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Made Possible in Lehigh Valley Looks Back on an Eventful 2020

By Colin McEvoy on December 28, 2020

Despite a challenging year due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley marketing initiative saw tremendous growth and many significant accomplishments in 2020, with even more exciting new plans in store for 2021.

This past year saw the growth of the Made Possible coalition; the release of videos, guides and billboard campaigns; a huge uptick in digital visitors and readership; and of dozens of stories about the Lehigh Valley told via Made Possible’s website and social media channels.

Looking ahead, the initiative will continue to focus on expanding its alliance of regional partners, reaching out to employers and organizations to support the initiative’s objective. New programs and campaigns are also in the works, which will be announced at a later date.

“Made Possible in the Lehigh Valley showcases the region as the perfect place for people to visit, relocate or to bring their company,” said Don Cunningham, President & CEO of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC). “Today’s business leaders and decision-makers are telling us they will come to where the talent is. That means that we need to tell a story of place: of our people, our cities, our communities, and our quality of life. Our story.”

“For Discover Lehigh Valley, the campaign was a way for us to storytell, which is what we do as destination marketers,” said Alex Michaels, Discover Lehigh Valley President & CEO. “It’s the story of culture, history, the arts, and the outdoors, all made possible by the people behind them. People are the reason the region continues to grow in terms of economy, cultural offerings, and quality of life. And we use our channels and resources to tell these stories and reach targeted audiences.”

An alliance formed

The Made Possible in Lehigh Valley campaign seeks to position the region as a diverse and 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 year began with the formalizing of a Made Possible alliance consisting of LVEDC, Discover Lehigh Valley, and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. Other partners became involved in the coalition as the year went on, such as the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors.

“Made Possible to us is the next level,” said Chamber President & CEO Tony Iannelli. “We’ve seen the success in terms of venues that we have in the Valley, and the quality of life has improved. Now it’s to get other people to understand that, so people are willing to bring conferences here, to use our venues, to move here, to grow their business here.”

The initiative needs your help to tell the Lehigh Valley story, and has created marketing products that you can use on your sites to help amplify our voice. For more information about how you or your organization can get involved, check out the partner toolkit.

New initiatives

This past summer saw the release of the Made Possible alliance’s new 16-page guide for newcomers to the region or those who are curious to learn more about why the Lehigh Valley is a great place to live, work, visit, and learn. The guide can be read or downloaded here.

Hard copies and digital versions of this guide were distributed to dozens of companies for recruiting purposes, including Air Products, B. Braun, Crayola, Just Born, Lehigh Valley Health Network, OraSure Technologies, PPL, St. Luke’s University Health Network, and others, as well as Lehigh and Northampton counties and region’s colleges and universities.

The guide was also distributed to the Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors and other regional partners, a useful recruiting tool just as real estate transactions resumed in Pennsylvania and interest in Lehigh Valley homes was high. Additionally, Realtors featured a story about Made Possible in its quarterly e-magazine.

As winter approached, Made Possible launched a new billboard campaign targeting college students and young professionals returning home during the holidays. Highlighting new spots in the region and everything the Lehigh Valley has to offer, the campaign’s tagline was “The Perfect Place to Call Home. Again.”

A wide reach

Through Discover Lehigh Valley’s partnership efforts, Made Possible in Lehigh Valley was integrated into every aspect of advertising, public relations, social media, content development, and meeting sales.

Results included 568 earned media placements in top outlets including Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, Martha Stewart Living, O Magazine, PureWow.com, NBC10 Philadelphia, Philadelphia Inquirer, and more. Paid advertising efforts garnered over 8.1 million impressions from billboards and digital ads, according to Alicia Quinn, Discover Lehigh Valley Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Alliances.

Nearly 250,000 social media were fed daily content, engaging and reaching over 2.5 million. DiscoverLehighValley.com, which proudly boasts the campaign logo and messaging, secured over 1.7 million pageviews. Made Possible in Lehigh Valley branding welcomed 47,000 players, wrestlers, runners, and spectators to area sporting events, as well as 2,200 meetings and group travelers.

The Made Possible in Lehigh Valley website saw about 23,600 page views from Jan. 1 to Oct. 31. The site, along with the Made Possible Instagram account, has been regularly highlighting stories from the region’s companies, people, and organizations.

Stories range from highlighting the region’s trail networks, innovative entrepreneurial community, unique holiday celebrations, or accomplishments from such major Lehigh Valley companies as Crayola, Martin Guitar, OraSure Technologies, and many more.

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