Integrated Communications Plan
The Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA) for five and a half decades had operated with the same brand. Their goal was to rebrand and reestablish the organization as the premier economic development membership association as well as create global messaging to be used by members that better communicated what they do and the impact on their local and state economies, creating stronger, passionate advocates.
At the beginning of 2018, JJPR was hired to create and launch a new brand and website as well as an integrated marketing communications plan that provided research-based messaging and a marketing toolkit members could use.
SCOPE OF WORK
We first undertook primary and secondary research to determine what resonated with stakeholders in their messaging and branding. Primary research was conducted in personal interviews and online surveys with diverse, key stakeholders in Alabama’s economic arena and members from throughout the state.
Research was the crucial step to uncover what the current brand meant to them and what messaging resonated with stakeholders and was the basis for the new brand. Additionally, the results informed the development and background for the brand and made evident the creation of correct, succinct messages to use with key stakeholders and members. This would be used to cement EDAA as the source for information and leadership in terms of economic development – throughout the state, region and nation. Secondary research was conducted in the forms of an environmental scan, ab audit of branding, websites and social media of local, state and national economic organizations.
This report demonstrates our expertise and skill in branding research. It uncovered messaging gaps that were present, the best channels and methods for communicating targeted messages and issues that required better communication tools. The results led to more effective communications by economic developers to their community stakeholders that were consistent with the new brand.
Marketing & Communications Plan
JJPR was also retained to guide the organization through a message development process in order to create a comprehensive three-year strategic integrated marketing communications plan that could be implemented at the staff and member levels of community economic development organizations.
The research, rebranding and integrated communications plan development was accomplished in six months. All primary research, both qualitative and quantitative, and secondary research was completed and presented three months after the project kickoff. The association’s brand research and creative development ran concurrently with the primary research, and was approved at the five-month mark. The deliverables of a new website, member toolkit and new brand were launched at the beginning of the next year.
The results of this project included unanimous approval and adoption of the new brand by the association’s board of directors, launch of a new website with training for EDAA’s staff and a contracting with our agency for monthly technical maintenance of the site, presentation of the marketing and communications plan to the board which has been implemented by the EDAA staff, and usage of elements from the marketing toolkit by members across the state.
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