The economic development departments at local governments and non-profits play an essential role in driving positive change. They encourage forms of growth that attract new business and revitalize communities. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for smaller and mid-sized communities to differentiate themselves in ways that don't pose problems when compared to large metro areas.
Economic development teams that are feeling overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of them may want to seek some specialized help. More specifically, they may want to enlist the assistance of economic development PR services. Read on to find out what these experts do and how they can help communities across the United States. Not only by driving economic development but also by meeting growth benchmarks.
Let's start with the basics. While most people have heard of economic development, not everyone knows what it looks like in practice. As an abstraction, economic development is a group of policies or activities that benefit the economy and well-being of a community. In practice, these policies and activities create or retain jobs to facilitate economic growth. They also provide a stable tax base, and meet community objectives for wealth creation and quality of life improvements.
Public relations (PR) firms provide a range of services designed to promote positive attitudes about organizations, companies, and individuals. Or, in this case, communities. PR professionals are experts at:
It's far more common to hear about PR firms helping businesses, non-profits, and high-profile individuals. However, some specialized firms also provide services to local economic development teams, whether they work for the municipality or a non-profit organization looking to drive more business to the area.
Because economic development PR is a highly specialized field, it's important to work with proven experts. The good thing about researching PR services is that it's quite easy to figure out which ones are successful and which to avoid.
Check the firm's website to see what clients it has worked with in the past. Then look into what kinds of press surround those companies, organizations, or communities. If they have received a generally positive press reception and the firm's previous clients all maintain high profiles and good reputations, that's an excellent sign. However, if the firm and its clients maintain next to no media presence, look elsewhere for help.
When economic development teams enlist the help of PR services, they can expect to have a new partner on their side. One that has expertise and experience in different areas. The PR team will start by hosting a detailed Q&A session with the economic development team. This will identify its objectives and potential barriers to meeting them. Next, the PR experts will come up with a custom-designed communications program. The program includes key steps such as;
Are you having a hard time setting and meeting economic development goals for the community? It's time to reach out to a PR firm that can help. Whether the team is working on a downtown revitalization plan or trying to attract new business to a struggling community on the outskirts of town, public relations is the key to attracting positive attention.