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County revives Build a New Life with grassroots campaign

The County is using its best asset – its people – to breathe new energy into its “Build A New Life” website and marketing campaign.

The website, noted Commmunity Development Director Neil Carbone, is not new as it was started by the County’s former economic development department, led by Dan Taylor, about five years ago.

Neil Carbone

Neil Carbone

“It was really on the cutting edge originally when the first website came out and was ahead of its time and we thought there’s brand equity in that, something we can leverage and recognize. The idea to attact people to the County has not changed but now involves many other people.”

Since, the Build a New Life campaign has evolved into promoting the website’s local business success stories through social media and other marketing materials to attract and identify people considering the County as their new home.

“Community development, unlike traditional economic development, is looking at social, cultural and environmental impacts and assets of economic development. It’s making sure those things are in balance and recognizing that you will get a better end-product considering those things and economic development is not just about numbers of jobs. It’s about a vibrant community and a great quality of life.”

Its execution, he noted, requires the efforts of many partnerships both within the municipality and external agencies, but also at a grassroots level.

“All new residents, entrepreneurs or businesses in the County start off with a single visit,” said Carbone “By sharing business success stories and highlighting the opportunities that the County affords, the new campaign is generating considerable interest on the web and social media and this is translating into high-quality leads for new business and residents in the County.”

Unveiling five new video promotions created by Trevor Crowe, community development officer, Carbone said the campaign’s strength is its engagement with the existing business community, sharing their experiences and successes.

“Locals are some of the County’s most vocal advocates, promoting this community to friends, family and colleagues outside our region,” said Carbone. “They are our unofficial ambassadors.”

Craig Desjardins, executive director of the Prince Edward Lennox and Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELA CFDC), told those gathered at the media launch that “economic development is a team sport” and that this first quarter has been the busiest for PELA in 29 years.

“One of the things Prince Edward County has that no other community in Canada has, is its own Venture Capital Fund,” said Desjardins. “This is equity investments in technology companies aimed at attracting young people to our communities.”

“We invest in people,” he said. “What resonates with the people who are investors are the people living here now, so I’m very grateful for those videos. This is what lures them down. These are people moving from urban centres, bringing their families here. That’s a big step, so to be able to leave something with them, that tells a story about individual people, that’s critical to getting them down. Once they’re down, we can close them.”

“A campaign that recognizes the business community, builds interest through real stories and experiences, and allows us to track and follow up on that interest, certainly puts us at the forefront of innovation in rural economic development in Ontario,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff.

Filed Under: Local News

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