Showcasing Your City Just Got Easier

photo - Showcasing Your City Just Got Easier
photo - Showcasing Your City Just Got Easier
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Getty Images)

Marketing your community’s unique assets is crucial to building a sustainable local economy.

There’s no single, standard definition of economic development, but according to the National League of Cities (NLC) report, What You Should Know: Elected Leaders and Economic Development, it can be broadly defined as a group of programs or activities that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community. There are many ways of doing this, including creating and retaining well-paying jobs, supporting business growth, developing key real estate, and providing access to open space, neighborhood amenities and cultural programs.

One factor in building a sustainable local economy is marketing your community’s unique assets. Showcasing your city’s attractions — whether it’s the delicious local cuisine, a vibrant community theater, or a beautiful park — serves as an invitation to tourists, potential residents and new businesses to explore your city. This marketing and attraction effort can take many forms, but in the digital age more communities are developing online video content, particularly for social media. For example, the Chattanooga, Literally Perfect campaign developed by the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, blends video with humor to market their city.

Recognizing the growing trend, NLC formed a partnership with CGI Communications to create the NLC Community Showcase Video Program. The program assists municipal leaders in boosting the online content of their city’s websites, providing residents and visitors a window into what makes their community unique.

Some examples:

photo - paddleboarding in Winter Haven, Florida
The city of Winter Haven, Florida, showcased its unique attractions — including outdoor activities such as paddleboarding — in a recent NLC Community Showcase video. (City of Winter Haven)

Winter Haven, Florida

CGI works directly with communities to produce a series of videos for a city’s official website. These videos help communities promote tourism, educate and welcome new families and residents, and attract new businesses. CGI has worked in partnership with over 3,000 communities to deliver this cost-free service, showcasing what makes each city and town they work with so great.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

From start to finish, the Community Showcase Video Program is fully engaged with city staff to ensure that your community is properly highlighted. The Community Video Tour includes complete video production of a series of topical highlight videos for, and about, your community. The team at CGI will work with your city to develop scripts, scout locations, and video editing to produce content that will let your community shine.

If you are interested in driving residents, business and tourism to your community, please contact Rasheeda Senger, senior associate at the National League of Cities, by email at senger@nlc.org or find more information on the program here.

This post featured research from What You Should Know: Elected Leaders and Economic Development, a report by NLC’s Emily Robbins and the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC).

About the author: Charlie McQuillan is a program manager on NLC's Strategy and Partnerships team. He works with NLC’s seven Savings and Solutions programs, helping member cities build better communities.