The Prince George companies marketing in Ireland this week for new employees are testament to the need for an effective community sales pitch.
As the representatives of these companies discovered, it isn't just the certified welder or electrician who needs to like Prince George, it is their entire family and perhaps business partners as well.
Mining companies looking for new capital to turn exploration into ore extraction need the same sales pitch, but to different audiences: investors.
The deep pockets that trigger business activities are usually located far away. An online presence that properly tells the Prince George story is required.
Three of the most active agencies drawing in that global audience have recently beefed up their websites. More than adding pictures and catchy slogans, though, these are major revamps that make them tools for attracting people, money and new capacity to the region.
"Anyone in the marketing industry will tell you you aren't even in the game if you aren't active in that online world," said Aidan Kelly, CEO of Tourism Prince George. "We have come leaps and bounds this year in a lot of areas but the biggest way we have won is in our online presence. We have made massive strides in that outreach technology."
Kelly credits their in-house digital content strategist Tia Kelly (no relation) for uploading the regional story to the world. She has pushed the agency into that outreach through their home website, responsive social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, keying on emails of inquiry that come in to their office, and monitoring the internet for signs of their message having the desired effect.
As a result, Tourism PG received a recent nomination for a Canadian E-Tourism Award.
Their old website was averaging about 2,500 visits per month but they got 10,000 hits in August alone on the strength of the new online presence.
"I'm also adamant it is the tip of the iceberg," said Kelly. "This is so new for us, and we know we have so far to go. We have zero opportunity to admire our accomplishments. We still have to fight for our goals."
It is too early for Initiatives Prince George to know how the cyberspace reaction to its recent online revamp, but the business community gave it a personal ovation when it was unveiled in early September. It was praised for its many tools companies can take and use for their own recruiting efforts and it is intended to also draw in those looking up Prince George during their individual searches for new jobs, new communities.
That new content can be found at the IPG homepage (www.initiativespg.com) or searched separately (www.liveprincegeorge.ca).
Further to that, IPG joined with Northern Development Initiative Trust and regional communities to build a special online portal especially for attracting investment and explaining the investment climate of the greater Prince George area. It can be found at www.investnorthcentralbc.ca.
It is only the second such region-focused portal for the upper half of the province, joining a northwestern one focused on coastal communities.