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Posts Tagged ‘Economic Development Strategy’

Attract Attention to Attract Talent!

As economic developers focus increasingly on the critical need to attract and retain talent in their local economies, a three-step process has emerged as a best practice: Develop the strategy first, create the appropriate products to implement it, then promote them effectively and continuously (please see “Talent Attraction – A Strategic Approach,” published July 3, 2012).

This applies first and foremost to talent attraction portals.  Launching a portal is not enough.  The portal is a product, and like any product it requires active marketing and promotion to be successful.

The City of Calgary in Alberta really gets it.  It’s a booming city driven by the energy industry but is hindered by a chronic labor shortage and experienced a high level of out-migration.  To combat the situation, Calgary Economic Development established its talent attraction portal, “Live in Calgary” and launched a complementary marketing campaign called “Be Part of the Energy.”

Headlined by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who made several trips to Eastern Canada along with leading members of Calgary’s business community, the campaign raised awareness about Calgary as a center of business through a combination of initiatives including media relations, public relations, advertising and social media engagement on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Everything is correlated with the interactive portal www.liveincalgary.com.  Along with comprehensive lifestyle information – “more days of sunshine than any other major Canadian city and less than an hour’s drive from the majestic Rockies” – the portal features video vignettes of business leaders from a variety of sectors discussing Calgary’s well-connected business network and entrepreneurial culture.

The combination of portal and supporting campaign did the job. Whereas Calgary had a net loss in migration of more than 4,000 in 2010, it rebounded to a net gain of 9,600 in 2011. (more…)

Creative Economy Place Marketing

In a creative economy place matters. Just as infrastructure and taxes are a competitive advantage for classic industrial development, quality of place and lifestyle amenities are competitive advantages to develop the creative economy.
— From “Canada’s Creative Corridor,” a report by the Martin Prosperity Institute to the Eastern Ontario CFDC Network Inc., 2011

Quality of place is increasingly being recognized as a key factor in attracting talented and creative people to a community, who in turn create and attract business investment. Creative people want and need to feel at home and connected to the community, in which they live, work, and play.
— From Elgin County, Ontario, Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2011-14

Competitive advantage for municipal economic development depends more than ever on making connections work.

You need more than data. Your competitors all have data. They all have strengths in one industry or another, just as your community does. They have talented people producing marketing campaigns and administering programs in competition with you, the next county and the next continent. (more…)

Best Practice #3: Put Social Media to Work for Economic Development

There was a time not long ago when the term “social media” was unfamiliar to many economic development departments and needed explaining. Today social media services are well understood but it is not always clear what they mean to an economic development web program.

Back in June 2009 one of our Economic Development Tech Trends articles predicted that by the time the recession had ended, investment attraction websites would have a different appearance – a new “social dimension” would be added.

Well, the recession is over, at least in theory, and we do see that the majority of investment attraction sites prominently display icons inviting networking, collaboration and evaluation by visitors using social media. A 2010 survey of Canadian economic development trends by technology company YLM found that 60 per cent of Canadian economic development teams are using social media and another 18 per cent are planning to have them in use by the end of the year.

While such media do help to create a “buzz of economic vibrancy,” as predicted, their use has become so widespread that they no longer differentiate one investment attraction site from another, or demonstrate the place-making advantages of a community by their (more…)

Best Practice #1: The Economic Development Web Strategy

It’s hard for economic development organizations to stay on message these days. Harder than ever, in fact.

Online Social Trends are Being Embraced by EDOs

A wide variety of new web properties have been launched and broadly embraced in recent years. Web properties such as Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia, LinkedIn and Twitter, to name just a few, have radically redefined how everyone uses the Internet in their search for information and entertainment.

Many economic development organizations have recognized the potential of riding this latest trend in social behaviour and have started their own representative sites on one or more web properties in an effort to reach a broader audience or a different audience.

Managing the Evolving Arsenal of Websites can be Disorienting

Suddenly EDOs are finding themselves managing three, four or more websites that have all grown organically in a mostly ad-hoc fashion. All of them need tender loving care and feeding that costs staff time or supplier fees. While they may attract visitors, members, views or (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.

Question: 
Where does a successful website plan begin?

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