to find new customers and boost a quality reputation. But few entrepreneurs know how to approach the press, what kinds of things to highlight about their businesses when they do, and whether they need to hire a PR firm. Georgette Pascale, president of Pascale Communications in Pittsburgh, went over some tricks of the trade recently with Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow here.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

City hopes $480,000 effort will lure firms to Virginia Beach

The city's Economic Development Department is spending a half a million dollars to tell the business world that Virginia Beach is special.

The city is weeks away from launching a $480,000 marketing campaign, complete with a new Web site - - that aims to lure more companies to Virginia's most populous city.

The effort started last year and is described by city leaders as a necessary tool to attract new firms. Its debut coincides with the start of the city's budget season, a time when rankled citizens frequently complain that only 13 percent of the city's tax base is commercial.

The campaign - "What's so special about Virginia Beach?" - was crafted and packaged by Otto Creative Marketing of Norfolk. It stems from City Council comments made last summer asking that economic development efforts wrap in the city's quality of life as a marketing tool. Read more here.

Monday, April 02, 2007

NE Ohio Region Joins Together Around Action Plan

The organization that led a three-year effort to improve the quality of life and economic climate in a 16-county region has embarked upon a second phase: Advance Northeast Ohio, an agenda that will turn words into action.

Rob Briggs, chairman of the Fund for Our Economic Future, announced the initiative to about 300 government, business and community leaders, including several from Wayne County, at Friday's launch of the campaign at the John S. Knight Center.

The agenda is an outgrowth of Voices & Choices, a program that received input from more than 20,000 residents throughout the region. After hearing what needs to be done, a strategic, economic action plan has been put in place. Read more about it here.

Linking Economic Futures to Student Performance

Imagine a state where they embrace the concept that the state's economic development strategy must be at the foundation of all educational initiatives directed at workforce training. Or that its economic development plan for the near future and long-term delineates the job opportunities its residents can look forward to today and in the future, with educational curriculums starting in grammar school through high school that embed this economic strategy in their makeup.

Imagine further that the state's policy makers feel strongly that its education system's primary purpose is to prepare its youth to become productive economic participants. Conceive if you can, that communication between the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Education works hand in hand so residents can see maximum efficiency and effectiveness from their educational investment and the economic results that come from it.

Such a future is imagined in Vermont, where its Next Generation Commission issued its report in December on educating Vermont's youth to meet the needs of the economic future of the state. The commission noted that such improvement in this collaboration is possible, and need not cost money, but rather simply require a mutual recognition by each department of the importance to prioritize this cooperation. Read more about the simple, yet bold study recommendations here.

Is Your EDO An Employment Agency?

Is it an appropriate role for the local economic development organization to act as an employment agency? Workforce shortages are causing some groups to undertake some extreme - and misguided - measures. Read about one here.

Others are taking a more long-term approach. Read about this unique partnership between an Idaho EDO and their local college here.

Census Bureau Online Tools Can Aid Economic Development

The US Census Bueau has several useful new tools available to economic developers. The program - called Local Employment Dynamics (LED) - is a partnership between state labor market information agencies and the Census Bureau. It fills critical data gaps in workforce statistics at the state, county, metro and workforce investment area levels.

The LED tools can help decision-makers understand current workforce conditions and plan economic development. You can read more about it here or go directly to the site here.