“Being wired may mean different things to different people, but Tacoma is definitely wired – and we’re going to tell everyone about it.That’s the message going out over the wires from America’s #1 Wired City.Standing out from the crowd of more than 20,000 American cities, counties and economic development organizations nationwide competing to attract, retain and expand their business sectors is one tough job.So how to differentiate Tacoma?Bragging about being wired. Or more specifically, about our high-speed telecommunications capability through Tacoma’s Click! Network – the largest municipally owned telecommunications network in the country.This competitive edge is being exploited to tout Tacoma by Development Counsellors International; an economic development-marketing firm hired by the City of Tacoma to help market the city for business and investment. The firm, hired in November 1999, wants Tacoma to gain exposure using the copyrighted themeline, Tacoma: America’s #1 Wired City.DCI, together with its local creative partner Augustus Barnett Advertising/Design, unveiled its marketing blueprint to the Tacoma City Council this week. The 111-page blueprint includes a number of step-by-step strategies to promote Tacoma.Tacoma is leading the nation in both speed and access, said DCI Chairman Ted Levine. Click! offers lightning speed service at low prices, and businesses here have connectivity choices unheard of in other cities.Our high-speed telecommunications network is a strong economic development tool, said Juli Wilkerson, director of the City of Tacoma’s Economic Development Department.We’re seeing a number of web-based and telecommunications industries locating in Tacoma due to the Click! Network, Wilkerson said. And, together with our tax incentive packages, low lease rates and the fastest permitting process in the region, it makes perfect sense for all types of businesses to choose Tacoma.DCI crafted the marketing blueprint after one-on-one interviews with 54 community and business leaders, asking detailed questions about Tacoma’s strengths and weaknesses. DCI also conducted a focus group in December on themeline options with about 25 of those same community leaders,Coupled with the themeline, DCI recommends a marketing mix that includes collateral materials, lead follow-up strategies, direct mail, advertising, industry targeting and web site promotion.The blueprint recommends that Tacoma focus its marketing effort first on broad business categories – advanced technology, import/export businesses, back office/administrative operations and corporate headquarters. Secondary targets include financial services operations, telecommunications providers, nonprofit corporations and recreation industries.The DCI marketing blueprint will complement a companion effort being conducted by the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County, which has hired Growth Strategies Organization, Inc. to match the region with more specific businesses and industry targets.Implementation of the blueprint will begin immediately, Wilkerson said.For the next year, we’ll be telling the Tacoma story to site selection consultants, businesses, journalists and trade organizations locally, regionally and nationally.”
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