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Posts Tagged ‘Economic Opportunities’

Defining a Creative Economy Target Audience

It’s all about people

Creative businesses and workers can be found in every sector of the economy. How, then, can they be identified and targeted for investment attraction? This presents a new and significant type of challenge to economic developers.

The first big mind-shift is that, contrary to past marketing efforts that were all focused on attracting businesses, economic developers now have to think about how to attract people. This requires a completely different marketing approach.

Marketing to the Creative Economy

Cutting across sectors and geographical lines, the creative economy is so broad that the audience cannot be easily defined. Marketing to this target audience requires clear definition of who is being marketed to and how this group can be reached.

General characteristics of people in the creative economy are widely recognized, because such people are being sought by communities all over the world. A recent report, Unveiling the Creative Economy in Arkansas, prepared by Regional Technologies Strategies Inc. on behalf of several public-sector organizations (, describes the creative-economy target (more…)

Three Tips for Effective Web Communication

As a communications tool for economic development, the web can’t be viewed as just another information channel. You can’t equate it with one-way channels such as brochures or radio broadcasts. While these still have their roles in attracting investment to your community, to really take advantage of the internet, it’s critical to begin to move away from the old information delivery paradigm and learn to embrace interactive communications.

Fully effective web communication goes beyond information presentation to the engagement of communities. In fact, the primary economic development function of your website today is to be the “first sales person” – to foster relationships.

The focus is shifting toward raising awareness of the uniqueness of each community and its ability to retain and attract talented people who will contribute to creating more economic opportunities. Your website is central to what we called Economic Development 2.0 – it enables economic developers to join, and build, communities of interest that help draw attention to their communities.

Here are three tips for effective web communications:

1. Let Many Voices Be Heard

Traditional marketing materials are written in an anonymous style. The web can be written to be more personal. It’s a medium that lends itself to encouraging participation by people and businesses from your community through blogs, podcasts, videos and social media. This promotes (more…)

Cultural Mapping

Municipalities are responding to new economic and demographic realities by building local economies through culture. Creativity and culture are powerful drivers in building local economies and strengthening quality of life.

Attracting People with Culture

The field of investment attraction today is focused on attracting jobs in a knowledge-based economy. Municipalities are working to regenerate downtowns and build healthy neighborhoods so they can market themselves as livable and environmentally sustainable. They know that places that offer lively cultural and entertainment options are magnets that attract and retain creative people. This creative workforce in turn generates wealth.

Culture, then, is a primary measure of economic attractiveness. People are not secondary assets that follow business and investment. For communities that position themselves as places where people want to live and work, business and investment follows people.

Culture is now commonly referred to as the “fourth pillar” of sustainability along with social, economic and environmental aspects of economic development. Its importance is growing with the impact of immigration (see “Marketing to New Immigrants” in this series). People searching (more…)

Marketing to New Immigrants

In the decade to come, the number of workers reaching retirement age will be several times the number entering the work force. This will affect communities all over North America. Immigration will be vital to maintaining a workforce that can sustain economic prosperity, but immigrants are drawn overwhelmingly to large cities. What can mid-sized or small communities do to attract the immigrants they will need?

They can do what a number of large cities are already doing: identify the communities they wish to attract and draw them to their websites to explore economic-development opportunities.

Simple tips include:

  • Welcoming them and providing information in multiple languages
  • Providing useful information specifically valuable for new immigrants
  • Making it easy to find the new immigrant information section on the website

They can also take steps to make their sites stand out from the pack by adding interactive tools and extending their messages out to immigrant communities.

Be Welcoming to New Immigrants!

The first step is to serve notice that your community is serious about welcoming an immigrant work force. For an example you (more…)

Business Retention Means People Retention

Economic development used to be about going out and attracting a company, and pulling together incentive packages to land that company. But that is not where economic development is going in the future.

The focus is shifting toward raising awareness of the uniqueness of each community and its ability to retain and attract talented people who will contribute to creating more economic opportunities.

A growing number of communities have realized that their development time and effort needs to be spent developing people-based business retention strategies at the same time as they continue with efforts to attract site developers.

More attention is being given to creating a community environment that provides a heightened quality of life and quality of place. A high quality-of-life experience will be a significant factor in the attraction and retention of creative workers.

Urban theorist Richard Florida has noted that “access to talented and creative people determines where companies will choose to locate and grow, and this in turn changes the way cities can compete.” The theories of Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute, affiliated (more…)