ALBANY, NY: The Tech Valley Chamber Coalition and the Center for Economic Growth have launched a pride campaign to position Tech Valley - a 17-county area in upstate New York along the Hudson River - as a thriving region.
PR for the 18-month effort, termed, "We are Tech Valley. We Are the Future," is being handled pro bono by Sawchuk Brown Associates.
The initiative is primarily focused on educating local residents about the technological presence in the region. Currently, there are approximately 1,000 technology companies with offices in Tech Valley, including IBM, which together employ 50,000 people.
"We want the people who live here to understand the kind of growth we have been experiencing," said Lyn Taylor, president of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce. "We're doing that by communicating all the opportunities the region presents to them."
Third-party endorsements from people who moved back to the region after having left are being used in public service announcements. In the spots, and as spokespeople out in the community, they will provide testimonials on why Tech Valley is a great place to live.
Profiles on people returning to the region, as well as op-ed pieces from them, are also being pitched to local print outlets. On April 13, a feature story on the entire initiative, centered around the Summit in Tech Valley happening this month, appeared in the Albany Times Union, the region's local newspaper.
All media attention, according to David Brown, president of Sawchuk Brown, will ideally direct audiences to the cause's newly revamped website, techvalley.org.
College-age students, as well as their parents and other influencers such as guidance counselors, comprise the effort's heavily targeted audiences.
"Whether students decide to stay in Tech Valley or go away to college, we want them to see the region as a place they can return to for career opportunities," explained Brown.
The long-term plan is to take the campaign externally, but "before we can go out trying to convince people to leave Silicon Valley to come to Tech Valley, we need to have the locals believing it," explained Brown. "In order to take this nationally, part of our sales pitch has to be displaying how much pride the people actually living in the region have."
Sawchuk Brown joins Zone 5 Graphic Services, Media Logic, Scanlan Communications Group, and ThinkOne in a consortium of regional marketing firms that contributed concept development, creative services, and coordination of the project. Additionally, a media alliance, comprising more than a dozen newspapers and television and radio stations in the area, donated advertising time and production expertise.