Meet Minneapolis lauds its region in rebranding push

MINNEAPOLIS: Civics group Meet Minneapolis has embarked on a three-tiered effort to bolster the image of Minneapolis/St. Paul in the global economy.

MINNEAPOLIS: Civics group Meet Minneapolis has embarked on a three-tiered effort to bolster the image of Minneapolis/St. Paul in the global economy.

Karyn Gruenberg, project head for the Minneapolis/St. Paul More to Life push, said the group is working with three firms on the rebranding effort: Padilla Speer Beardsley (PSB), Weber Shandwick, and Tunheim Partners.

Following a brand study on the Twin Cities, group members learned the cities may lose out in the marketplace because of misconceptions about the economy, climate, and population. The campaign's goal is to attract businesses and individuals to the region, as well as boost its diversity for a strong workforce, said Tom Jollie, SVP and head of the consumer marketing practice at PSB.

"For [most] people, we aren't even on their radar," Jollie noted.

The campaign's first phase, "Ignite Passion," kicked off last month to raise residents' awareness of the issue. Rather than rely exclusively on word-of-mouth marketing, this phase will include an ad component to create critical mass, Jollie said.

"It's hard to get everybody motivated around a grassroots influencer campaign," he noted.

Outreach will also include discussing tactics to improve the region's reputation with vested organizations, reporters, and editors in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Specifically, efforts will stress the area's ranking in quality of life surveys, its seasons, museum district, and burgeoning medical- device companies. New-media tactics will engage residents with photos and short story contests.

The next phase will turn the messaging outward and enlist residents and influencers as brand ambassadors during the Republican National Convention, to be held in St. Paul from September 1-4. Jollie said the widely publicized event will be an opportunity to resonate its messaging with the national media.

The final portion of the effort will take the campaign outside the region, he added, but tactical details are still in development.

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