LVEDC Staff Profiles: John McGran
By LVEDC Staff on February 11, 2014
LVEDC: Would you share with our readers your professional background before you came to LVEDC?
John McGran: I received my journalism degree from Penn State more years ago than I’d like to remember. Since then, I’ve worked at a number of newspapers, magazines and websites. The best training I got for this job – the nine months I spent three miles down the road as editor of Lehigh Valley Business weekly. I started there in April 2012 and transformed the former Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal into its current look and feel before hopping on over to LVEDC.
LVEDC: What is it that you enjoy most about writing?
McGran: Finishing a story! Even after more than 30 years in the business, I still stress and agonize over the written word. But there is nothing like that feeling of seeing your feature in print and thinking, “Damn, this actually makes sense – and sounds good!” Seriously, I love being able to promote Lehigh Valley through the written word.
LVEDC: What was the impetus behind your decision to come to LVEDC?
McGran: Don Cunningham extended the invite. That pretty much sums it up! Okay, so it was more an upgrade of employment – from editor to vice president of marketing. I must admit I was a little worried about making such a move – but then Don explained our job was to promote the Lehigh Valley and tell its stories. That’s what sold me! Telling stories is what I do!
LVEDC: In your view what makes LVEDC a good organization to market?
McGran: We have the ability to do so much good for so many people. Through our efforts, we can help companies come here, start here and grow here. From financing to help with site selection, we basically do it all. We are about to unveil a series of videos – each showcases a company that was helped by LVEDC. It’s humbling to know you have the ability to improve the lives of the people who own and operate such companies.
LVEDC: What are the initiatives you’re proudest accomplishing over your first year?
McGran: Ratcheting up our newsletter production from one per month to four. Working with FireRock productions to create an awesome Lehigh Valley promotional video. And to seal the deal on the 10-video series I mentioned in the previous question. Heck, there have been so many great things my first year here. But my favorite has to be the WOW! campaign that we featured on billboards, in magazines and on websites. It even played Times Square!
LVEDC: The first year you focused on telling the success stories of businesses in the Lehigh Valley locally. What do you have on tap for year two?
McGran: We’re hitting the ground running with the promotional video, the 10-video series, a glossy 90-page magazine and a series of collateral pieces that showcase the Lehigh Valley and its sub-regions. And that’s all going to be up and running by end of Q1. The rest of the year will be spent improving our website, courting media tours of the Valley and its awesome businesses, and convincing major publications to tell our story. LVEDC and Lehigh Valley are on an amazing run…. So hold on and enjoy the ride!
LVEDC: What is the best part of your role with LVEDC and what’s the one thing you would change if you could?
McGran: The best part is getting to know the people who invested their money, blood, sweat and tears in making it here in Lehigh Valley. I’ve met so many great people in the past two years. And I’m sure I’ve only scraped the surface. I’ve lived in several states and regions of Pennsylvania and I can honestly say I haven’t met nicer people anywhere!
What would I change? Hmmm… that’s a tough one. Perhaps I’d have retained more control of a few projects. But overall, this has been one hell of a great ride.
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