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Posts Tagged ‘Municipality’

Building Your Creative Economy: Attract Alumni through Social Media

The loss of educated graduates has become almost an accepted fact of life in small and rural communities and is most definitely a drain on a community’s ability to develop its creative economy.

Social media, however, offers your community a powerful means of finding and reconnecting with your town’s expats, and the opportunity to provide them with reasons to come back.

Former student high school alumni groups are some of the most popular and abundant groups on Facebook. For every high school of any size there will be at least one, and often several, Facebook groups for former students to join. These are hubs for people who share common experiences to reconnect with old friends, and share memories and photos of the glory days. You’re likely a member of one or more of these groups yourself. (more…)

Tools and Tips for Accessible Websites

Economic Development departments should regard as inevitable the need to make their websites compliant with accessibility legislation.  Sooner or later such legislation will arrive at their doorsteps, whether in the form of municipal laws or those of federal or state/provincial jurisdictions.  The federal laws are already in place in the United States and Canada.

But what makes a website accessible?  Economic Development departments will need to know so they can plan their compliance initiatives effectively.

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Best Practice #2: The Competitive Economic Development Website

The very rapid evolution of web-based economic development – or Economic Development 2.0 as we call it – means that your website no longer stands alone as a channel. It is only one part of the broader web channel which now typically consists of multiple web properties. What is the new and evolving role of the economic development website? What part of the job of investment attraction and business retention and entrepreneurship does it have to deliver on?

As discussed in our previous article, the Number 1 best practice for an economic development web program is to create a strategy to ensure that all web marketing is cohesive, focused, goal-oriented and measurable. The Number 2 best practice is to ensure that your main website is competitive.

At the Heart of the Economic Development Web Strategy

The economic development website is at the centre of your solar system of web properties. The planetary sites include social media services, niche sites, partnership sites and related media such as web video.

Some web users will find your municipality by keyword searches and will land directly on the main website; others will find your website after gravitating to one or more of your affiliated planetary sites first and then following the links back to your (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…)

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…)