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Thread: Marketing plans to promote your city

  1. #1

    Marketing plans to promote your city

    Our City of 35,000 in a metro (surrounding townships and suburban like landscape) of about 100,000 is attempting to find a way to promote our residential neighborhoods as the preferred place live.

    As with many central cities in the upper midwest we are continuing to see the middle class leave for the hinterlands. We feel that our City has many great things to offer, such as a world class main street downtown and numerous parks. However we are continually battling the perceived image of our residential neighborhoods as unsafe and uninviting to new investments.

    Are there any examples of similar communities who have undertaking what is essentially a public relations marketing campaign to reinforce the greatness of their community to the surrounding populations as an attempt to dispell common myths about city living and attract new investment? One idea we have is creating a marketing video and running it on our public access cable channel and other local news outlets letting people know of everything our city offers.

    Any thought of this would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    A couple years ago, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, had an ad campaign that focused on the gay poplation.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I'd suggest that you get Governor Engler back in his short pants and wooden shoes sweeping your streets!

    With layoffs at Steelcase and Herman Miller I have empathy for your area of the state. We are trying the same things on our side with mixed results, but we can't seem to get in front of the bad news in manufacturing.

    That being said, Downtown Detroit and its central city in general is really seeing a boom in new market rate housing. This is typically found as lofts or townhouses. It is however not enough to offset population decreases as many folks moving to the newer homes are moving from other parts of the City.

    This is Detroit's month for marketing. We have been building up for this. With the auto show currently going on, and the superbowl following on its heels, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as the Superbowl XL committee have done a lot of work. In addition, the City has done a ton of work too, there are new streetscapes along Woodward, Washington Blvd, and Broadway. There are parts of the old Dowtown that are starting to get life again and looking a lot like Michigan Avenue (well except for the occasional missing building or empty one). Campus Martius is bringing lots of folks downtown and holds events year-round.

    I am suggesting that you look at a comprehensive approach. You need to get folks living in those lofts, but you need to provide basic services in downtown or folks won't live there (whats the point if you still have to get in the car to do grocery shopping or go to Walgreens?).

    Holland is unsafe? Come on, you're begining to sound a lot like folks on this side of the state, playing on the negatives and not on the positives. You need to adress this matter first, you do not want to become like Detroit, Flint or Saginaw. If you do, no matter what you do will cause political pundits and naysayers an excuse to call you out.

    I'd suggest reading Mayor Kilpatrick's latest speech on the City of Detroit's website. It is actually quite good and deals a lot with your issues.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I'd suggest you start with some good consumer research. Why is it, really, that people are buying elsewhere instead of the established neighborhoods? You might find that your perceptions of crime and other factors are off base. Perhaps it is that the housing stock is older, smaller, dated, or otherwise not a preference of the buyers. Whatever the causes, you need to know them and respond directly to them.

    I have never been a big fan of videos. If it costs you nothing, then sure, do it. Otherwise, who is going to see it play on your local access cable station? Certainly not buyers from outside of the city. How many households in the city have cable, perhaps half of them? How many of these watch the local access station? Look at how you market your downtown for some ideas. Holland is well known. It has built a reputation and has invested in marketing to the broader population through media outlets that reach the population. That can be repeated with your neighborhoods.

    Madison, Wisconsin began a program to reinforce neighborhood identity a few years ago. Each neighborhood is named. There are prominent entrance features to all of them. Most have a relatively active neighborhood association that can lead the charge on improvements, whether it may be traffic abatement, park reconditioning, crime, or other issues. This strategy seems to be working very well.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Humerous - This made the AP Wire
    Washington Town Plans 23rd Outhouse Race
    CONCONULLY, Wash. -- A town plans its 23rd annual Outhouse Races this weekend. Replica outhouses of all shapes and sizes will be pushed down Main Street and judged by spectators.

    The best john will receive the coveted Outhouse Trophy, a 4-foot-tall outhouse with bronze plaques naming past winners.
    http://www.newsday.com/news/nationwo...orld-headlines
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    I don't think we need much promotion here in Austin. In fact, I think most people here think that there are way too many people moving here.
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Future Planner's avatar
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    Well, I'm not sure what you can do about this but actions like this certainly have an effect.....
    Jamestown Township, which is very close to Holland, was scheduled to vote last Monday night to RESCIND their agricultural preservation designation on the majority of the township. This action would allow the farmers to sell out and allow residential development over 75% of the township. I can't find the results of the vote..but maybe some of our Michigan Planners could weigh in.

    In any event, an endless supply of cheap land in the hinterlands often harms efforts such as yours.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Holland MI Planner
    Are there any examples of similar communities who have undertaking what is essentially a public relations marketing campaign to reinforce the greatness of their community to the surrounding populations as an attempt to dispell common myths about city living and attract new investment? One idea we have is creating a marketing video and running it on our public access cable channel and other local news outlets letting people know of everything our city offers.

    Any thought of this would be greatly appreciated.
    First of all, welcome from the Kalamazoo area!

    To answer your question, I think that your community does a great job making the tourism events, specifically when Tulip Time rolls around.

    The type of marketing would all depend on the goals that you would like to achieve. If you where looking for small starter companies, you might want to work with Hope College to create some type of Start Up Incubation program.

    Additionally, if you are trying to lure more residents (a target demographic) in hopes that attracting specific industries, you might want to utilize some of the media resources most used by that demographic. One example of this would be to have great interactive web sites created with the intention of marketing the city to younger recent college grads that have a strong IT back ground. Possibly also setting up a city wide wireless network similar to what Grand Rapids is working on.

    It all comes down to what you want to see in as an end result in long term plans. Many places are now starting to try to market cities to younger individuals in hopes that they will move there and stay there.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Future Planner
    "I can't find the results of the vote..but maybe some of our Michigan Planners could weigh in. "

    Me:
    "Git off my land you commie pinko... I'm building me a wal mart t'iain't a thing you can do 'bout it"

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