The Metro Atlanta Chamber and local elected and economic development officials on Thursday formally unveiled a new marketing campaign to sell the Atlanta area to companies and the creative class.
The program, called Choose ATL, will focus not only on Georgia’s capital city but its varied suburban communities. It involves a video series about culture and business climate as well as interviews with up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
The effort will leverage advertising and social media campaigns and a web portal intended to tout the region’s strengths.
In the early stages, the campaign is targeting two “values” about the Atlanta area that were unearthed during market research: that Atlanta is a magnet for “imaginative and talented people,” and that “Atlanta is a place where you can leave your mark.”
The campaign has built upon a video created about a year ago by the Nebo Agency.
Hala Moddelmog, CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, unveiled the program to the powerful business coalition’s board during a meeting at the new Porsche Cars North America headquarters near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The branding and content and research was created by media partners Nebo, BBDO and Porter Novelli. The project will also provide communities with templates they can use to spotlight companies or attractions in their jurisdictions that match the Choose ATL branding. That way communities can create their own content to expand the offerings of the campaign.
“I think now we have a regional marketing campaign that every person — to a person — is ready to participate in,” Moddelmog said, referring to support by suburban communities and in-town leaders.
The campaign chose to use “Atlanta” as its regional brand because travelers are more likely to tell someone outside of Georgia that they are from Atlanta, rather than a specific community or neighborhood. But once within the portal, visitors will be invited to explore the region’s diverse communities.
Metro Atlanta is not exactly known as the poster child of regional cooperation. Communities often act as rivals rather than partners and recruit companies from their peers – such as the Braves move from Atlanta to Cobb County or NCR’s planned relocation from Gwinnett County to Atlanta.
But recent efforts to recruit blue chip names such as the U.S. headquarters of Mercedes-Benz are an endorsement of the region and show that metro Atlanta performs better when it gets along, said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
“The country is moving south and west and all we have to do is be at our absolute best,” Reed said.
The project also will provide information on parks, cuisine and culture, as well as Fortune 500 companies, international airport and key industries, such as financial technology, bioscience, film, mobile communications, manufacturing and logistics and health care information technology.
The web portal also will feature jobs postings and links to key regional government, economic development and nonprofit websites.
Polling by the chamber found that competing metros such as Austin, Nashville and Raleigh had more identifiable brands among millennials. Chamber and government leaders want the campaign to show executives and young people that the Atlanta area is the ideal place in the Southeast to build a business, career and life.
“We need to do a better job of telling our story,” said chamber Chief Operating Officer Brian McGowan. The message is both to help the region recruit new companies and convince creative thinkers and talented workers to consider the Atlanta area.
As boomers begin to retire, there will be a shortage of skilled labor, McGowan said, and one of the goals of the campaign is to win the battle for talent. Companies that have located here have cited the Atlanta area’s workforce as a top selling point, and that advantage needs to be built upon, McGowan said.
Many people inside and outside the metro Atlanta region, he said, don’t know about the region’s Fortune 500 companies and hot startups, the metro area’s diverse neighborhoods and amenities like the Atlanta Beltline, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area or Silver Comet Trial.
Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown called the effort the “best regional campaign I’ve ever seen,” because it gives “even exposure” to all Atlanta area communities.
To see more on the initiative, visit http://www.chooseatl.com