"L-A It’s Happening Here"
A Vision and Image Campaign for Lewiston-Auburn
In 2001, LAEGC commissioned Strategic Marketing Services and Swardlick Marketing Group to conduct a market research study in order to help design a comprehensive, 5- to 10-year marketing campaign to promote L-A as a renaissance community that has experienced significant positive economic, social, and cultural change. The campaign is based on a firm foundation of research from focus groups, interviews with community leaders, and a phone survey of 350 L-A residents and 400 non-residents.
In May of 2003, LAEGC, together with the Cities of Lewiston and Auburn and the Androscoggin County Chamber, launched the “L-A: It’s Happening Here!” campaign, a comprehensive initiative to promote L-A as “a community of abundant opportunity” in the midst of transformation. Ultimately, the goal is to be seen as a leading Maine community in the areas of economic development, arts & culture, health care, education, and overall quality of life.
“By 2008 … Lewiston-Auburn will be a center for both commerce and culture, offering opportunity in the areas of manufacturing, health care, the arts, education and recreation… With so many new and exciting things happening, and a proven ability to plan, create and sustain economic growth and quality of life, Lewiston-Auburn will be seen as a leading Maine community.”
- L-A Leaders
- Maine leaders
- Influencers and investors
- Business Community (in-state and out-of-state)
- Students and their families
- Neighboring Communities
- Reposition the community as a vibrant one in the minds of prospects, residents, L-A businesses, commuters, Mainers and beyond
- Promote L-A’s advantages, particularly in the key areas of economic development, arts & culture, health care, and higher education
- Create interest and awareness for successful growth and development in L-A
Components of Marketing Strategy
Many tactics and goals are involved in a comprehensive campaign. Some of the “It’s Happening Here” campaign tactics include:
- “Sharing the Vision” with key business and community groups
- Creating collateral materials such as brochures, PowerPoint presentations, video, and press kit
- Running an extensive TV campaign promoting key assets in the community with regards to economic development, health care, higher education, and arts & culture
- Creating an electronic gateway for info about L-A, including calendar of events, development news updates, volunteer opportunities, etc.
- Making the campaign and slogan visible through T-shirts, stickers, signs, banners, highlighting large development projects and successes
- Creating “Bright spots”, i.e., focal points that are lit up with bright lights, small colored lights, etc.
- Use ongoing events such as festivals, open-houses, ribbon-cuttings, etc to promote the campaign
- Build financial and community support through partnerships, ambassadors, benefactors, etc.
- Make the campaign external through radio, tv, and print
- Create a formatted ad for listing L-A events in the newspapers in various markets
- Develop a speakers bureau and media relations program
- Meet with editorial boards periodically to inform them of developments
- Launched TV ad campaign on WGME highlighting renaissance in L-A in areas of economic development, health care, education, and arts & culture; also use Maine celebrities in the ads to build credibility and believability
- Produced 15-minute informational video on L-A’s renaissance
- Produced PowerPoint overview of L-A, focusing on economic growth, arts & culture, higher education, and health care
- Conducted numerous presentations to boards of directors, civic groups, conferences, etc. on L-A’s renaissance
- Placed banners on major new development projects throughout L-A
- Launched a new student orientation program for area college students including tours welcoming them to L-A, specifically encouraging them to visit downtown
- Launched a student discount program (“L-A Express”) providing discounts to students who present an L-A Express card to participating merchants and service providers
- Designing a program to target middle school students with the message that L-A is in midst of renaissance; instill pride, knowledge of history, culture, etc.
- Updated economic development marketing material to reflect values, look, and feel of the campaign
- Underwrote “Maine Things Considered” and “All Things Considered” on Maine Public Radio
- Running regular ads in MaineBiz promoting specific changes and developments in L-A
- Ran series of community profiles in Sun Journal on individuals “making things happen” in L-A in the areas of arts, economic development, health care, and education
- Worked with Centreville Neighborhood Association and Downtown Advisory Board on window display initiative to decorate empty storefronts along Lisbon Street
- Sponsored Museum Trail show on Maine Public TV promoting Bates College art museum and overall L-A renaissance
- Creating “It’s Happening Here” web site with arts listing, community events, development project updates, community info, press releases, news clippings, etc.
- Ongoing co-branding opportunities with Lewiston MAINEiacs