Buffalo kicks off effort to attract business, reverse wintery image

BUFFALO, NY: The oft-maligned city of Buffalo is looking to attract more businesses to Northern New York - as well as to reverse its image as a wintery wasteland - and has launched an ambitious dollars 27 million marketing effort, up to 10% of which will be spent on PR.

BUFFALO, NY: The oft-maligned city of Buffalo is looking to attract more businesses to Northern New York - as well as to reverse its image as a wintery wasteland - and has launched an ambitious dollars 27 million marketing effort, up to 10% of which will be spent on PR.

BUFFALO, NY: The oft-maligned city of Buffalo is looking to attract

more businesses to Northern New York - as well as to reverse its image

as a wintery wasteland - and has launched an ambitious dollars 27

million marketing effort, up to 10% of which will be spent on PR.



The Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE), a public/private partnership

formed earlier this year, has pledged to raise dollars 27 million over

the next five years to market the area to the business world. The group

recently hired Development Counsellors International, a New York

City-based integrated shop that specializes in economic development

work, to handle media relations and other PR functions. Eric Mower &

Associates was hired to do Buffalo-area PR and ads.



’There is a vacuum of good news coming out of Buffalo,’ said DCI EVP Rob

DeRocker. ’Buffalo has been a no-show in the media.’



According to BNE president and CEO Tom Kucharski, the dollars 27 million

his group plans to spend on marketing is the largest non-government

economic development budget in the country. Three-quarters of that money

is coming from Buffalo-area companies, with the rest being put up by

local governments on both sides of the US/Canada border.



The planned PR campaign will emphasize the area’s skilled workforce.



While the local 5.5% unemployment rate is low by historic standards, it

is still higher than the national average.



’We have a demonstrably large base of employees with a work heritage

that is still very impressive,’ said Kucharski.



The campaign recently got underway with a black-tie dinner in New York

City attended by more than 400 business leaders. ’It was a statement to

the world that Buffalo plans to get serious about economic development,’

Kucharski said.



Overcoming Buffalo’s image of Buffalo as a cold, snowy locale may prove

as daunting a marketing challenge as increasing the number of businesses

in the area. Kucharski said the campaign will emphasize ’livability’

issues, such as local cultural attractions and universities, as well as

the large portions of the spring, summer and fall when Buffalo isn’t

cold.



If 10% of the dollars 27 million goes towards PR, that equates to PR

spending of dollars 540,000 per year. It is unclear how much will be

earmarked for other marketing components. Among the industries that the

marketing team plans to target are information technology, healthcare

manufacturing, warehousing and support services.



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