I was fortunate to be on Bill’s show yesterday with Kay Beran of Berkshire Hathaway to represent the new economic development website called Moore Alive <http://www.moorealive.com/live-in-moore> . Moore Alive was created as a marketing and talent recruitment tool. How do people find out about Moore County?
We all have heard stories from our friends, how they came here on a golf trip, or their parents moved here, a military deployment perhaps. Tourism <http://www.homeofgolf.com/> , retirement and the military have all been an important part of our growth. What about the rest of the people who can help the county grow the way we want it to and would love to live in our idyllic county? People who want to start businesses, move businesses or find a place they can make dynamic contributions of all kinds are welcome here, but we need them to be able to find us.
Pat Corso, Executive Director of Partners in Progress <http://www.moorebusiness.org/> , our local economic development office, is also on the board of the ResearchTriangle Regional Partnership. RTRP <http://www.researchtriangle.org/about-rtrp> is a powerful entity leading development of regional economic development strategy. Pat tells a story how at a recent meetings of the economic developers he was asked, “What’s going on in Moore County, we don’t hear anything about you any more”. That remark made an impact on him and he soon he had our county involved in exploring what was needed to make a bigger impact and be known outside our borders. Dr. Carol Kline <http://management.appstate.edu/faculty-staff/carol-kline-phd> , Associate Professor at The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University was contracted to do research about the needs and demands in our area in order to craft the best branding message. Studying the four target groups, “Traditional Retirees”, “Returnees”, “Relocatees” and “Outsiders” we learned that people value both the small town charm and the “micropolitan” elements. While enjoying the benefits of a rural county we also have cultural amenities such as local restaurants, performances and lectures enjoyed by larger population areas.
Soon thereafter, Liaison Design Group <http://www.liaisondesigngroup.com/> of Raleigh, a marketing and branding company specializing in economic development was contracted to create an overall strategy. The Moore Alive website is part of that strategy.
Today I am asking local businesses to put the Moore Alive logo prominently on their web-site so customers and visitors to their site can learn more about Moore County. Especially useful to Moore County realtors <http://move2moore.com/> and Moore County builders <http://www.mchba.com/> who helped fund the initiative, any business or entity will benefit from the regional branding that supplements their own efforts. It saves businesses money because they do not have to put resources into maintaining website pages and keeping information current. They do not have to do the painstaking Search Engine Optimization that makes it possible for Moore County to get disseminated broadly across the internet and into the hands of seekers.
This award winning site <http://www.moorealive.com/read-our-stories/moore-alive-recognized-in-national-design-competition> is easy to navigate and presents Moore County as a great place to live, work and play.
It is an exciting time to be part of this growing marketing strategy. Regional branding is a new and dynamic trend in economic development. As in the words of Jeff Denny, principal of Liaison, telling the stories through the web-site makes it personal and gives the human connection so that it is more than a place on a map.