The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news.
New Vision’s business development manager Jean Brown recently attended a course on economic development marketing and attraction. It was an excellent course that reaffirmed our organization is following a lot of best practices in terms of how to raise our Valley’s image as a business location. Jean also brought back some thoughtful new tips in terms of how to position our region.
Julie Curtin, with Development Counsellors International outlined how to develop and implement an area marketing plan. More importantly she emphasized that your community also has to have a sales plan. Communities must be able and ready to show off sites and respond to detailed questions about the local workforce. It doesn’t do a lot of good to implement an aggressive marketing plan if your community is ill prepared for companies on the search for new factory locations. Curtain emphasized knowing your area’s assets, targeting marketing efforts to select industries and tackling community issues that could impact your ability to attract new companies.
Another hot topic is the growing use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in economic development. Anatalio Ubalde CEO of GIS Planning Inc. said more and more businesses want to screen possible communities online and that websites are fast becoming self-service platforms. The best regions have sites where visitors can find real estate options, get demographics, learn about incentives and determine whether an area is a fit – all without ever contacting a local economic development office. More than ever before prospects and site selectors are interested having access to valuable, real time data online that they are able to manipulate at their leisure.
New Vision will be installing a GIS mapping system on its website soon. We will keep you posted as we add this new feature to our website and continue to market our region as a great place to live and do business.
Changing Processes and Realities Drive Business Recruitment l Site Selectors Always Searching for New Factory Locations l Coop Marketing: A Logical and Affordable Way to Promote Our Valley l Biggest (and Best) Prospecting Trip Ever