Seven Ways to Market Your Community
The essence of community economic development is to bring in more money from outside. Most communities spend considerable time recruiting new companies and the jobs they bring. But there are other ways to bring in outside money.
1. Have a book, television or movie set in your town. Examples: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (books); CSI Miami (television); The Firm (movie)
2. Capitalize on famous local businesses. Fame of course is a relative term, but there are many businesses that attract outsiders and encourage them to spend money. Example: Boaz, AL Alabama (outlet stores)
3. Notorious events. Example: Bonnie and Clyde museum in Jena, Louisiana
4. Festivals and events. There are hundred of these all across the world, from the Johnny Cash Festival in Starkville, MS to the to the Mozart Festival in Salzberg, Austria.
5. Location – many cities are not taking advantage of their locations. Put signs on the interstate; by the way the “historic downtown” is losing its meaning. I stop at the so-called historic downtowns and can’t find anybody who knows why it is historic.
6. Internet and Technology – I was at a town meeting where a individual stood up and said that the town was a great place for young people to start a business when a young man in his 20’s got up and asked why the entrance to the city said “Certified retirement community.”
7. Word of mouth – Ah, the best form of advertising – ambassadors of goodwill. The creative class.