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Columbus Gains Awareness Among National CEOs

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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Press Release:
Columbus Gains Awareness Among CEOs

Four years ago nearly 60 percent of business executives nationwide had no image of Columbus. Now, with less than 40 percent in that category, 60 percent of executives do know enough about Columbus to consider the city as a business location, according to a recent survey conducted by the Columbus Chamber.

The survey of business executives shows progress in growing awareness of Columbus. “Our community is now on the radar of more business executives, thanks to our region’s collaborative marketing efforts,” said Ty Marsh, president and CEO, Columbus Chamber. More than 400 local and national business executives participated in the survey of their perceptions of Columbus as a site to do business. Results were shared at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting today.

Nearly 90 percent of Columbus-based executives rate Columbus positively as a place to do business. Top reasons including quality of life, accessible location, higher education, infrastructure, and a can-do attitude among community leaders.

In 2005 the Chamber launched a strategy that promotes the Columbus region to business decision-makers through the support of more than 20 public sector economic development partners. Since that time the Chamber and its partners have marketed the area to this targeted audience as the “Columbus region.

“In addition to the Chamber, a number of organizations are marketing Columbus. We’ve made progress but this is no time to slow down the momentum,” warned Marsh. “These results demonstrate the strength of coordination. We have a tremendous opportunity to raise our voice, together.”

An effort coordinated by Mayor Coleman’s 2012 Image and Marketing committee and CompeteColumbus, brought together constituencies who represent business, visitors, the arts and higher education communities, and the city to create messages about Columbus, applicable for all organizations. Details will be shared later this year.

In addition, the Chamber encourages businesses professionals to post their story on the Chamber’s blog at Blog.Columbus.org or Columbus.org/TellYourStory.

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12 Responses to Columbus Gains Awareness Among National CEOs

  1. JRemy
    SlipperyFish05 February 25, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm

    Hopefully this will lead to some relocations of major companies to the Columbus Area.  It would be nice to have another company in the likes of AEP relocating here as AEP did during the 80′s from New York City.

  2. Walker Evans
    Walker February 25, 2009 1:50 pm at 1:50 pm

    More details (and purty graphics) in Business First.

  3. JonMyers February 25, 2009 2:56 pm at 2:56 pm

    I think the Chamber is doing a lot of good things and is definitely one of the most progressive institutions promoting the city. That said, I’m not sure I would focus in on “Awareness” as a newsworthy measure of success. I’d like to see a more quantifiable measure.

  4. JamieTimm February 25, 2009 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm

    Jon, I definitely appreciate wanting more quantifiable measures – we definitely hold ourselves accountable to those as well. We see awareness as an indicator for future results. In 2008 we had 120 companies relocate or expand here; 15,000 new jobs created and $2.5 billion in investment. The work isn’t done, but we’re definitely making progress as a region. We’re releasing the full 2008 success report next month with all of those details. You can see last year’s success report here.

  5. columbusdreamer February 25, 2009 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm

    Mr. Timm I ve seen ads for Michigan’s growing business friendly enviornment. What are we doing to combat/foster that because we are in direct relationship with them and other cities in ohio. 

    Would  you consider advertising to customs and immigration officials to get people to settle here when they immigrate? 

    What is the climate for business relocation and would building a light rail system enhance or decrease our chances for seeing new businesses on account that local business tax would likely increase ? 

  6. Walker Evans
    Walker February 25, 2009 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm

    Hey Jamie, thanks for the stats. (pst, columbus dreamer, Jamie is a Mrs., not a Mr.) ;)

    While the stats are impressive too, I do think that having a favorable impression of your city lays the groundwork for more growth. Perception goes a long way, and it appears as if some pretty significant progress has been made lately on breaking away from the old “I know nothing about Columbus at all” lack-of-image that we have.

    Keep up the great work, Chamber!

  7. JonMyers February 25, 2009 7:37 pm at 7:37 pm

    @Jamie – Thanks for the heads up. The statistics are positive. Why aren’t they the central message?

    I guess my point is that given the current economic climate it seems like it would make more sense to focus on actual results like you described, rather than the ambiguity of “awareness” as a measure of success? Especially in relationship to how the message is positioned within our local media, which I’m assuming is intended to attract the attention of our out of state business suitors.

    It seems like there is an opportunity to sculpt this message based on the results. Why is “Out of State CEO Awareness” central to the media message?

    As a decision maker myself “awareness” says little to me. In particular to where my head and mental model of decision making presently lives. There is nothing in the message that drills down into the core of why it’s good to start or operate a business here other than “CEOs have heard the name of our city”. I’m not convinced out of town decision makers will be swayed by such ambiguity given the focus on reducing costs, creating value and making money. Ironically, we may be able to support those objectives depending on the type of business.

    As a resident of Columbus or contributing member to the Chamber it may make me clap my hands and say “go team”, but to an outsider or site selector who is actually considering Columbus for their business the message of “awareness” will likely resonate as fluff.

  8. NerosNeptune February 25, 2009 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm

    I’m not sure the article is intended to convince anybody to pack up their skyscraper and move to Columbus. It’s just reporting on one meter of (potential) sucess for the people who live here and care about that.

    The fact that Columbus is going from a city nobody outside of Ohio cares about to a city that “decision makers” think about is the point of the article, and it’s a good thing! Other articles can talk about the tangible results, but it’s good to have articles like this as well.

  9. MikeReed
    MikeReed February 25, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm

    Since I already live here this makes me want to become a CEO.

    Unintended bonus side-effect.

  10. columbusdreamer February 26, 2009 12:56 am at 12:56 am

    I am very sorry about that . A paradox of my mistake. Welll please forgive me.

  11. JamieTimm February 26, 2009 8:51 am at 8:51 am

    @Columbusdreamer – no problem – I guess I need a picture :).

    The awareness among CEOs is key because they are key in our community making a site selector’s short list (communities for consideration of a more indepth analysis). Awareness (and consideration) is huge because if there isn’t awareness we don’t make it to the point to share the great info about our community. The stats will definitely be a central message here in about two weeks – stay tuned for that and those will be shared internally in our community and externally with those site selection professionals.

  12. byJody
    jodyNcolumbus February 26, 2009 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm

    @ NerosNeptune, great visual – totally lol, thank you!

    “I’m not sure the article is intended to convince anybody to pack up their skyscraper and move to Columbus”.

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