Wednesday, June 20, 2012

In rare move, latest Atlanta economic development victory didn't require incentives

Why can't we see more stories like this?  State Farm to expand, create 500 new jobs in metro Atlanta without the use of incentives.  More here.

Oklahoma economic development agencies find common ground at BIO in Boston

Oklahoma economic developers travel 1600 miles to find new collaboration possibilities at BIO show in Boston.  More here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Iowa governor warns California: We are coming to take your jobs

From Area Development: Every year that California has budget trouble -- basically the last 10 -- another state licks its lips and boasts how it will reap the benefits as businesses and residents flee the Golden State. These poachers are usually more conservative southwestern states like Arizona or longtime California rival Texas. So, um, add Iowa to the list.  More here.

4 economic development agencies partner on D.C. marketing effort

Economic development authorities for Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson counties are partnering together to launch a marketing initiative targeting the Washington, D.C. metro area.

The Western Potomac Economic Partnership, or WestPEP, announced June 14 that the marketing effort will consist of several elements all with the same goal of wooing business and industry to the state.

In June, WestPEP posters highlighting advantages to doing business in the Eastern Panhandle will be featured in hundreds of DCMetro rail cars. A series of events coordinated with the Washington Business Journal will be sponsored by WestPEP, including the Journal's annual "Best Places to Work" awards breakfast, and the "Top CEO" awards luncheon. Special events also are planned for educating the commercial and industrial real estate brokers, consultants and developers about the Panhandle's close proximity and easy access to the Greater Washington Metro area.

"Our message is clear. We are an important part of the Washington, D.C., market, and your business will thrive here, without the costs and constraints of more densely developed regions around the beltway," Stephen Christian, executive director of the Berkeley County Development Authority, said in a news release. "We are coordinating a campaign through events, advertising, and web-based outreach that should begin to put the Eastern Panhandle on the radar for any organization looking to move or expand in the Greater Washington Capital Region." More here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Group director preaches on a balanced marketing approach

The quarterly meeting of the Flagler Beach (Florida) Chamber of Commerce featured a presentation by Helga van Eckert, director of the Flagler County Department of Economic Opportunity, on the county's economic development efforts.

Van Eckert reviewed current economic conditions in the county and and the reasons why Flagler County needs to focus its efforts in attracting new business development and job growth.

Van Eckert pointed out that the county has a lot of catching up to do to improve its 11.7 percent unemployment rate.

Van Eckert was quoted as saying an economic development strategy has to be comprehensive and address the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the county. More here.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fort Wayne marketing campaign aims to educate local businesses on foreign trade

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance is launching a marketing initiative with the goal of educating local businesses and organizations about the benefits of foreign trade.

According to the Journal Gazette, the alliance will be sending small wooden trains, airplanes, ships and tractor-trailer rigs to companies in Fort Wayne and the surrounding counties. The businesses will also be receiving fact sheets listing the advantages of the foreign-trade zone designation, such as increased revenue and job creation. More here.

From the Creative Department

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Push/Pull of Personal and Corporate Branding Requires Balance

As the use of social media increases, there is a growing need to balance your personal brand with the corporate one. 

For instance, as the leader of an economic development organization, you may be a “free agent” that needs to maintain a strong personal brand to become noticeable to future employers.  You need to demonstrate your experience, competencies and value. Your professional image and reputation are important. 

On the other hand, too much emphasis on your personal brand could get you labeled as someone who is not a team player.  Your current employer, especially, wants to know you are concerned about organizational and community results, not just your personal interests.  Too much emphasis on the corporate brand though, can leave you unprepared to take advantage of new opportunities. 

Because of these conflicting interests, striking a balance can be difficult.  It takes care and a diligent effort to make it work for you and your employer.

Social media in particular, has helped demonstrate the need for balance between personal and corporate branding.  Social is a tremendous tool for community marketing and engagement.  Those Facebook pictures from your college frat party however, can seriously impede the credibility of your organization’s efforts. 

If you're on the staff of an EDO, your first duty is to your employer.  Don’t spend their time building your personal brand.   There is value though, in the EDO finding ways to attract those with strong personal brands. They can impact the community’s reputation and results.

