What do leaders do when they know there is a positive story to be told? They collaborate with one another and hire a professional.
The issue for business leaders and stakeholders in the Borough of Pottstown was not that there was lack of economic growth, albeit there is still need for more. It was the fact that we were talking amongst ourselves about all the momentum that we saw. We needed to expand our message to the outside world to encourage other businesses to join in that momentum. So, in the spring of 2017, an RFP for Pro Bono marketing strategy work was put out and Todd Palmer of VFC (formerly Virtual Farm Creative) answered the call. He presented the idea of using “I Pick Pottstown, Pioneers of the Good Life” as a tag line, along with an overview of how the group might tell our story. Several of the leaders present at that meeting stepped up, without hesitation, and agreed to provide seed money to fund the launch of the campaign. It was decided that Pottstown Area Industrial Development (PAID) should coordinate the effort and would serve as the fiscal agent.
We started by wearing our “I Pick Pottstown” buttons and hanging posters in the windows of our downtown. A website was created — www.ipickpottstown.com. PAID’s Facebook Page and Twitter Feed were used initially to let people know about the campaign and are now being used to push out positive messaging. In the fall of 2017, video vignettes were produced featuring individuals answering the question as to why they had “picked” Pottstown. And on a beautiful sunny day in October business people, citizens, elected officials, and school mascots all wearing “I Pick Pottstown, Pioneers of the Good Life” t-shirts met at the corners of High and Hanover Streets to be part of the first I Pick Pottstown promotional video.
I’ll admit it was not perfect at first. Some people not involved in the effort did not understand who the target audience was, and we learned how we could improve and be more inclusive from feedback we received along the way. However, the campaign has successfully done what it was supposed to do. There is now a coordinated platform to encourage and celebrate economic development within the Borough of Pottstown.
There is strong evidence that Pottstown is getting the recognition it deserves as a great place to operate a business, live and visit. We are experiencing more participants with our social media posts, and the comments are positive. When I’m at meetings and gatherings outside of the Borough, people are commenting on the campaign and are impressed about what is going on in Pottstown.
The work continues. We have transitioned a stakeholder group once responsible for e-zine content to an advisory committee to keep the messaging current. Look for banners and posters in additional locations by year’s end. We intend to create videos highlighting business locations, other physical assets and business leaders throughout the Borough in 2019.
Those of us who work and/or live in Pottstown already know what makes Pottstown special. We want the rest of the world to know too!
Contact Peggy Lee-Clark at 610.326.2900 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can invest in the “I Pick Pottstown” Campaign for $10 — you’ll also receive I Pick Pottstown Swag!