Many community colleges have extremely limited communications budgets and personnel and have not invested in the capacity needed to provide communications and positioning that results in transformative economic development in their communities.  A project with which Integrated Media Strategies has been involved for the past four years shows how smart, sustained strategic communications can dramatically impact economic development in 21st Century job sectors. 

The NC Advanced Manufacturing Alliance received an $18 million US DOL grant to upgrade equipment and curricula for specialized advanced manufacturing training at 10 community colleges in largely rural counties that had lost jobs to offshoring.  Integrated Media Strategies was brought on early in the project in 2011, and provided branding, marketing and communications support.  We developed a website and social media accounts and worked with college instructors and staff to sustainably create content in line with strategic positioning goals.

In September of 2015, the return on investment (ROI) on the $18 million has been more than $1.3 billion in new capital investments and expansions in the counties the colleges serve and more 6,600 jobs created. 

Each year, the African Leadership Institute picks some of Africa's top up-and-coming young leaders for an intensive week-long leadership programme.  Integrated Media Strategies arranged for all of the 25 Fellows to be interviewed on topical leadership issues and the challenges facing Africa.  Those interviews now form the basis for an integrated communications campaign that will assist in promoting the work and legacy of the institute, as well as the personal profiles of the Fellows themselves.

The interviews have been broken up into short, bite-sized interviews covering a single subject, topic or issue.  These are being uploaded to YouTube and will then be embedded in individualized video pages on the institute's website with all the usual SEO associated with these kinds of pages.  These pages will then be shared on social media over time in a staggered roll-out, providing sustained interest and content for the insitute.  In total, about 70 videos will be produced, so the rollout over social media will last at least three months. 

Anyone who has been to an Anglican or Episcopalian service can't nap in the aisles. The service calls for standing, sitting, kneeling, reading responsively - and juggling the Book of Common prayer, hynmal, leaflets with the Collect and readings and the notices.  For a new member, it's daunting and can be embarrassing losing one's way.  Working with Grace Episcopal Church in Clayton, North Carolina, Integrated Media Strategies has been developing a methodology to put the entire order of service in the palm of congregants' hands.  Since most congregants own a wifi-enabled smartphone or tablet, it made sense to develop a process to make the Sunday service hand-held and friendly.  No more juggling.  Navigate to This Sunday's Service and everything is there.  Just scroll down as the service proceeds. 

The process to deliver a simple solution was not without its challenges.

African Leadership Institute logo

Integrated Media Strategies is providing strategic and tactical communications support to the prestigious African Leadership Institute.  The patron of the institute is Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace prize winner who is known for his ethical and courageous leadership.  The mission of the institute is to promote dedicated, visionary, thoughtful and self-aware leaders across Africa, which as a continent is challenged by political, economic and climate difficulties, to name a few. 

The role of Integrated Media Strategies will include upgrading the technical capabilities of the Wordpress website in line with a strategic content marketing plan; to develop a strategic voice for the organization in its communications and to integrate communications across the various communications channels it uses; to revamp its social media output and harmonize it with branding and positioning; and to assist with the day-to-day tactical stuff that happens in an organization that is based in London and Cape Town and works with Tutu Fellows across the continent and the world.

The brief from Smart Earth Seeds was to create an online marketing and support space for growers in Canada and elsewhere of a proprietary cultivar of camelina.  It is, in effect an online agricultural extension service for camelina.  Camelina is an oilseed that is a short-season crop suitable for the short Canadian summers and the proprietary cultivar is drought resistant as well as resistant to downy mildew, and black leg disease.  But it is not a well-known crop and the site was developed not only to market the benefits and value proposition of growing camelina, but also to provide support to farmers.

A custom-designed database and form was set up to gather information from interested farmers for grower profiles.  That information then becomes useful when addressing questions from the field and providing support to individual growers as well as for more general best practices. Integrated Media Strategies worked closely with Smart Earth Seeds to build a site that provides to registered growers a range of resources.  Registered growers are provided a username and password with which they can access the grower gateway which has:

Integrated Media Strategies works with towns, counties, state and national governments on economic development.  With so many locations to choose from, smart communications is key to promoting places as the location of choice for particular industries.  The field in which we have worked is primarily the 21st Century knowledge econonomy. These mean high-paid jobs to the winners.  The 21st Century knowledge economiy encompasses sectors such as biopharmaceuticals, renewable fuels, advanced manufacturing and healthcare - all fields where a specialized and highly-trained technical workforce is critical to sustained success and any hope of attracting multi-million dollar facilities. Marketing communications for economic development requires an ability to put together partnerships and consortia to work together on shared communications, set shared goals, and play nice - despite sometimes competing interests.

We have more than ten years of working in this field and a highly successful track record. Here are some multimillion dollar examples:

 

 

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