From bustling main streets and vibrant downtowns to rich entrepreneurial ecosystems and booming industry sectors, no two economic development success stories look and sound alike. How can you craft an authentic story that sets your apart from the competition and reaches the right audiences?
What do you want policymakers, funders and community leaders to know about economic development in your community? What successes define the fabric of your city, state or region? Who are the key players bringing this vibrant story of economic success and impact to life? While the answers to these questions may be lengthy, they are the key ingredients to crafting a compelling economic development story that can further set your community apart from its competition.
Ready to tell your community’s economic development story? These are the top things you need to know.
Authenticity is key
From top executives to inspiring entrepreneurs, this is the time to tap into your community’s vast pool of success stories to bring a diverse array of authentic voices into your story.
Are there iconic development projects in your community that people always associate with your location? Think what Fenway Park is to Boston and Hudson Yards is to NYC. Capturing photos and video of these well-known assets – as well as some best kept secrets – can help give stories visual appeal.
Take a multimedia and multichannel mindset
Eye-catching photos, short videos, and well-written stories all have a place in your economic development narrative. It’s important to remember that different audiences have different needs and preferences for how they consume content, so this is not the time and place for a one-size-fits-all approach. Think about your target audiences – relocating companies, site selectors, elected officials, etc. – and what information they value the most. Then, consider which mediums are best suited to sharing that content.
Think broad…and narrow
Broadly speaking: which public facing channels will you use to share your stories of success? Narrowly speaking: how can you micro-target your distribution to ensure your stories are reaching the most important audiences?
Set a cadence
Touting your successes shouldn’t be a one and done affair. How can you take a series of successes and break them into easily consumed snippets of content that leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment? Whether it’s grouping them by industry, company size, key neighborhoods or districts, or other themes, ensuring cohesion among the various stories you capture will help to build a clear and compelling narrative.
Crafting a dynamic storyline that showcases the diversity and economic vibrancy of a municipality, region or larger community requires careful planning and a commitment to capturing the voices of those who are driving innovation, excellence and workforce development forward. With a clear understanding of the target audience(s) and a multichannel storytelling plan in place, maximizing the reach of your successes is right around the corner.