LVEDC Strategic Plan: “Telling Our Story” Initiative
By Colin McEvoy on January 18, 2022
This is the second of a series of six stories highlighting the 2021-2024 LVEDC Strategic Plan. Each article will highlight a different aspect of the report in detail. This story will be updated with links to the other articles as they are released. See also our first overview story and story about the initiatives “Targeted Recruitment,” “Talent Strategies Development,” and “Knowing Thyself and Seeing the Horizon.”
The traditional economic development work of providing information about available land and marketing to site selectors and corporate location consultants remains important, but today it is only one part of a successful strategy.
It has become increasingly important to also highlight a region’s quality of place, as well as its people. That’s why the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) made “Telling Our Story” one of the five major initiatives of its new three-year strategic plan.
Through this initiative, LVEDC is reaffirming the importance of telling the story of Lehigh Valley’s quality of place and its assets in order to improve understanding of the region to support recruitment of talent, visitation, and new employers.
“Our marketing of the Lehigh Valley needs to convey what makes this a special place and highlight the people who are living and working here,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham. “This is really a continuation of the important work we’ve been doing in recent years as part of a coalition with other regional partners and stakeholders.”
Part of this work has taken place through Made Possible in Lehigh Valley, a multi-organizational campaign that highlights the region’s diverse and unique assets that make it a desirable community to visit, work, learn, and live. It also seeks to enhance talent attraction and retention efforts for our region’s employers, and increase opportunities for professionals within the region to connect with others.
The LVEDC Strategic Plan calls for formalizing the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley Alliance with an oversight committee of employers, educational institutions, governments, and regional organizations to expand the use of Made Possible branding, provide direction for future Made Possible marketing plans, and share best practices in talent attraction among Made Possible partners.
This and other elements of the “Telling Our Story” initiative stemmed in part from a recommendation by Atlanta-based Garner Economics, a national consultant with LVEDC hired to assess and provide a detailed analysis of Lehigh Valley’s competitive strengths and weaknesses.
That analysis suggested LVEDC “develop a stronger and more collaborative marketing effort to support common goals and messaging about Lehigh Valley as the place to do business.”
Per its strategic plan, LVEDC plans to increase collaboration and investment in the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley campaign and expand the alliance of regional partners and companies. This will allow the coalition to market the region’s message more strategically, particularly in a 100-mile radius where the Lehigh Valley is better known. This acceleration of Made Possible marketing will build on the work that partners such as Discover Lehigh Valley have been doing since the initiative was launched before the pandemic.
The “Telling Our Story” initiative of the LVEDC Strategic Plan also calls for the organization to spread the Lehigh Valley story through the generation of more earned media coverage by out-of-market outlets and platforms.
Additionally, LVEDC will systematically expand its network of contacts with economic development trade publications, national news media outlets, and business media, according to the Strategic Plan.
Other initiatives in the Strategic Plan include “Targeted Recruitment,” “Talent Supply Development,” “Knowing Thyself and Seeing the Horizon,” and “Focusing on the Hard-to-Do.” Next week’s new story will focus on the “Targeted Recruitment” initiative.
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