The delivery of a distinctive message can make all the difference between success and failure in building your local film economy. Even an idea with exceptional potential means very little if your message is not delivered to the right audience. On any given day, there are hundreds of film commissions trying to attract new film and television productions as well as seeking new business opportunities. At the same time, business consultants and locations specialists are constantly advising companies and individuals on where to locate. You need to distinguish yourself from the competition and be proactive in order to make things happen.
There are a number of ways to deliver the messages highlighted below:
1. Initiate and Maintain a Brand or Identity – What differentiates you from the neighboring communities? What is your unique selling position? This identity describes what you and your commission does and is just as important as looking for new business opportunities. There are several ways to build a brand:
A. Define Your Community’s Personality – How does your community want to be perceived? What makes the region desirable? Successful branding, while communicating clear advantages of working in your particular region, facilitates a “connection” between your region and your potential new customer.
B. Build Recognition – Make sure the “personality” you’ve created for your community makes the right impression during your dealings with potential customers. Your region should be prominent and easily identifiable through press releases, e- mail signatures, presentations and any other communications with your target market.
C. Consistency – Ensure that the same message is given out to potential customers, existing clients, elected officials and your own staff. Your branding must be consistent with the look and tone of everything from emails to websites and even business cards.
D. Show off what you have! – Look for creative ways to get your brand out there.
E. Deliver on Your Promises –Don’t lose sight of what your region and your commission stand for and stay focused on your target market. You must fulfill the promises you make to potential investors.
2. Target Target Target! Don’t try to reach everybody. In an increasingly competitive world, targeting a specific market rather than aiming at the masses is most effective. Good marketing campaigns are well thought out and focused, not just warm and fuzzy. Focus on a logical, strategic group of targets.
3. Multi-Facet Marketing – There is little likelihood of success if you rely on one type of marketing to get your message out. A multi-faceted marketing mix incorporating internet, print advertising, press releases, trade events and special promotional activities will be far more effective.
4. The Internet – While a mix of marketing outlets has clear advantages, all marketing should start with the Internet. A website should be easy to read and easily found due to an effective search engine placement and optimization strategy. Font size should be around 11 and pages should be limited to 300 words.
5. The Local Market – Talk up the local economy and film-related opportunities specifically and share this message with your community. As an example, Savannah, Georgia once signed up 4,000 people to promote a development opportunity. Business travelers with a large network should be kept apprised of business development opportunities in their own community so that they can share their knowledge when on the road.
6. The Media– Use the media in unconventional ways to get your message out to your own community, and to the investment community as well. Write regular columns in the newspapers, promote your successes, and place stories in local, state and national media highlighting prominent figures in the film industry to further generate interest in your community. Partner with television, radio and web providers to see how you can benefit each other. This use of the media is crucial in delivering on your brand and bringing potential investors to your community.
7. Reach Your Target Market – Be realistic about the potential in your community and realistically identify achievable targets. Wishing does not make investment happen. Seek targets that have not been looked at before. Winston-Salem North Carolina decided to seek corporate head office locations for non-profit organizations. This was a sector that no one had specifically targeted before. Their research showed they had the right components to make it work.