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Posts Tagged ‘E Mail’

What is an Accessible Website?

The City of Oshawa, Ontario, is ahead of the curve. Its website reveals how it is dealing handily with an emerging, complex issue that will affect municipalities, including economic development departments, all over North America in years to come. Oshawa is already on top of it.

The issue is accessibility. Governments everywhere are implementing accessibility standards for people with disabilities. Accessible design means your product, service or facility can be used by everyone, regardless of ability.

The requirement to be universally accessible will increasingly apply to websites, especially those of governments. Just as buildings will need to accommodate wheelchair access, websites will have to enable people with physical or visual disabilities to view and interact with them. This is a challenge that few municipalities, and fewer economic development departments, have yet addressed.

Oshawa, a town of 153,000 just east of Toronto on the north shore of Lake Ontario, is an example of a municipality that knows (more…)

Trends in Mobile Marketing

Here’s a scenario with implications you might want to think about. Picture a site-selection professional who receives a message from a client while out of the office. The client is in a hurry to obtain comparative information about available industrial lands – from your community and another.

The site selector gets to work on her mobile device. She calls up your investment-attraction website as well as your competitor’s. Unfortunately your site’s information is impossible to find on the tiny mobile screen. Ah, but the other community has a website designed for access by a mobile device and the needed information is quickly found, copied into an e-mail and sent to the client.

The site selector promises to send information to the client about your community later, as soon as there is time to find it using the computer in her office. The client is in a hurry, though, and will already have judged whether the first community’s offerings fit the bill. Now, what is the most likely outcome of this search?

Mobile Friendly Economic Development

The fact is that mobile devices are the primary tools of business today. Everybody is on the move and carries a device. Nobody wants to wait for information. Nobody wants to miss an opportunity. Is your economic development department missing the opportunity to make your (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…)

Attracting Tourists to Smaller Communities

Tourism can transform the economic health of small communities

There are increasing opportunities today for communities of all sizes to build a local tourism industry. This trend has come about for a couple of reasons. One is that tourists are becoming more demographically diverse and more interested in new kinds of tourism experiences, especially those that don’t require a big cash outlay.

Many tourists are looking for an authentic “rural” experience. This could take the form of exploring the countryside, organized tours, experiencing local culture and heritage, hiking, biking, walking. Small municipalities can develop a surprisingly broad range of attractions through culinary tourism, agri-tourism, festivals, events and other niche opportunities (see “New Ideas for Tourism Niches” published May 12).

Tourist attraction has evolved into a web-based activity

Another reason why small communities have growing opportunities to become tourist destinations is that tourism has evolved into a web-based industry in the past decade. The majority of travel-related business transactions take place on the web. And the web is a relatively low-cost marketing medium, so smaller communities are not hindered from marketing their tourism products by a lack of funds for expensive (more…)

Defining Website Goals

Your website is the landing place for the prospects that you are trying to reach and to impress. It is the first source that site selectors use for identifying candidate communities. Making sure that your website is successful is essential!

We sometimes think of the website in isolation. A website can seem to be a world of its own, where rapidly changing technologies and expanding capabilities require specialized expertise to plan effectively.

But to develop a truly powerful economic development website, the place to start is not the site itself – after all, it is the economic development organization and the strategic goals of the organization itself, which the site is meant to serve.

Unfortunately many websites are built reactively, not proactively, without much thought to how they will help achieve strategic goals. It is quite possible for a site to be attractive and technically sound without being successful.

Where does a successful website plan begin?

At the economic development organizations strategic planning level: Several big steps before the job (more…)