Prospect ID -
Unmask Your
Website
Visitors

Flower

Posts Tagged ‘Development Websites’

Online Strategies for Economic Gardening

In economic development, knowledge is power.  The more knowledge you have of your economic region, its companies, issues, strengths, weaknesses and prospects, the more power you have to help that region prosper.

This concept has been behind the growth and success of economic gardening for more than two decades.  Economic gardening employs data-based strategies, techniques and tools to help existing companies within a community to grow.  It focuses on building three main elements for companies and communities: information, infrastructure and connections.

(more…)

Regional Social Media – When One Voice Speaks for Many

Often overlooked, a fabulous opportunity for regional economic development marketing lies in maintaining an image of a region as an integrated whole, while at the same time promoting specific attractions and events within it that engage audiences through social media.

While many municipalities have developed social media policies, some are still uncomfortable with social media and have not engaged yet. At a regional level this may be amplified as consensus may be difficult to achieve. In some cases the opposite occurs as regional parts are able to step back and let “social media testing” occur through the regional organization at a regional level.

Once the decision has been made to embrace social media, and policies have been established, the next round of consensus building begins. This includes:

  • How to maintain a modicum of information balance across the regional activities and events;
  • How to ensure that all partners are fairly represented;
  • How to communicate with a single voice through the efforts of many publishers;
  • What voice and message is appropriate to represent the region;
  • How to assign roles and responsibilities and resources; and
  • How to manage and maintain multiple social media channels.

Around the governance table the first rounds of questions arise: are all the partners satisfied that they are gaining value from the (more…)

Best Practice #5: Mobility and Accessibility in Economic Development Websites

Does it sometimes seem to you that the web is like a strange creature from mythology that keeps growing more heads? That’s perfectly understandable – the web really has changed so much that it can hardly be recognized as the familiar old WWW.

Compared with the old days when all you had to manage was one simple website with the same appearance for everyone, today’s web requires continuous monitoring and assessment because of rapid and major changes to the nature of the beast.

In this current series of Tech Trends we have been discussing the proliferation of web-based communications including specialty websites and portals as well as social media sites. Economic development departments need a web strategy that takes all these into account.

But there’s more. It is becoming more and more important for EDOs to be aware of the need for websites to be mobile friendly as well as accessible.

Mobile Access

By “mobile friendly” we mean that the website should display properly on a mobile device. Your messages should be clear and your data (more…)

Your Economic Development Website Budget

Every economic development website is unique and its budget will depend on the municipality’s priorities and circumstances. Nevertheless there are best practices that can be applied universally to help managers plan their website budgets.

Relate Dollars to Goals

Expenditures must be planned realistically so that the website can be an enabler for your department in achieving its goals. And those goals must be consistent with the municipality’s strategic economic development plan.

Budgets for economic development websites in North America can and do vary by a factor of 1,000 — but a website’s success does not depend as much on the level of investment as on the appropriate allocation of expenditures under the headings of your economic development goals.

Plan for Continuous Improvement

Technology solutions such as websites, by their nature, are designed to grow and evolve. Your economic-development website will require upgrades as new functions and capabilities become mainstream, as your needs change, and as the technology itself changes. It is important to remember when planning your budget that the website will always be a fluid solution, one that requires a continuous improvement (more…)

Hitting Your Targets

A successful website plan begins at the strategic planning level of the organization. A layered process of analysis leads like a funnel to the strategy that serves to guide the website’s goals (see “Defining Website Goals,” October 27, 2009).

Once you have the strategy in hand, however, two questions remain: how can you define your website’s goals most effectively, and how can you know if you have succeeded in meeting those goals?

These questions relate to the often difficult problem of demonstrating ROI. Many economic development websites are difficult to evaluate, and investment is difficult to justify, because there are no defined goals, and because measurement and tracking of statistics is often neglected.

You can justify website investments by pointing to the achievement of goals both externally and internally. If you find that your goals are not achieved, this does not mean necessarily that there has been no return on investment – rather, it is an opportunity to improve (more…)