Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TEAM Santa Rosa targets high-paying jobs for county

Written by
Louis Cooper, Pensacola News Journal

Call it the "sniper" approach to economic development.

"If we had all the money in the world, we could take the shotgun approach, and whatever we catch, we catch," said Cindy Anderson, the executive director of the TEAM Santa Rosa Economic Development Council. But with limited resources, "We only market to companies that have an average wage rate higher than what we have now."
Starting this year, TEAM Santa Rosa has begun a finely targeted marketing campaign aimed at bringing in high-paying jobs by creating individualized marketing materials and micro websites aimed at specific companies.

"We say, 'See yourself in Santa Rosa County,'" said Ildi Hosman, TEAM's public affairs director.

TEAM Santa Rosa has employed the Duncan McCall Advertising and Marketing firm in Pensacola to develop the template for the marketing materials.

One piece is a spiralbound brochure that can have a company's name, logo and photos inserted, along with specific information about the county's workforce, industrial parks and other data suited to a particular company's need.

"We have these set up where they can be very efficiently set up with colors and images that match the company so that it looks very custom, although we can do it very easily," ad agency co-owner Bryan McCall said. "Then, it has a custom message that really targets that company and makes it seem personal."

Duncan McCall has done similar marketing efforts for Florida's Great Northwest, the regional economic development agency, as well as comparable marketing for private companies.

"Every economic development agency in the country is basically going after the same people. That's a lot of competition," McCall said.

"Anything that helps you get noticed — that stands out — is valuable. Getting a company to relocate to Santa Rosa County is a big ticket sales item. You've got to stand out."

The individualized marketing campaign cost about $10,000 for concept development, with a small additional cost for each individual effort for printing. It is financed out of a $50,000 annual allocation for marketing from the Santa Rosa County Commission.

TEAM Santa Rosa has two main ways of identifying specific potential companies: referrals from existing industries about companies that they work with and referrals from larger economic development agencies like Florida's Great Northwest and Enterprise Florida, the statewide economic development agency.

So far, the campaign has been used to introduce Santa Rosa County to five companies, all of which are aerospace or defense-related. None has made a decision yet as to whether to locate in Santa Rosa.

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