Sell your city! I don't mean provide information such as where the water bill can be sent or list out the departments from your municipality. I mean sell it. Too often cities (municipality, chamber of commerce or even economic development) can work really hard at providing the services expected of them, that they forget to sell the emotional benefits of their wonderful community.
But not Carlsbad, California. They get it.
Our company was fortunate enough to work with Carlsbad through a branding effort last year. The result of the project revealed that living in Carlsbad is full of activity and energy that inspires people to have wonderful career opportunities. You see, Carlsbad, is home to some of the largest Life Sciences companies in the world. They are also home to practically every major golf club manufacturer - Callaway, Cobra and TaylorMade are all headquartered in Carlsbad. Throw in some information technology companies strong enough for Google to name Carlsbad as the Digital City of California for 2013, and you've got a lot going on. It's no surprise, the Carlsbad branding direction proudly proclaimed they are a "Life In Action".
But knowing what you are is only the beginning. Now Carlsbad is selling it to others with a dedicated marketing effort all around this idea that Carlsbad is a Life In Action. There website carlsbadlifeinaction.com does exactly this. Now this site can be a great complement for the City of Carlsbad to use, the Chamber of Commerce, economic development and overall talent recruitment for all the many companies in the area.
This site does not get caught up in the details of city government. It does not get bogged down with erroneous information on department listings or services. It focuses on selling Carlsbad as a great place to live. It was intended to recruit people who want to live and work in a great place. It was designed to appeal to people who want a Life In Action.
Of course a website is only one piece of it. But it is a big one. The online world is accessed by potential new residents and businesses way before they ever visit. Did you notice Carlsbad also has a similar brochure they can send to people on request via snail mail? It's a nice way to get their contact information too.
How are you selling your city? Are you hoping it comes through your silos of departments and services? Don't count on it. Those things are necessary for residents, but what if you decided to be bold? What if you decided to dedicate one entire piece of communications to selling your city and all the spectacular things there is to do? Maybe everyone could use it? The City government, the Chamber, tourism for selling meetings and events, and even your businesses when they are recruiting key talent to relocate to your town. It's the emotional elements of a community that makes it stand out. We always are attracted to a place that makes us feel special. So sell it.