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Work Together to Promote the Local Area

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 12 Apr 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Work Together To Promote The Local Area

Sometimes, no matter how much they have to offer, some neighbourhoods simply fail to capture the attention of the media and the public. If your local area is one of them, you may be missing out on valuable business revenue as a result. It's difficult to do much about this by yourself. A lone voice isn't easily heard and, besides, people are suspicious when businesses promote places by themselves, thinking that commercialism is all it's about. But by working together with other small businesses and members of your local community, you can really get your area noticed.

Getting Together

The chances are that your local community already includes a number of people who are keen to promote the area. You can contact interested members of the public through community notice boards, schools, local online forums and the local press. It's also worth talking to those types of business which stand to gain the most from an increase in visitor numbers, such as restaurants, caf├ęs and pubs, galleries and souvenir shops. Estate agents may be interested in getting involved because of the potential boost to the housing market. Don't forget to contact voluntary groups such as conservationists who can help to inform you about the area's hidden assets. Even obscure hobbyist groups can be helpful, as they may know about attractions of considerable appeal to their peers elsewhere. Also ask your local council's city or regional marketing department if they can send somebody along to advise.

As leader of this business enterprise, it's up to you to arrange a time and place to meet. Perhaps you can use your own business premises or perhaps another member of your group can offer theirs. Make sure you have business cards ready to hand out so people can contact you about it afterwards. It can also be worthwhile setting up an online discussion forum if enough of those involved have internet access.

Discovering your Area's Selling Points

In order to promote your local area, it's important to identify its selling points. This means determining which things about it are most likely to appeal to outsiders. Is it a place of historical interest? Perhaps there are interesting historical things you're unaware of which you could look up in your local library. Is it home to a successful sports team or to any talented writers or artists? Does it contain leisure spaces which are used by celebrities? Does it have any areas of outstanding natural beauty, or attractive parkland? Is it home to exciting entertainment venues? Does it feature impressive architecture?

All these things and more can potentially interest people in visiting an area or considering it as somewhere to live. Ask the members of your group to come up with as many ideas as they can, then discuss them to see which ones have broad appeal. Depending on what comes up, it may be worth running more than one promotional campaign.

Making Contributions

Once you've established the direction of your campaign, it's time to start working out who can contribute what. The first thing the campaign will need is finance and this will usually have to come from its business members, though your local council may be willing to help if it thinks that what you're doing is likely to be successful. Other members of the group may have individual talents to offer, and you should think about what skills and facilities you can bring to the project. For instance, you may be able to design promotional materials, to post campaign notices in your shop windows or to promote your area directly at networking gatherings. Perhaps you can write press releases, persuade friends in the public eye to lend their support, or talk about the exciting things which are happening in your area on the radio.

In order to co-ordinate a successful campaign, you'll need to keep good records, so make a note of what each contributor can offer and work to avoid clashes when too many people want to work in the same area. If some people want to contribute but don't have any particular skills, get them to write enthusiastic letters to various press outlets whenever the opportunity arises to discuss the area. The more positive voices coming out of the community, the better. By working together you can really make a difference and you can put your area firmly on everybody's map.

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