What do you think? How do ED pros balance career and organizational interests? What issues do you see?  Are there those who have done a particularly good job at balancing the two?  We’d love to have your comments.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Meriden looks for new angle to market city

Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 12:18 am

MERIDEN — With many projects around the city coming to fruition, city officials are ready for a new marketing direction. What that direction will be is still unclear, but it could be determined in the near future.

The city is requesting qualifications from communications and marketing firms to analyze past marketing efforts and assist in developing a new strategy. The request comes after several months of roundtable and committee discussions about where the city should head next.

“We’ve gone as far as we can without professional guidance,” said City Council Majority Leader Brian Daniels. “We need to now create a plan and see if what we’ve done is sufficient, what else we might need to do and what our next steps are.” More here.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

In Austin, retaining jobs just as important as bringing new ones in

By Barry Harrell, American-Statesman

When new companies and new jobs come to the area, it tends to get Austinites' attention.

But just as critical to the health of Central Texas' economy is making sure we don't lose the jobs we already have, says Dave Porter, who has been senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce since 2004.

Porter, one of the Austin area's top business recruiting officials, says his staff is also sharply focused on retention of employers, which he calls "by far the most important function of our economic development efforts." More here.

Friday, June 08, 2012

In wake of national attention, Wisconsin plans regional print ad to tout state's biz climate

By David Wise

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation along with a coalition of 38 economic development partners is running a full-page ad Monday in print outlets serving the central part of the country highlighting Wisconsin as a good place to do business.

The timing of the ad is an effort to capitalize on the national and global attention Wisconsin has received over the historic recall elections and focus it on Wisconsin's economy and business climate, said WEDC CEO Paul Jadin

“We want to send a message that if you are paying attention to us, pay attention to us for business purposes, ask questions about us for business purposes and we'll be happy to help you,” Jadin said.

“It's all about capitalizing on the attention we've got in a positive way and letting everybody know this isn't all about political chaos anymore, it's about wanting them to pay attention to out business climate and our extended enterprise.” More here.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Anti-Southern Bigotry; Misinformation Used to Make Politcal Case in Wisconsin

The Nation's John Nichols wrote last week that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has adopted a "Southern strategy" of promoting union-busting policies and economic-development strategies that raid Northern states and move jobs to states where organized labor is restrained and wages are kept low.

One can understand using a politician's economic development policies to persuade voters (Walker faces a recall election tomorrow) to cast their ballot in a particular manner, but using anti-southern bigotry and misinformation demonstrates ignorance of how economic development actually works.

Never mind that “northern” residents and businesses have been flocking to the south for more than three decades – and not just because of the warmer climate. Businesses have found that operating costs are lower - including those associated with energy, taxes, labor and real estate. Would Nichols have residents of southern states not try to improve their economic condition by adopting policies that make their locations more competitive 

And, while the south has enjoyed cost advantages the Wall Street Journal reported on May 20th that the Midwest is closing the business cost gap.

Southern states aren’t the only ones guilty of “raiding” either.  Indiana and other Midwest states have conducted well orchestrated marketing campaigns in Illinois when that state raised its corporate income taxes. Nevada, New Mexico and other western states have taken advantage of California’s fiscal and tax problems to attract businesses to their state.  It’s an economic development strategy used by nearly every state, not just southern ones.

Site Selection Group taking a diverse approach with advisory services

Site Selection Group, a Dallas-based commercial real estate advisory and economic incentive firm, is aiming
to be a $8 million to $10 million organization in the next three to five years.

King White, president of Site Selection Group, says the company will obtain its goal by bringing in new talent and launching new products.

In 1997, King was hired as one of the youngest principals at Trammell Crow Co. to build the company’s site-selection division.

He built on his experience in forming his own company and by 2006, White and partners Brett Bayduss and Sam Pruitt founded Site Selection Group.

The company was self-funded and started with four employees. Six years later, SSG has 20 employees with diverse qualifications.

Site Selection Group works on projects all over the world including, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. White says the company engages in 70 to 80 projects a year, ranging from tenant representation projects to national searches for headquarters and call centers.

More here.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Private funding could pay for Rowan County to rejoin marketing group partnership

Rowan County, NC has defected from the 16-county Charlotte Regional Partnership in a dispute over the organization's compensation policies.  The local EDO is seeking private funds to rejoin the group.  More here.