JSDC staff wants more funds to boost their marketing effortsThe Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. staff wants to spend $50,000 on marketing the Jamestown area. Only half of the respondents to a survey on services and other aspects of Jamestown said they were satisfied with the efforts to market the community but ranked it very high in importance.
By: Toni Pirkl, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. staff wants to spend $50,000 on marketing the Jamestown area.
Only half of the respondents to a survey on services and other aspects of Jamestown said they were satisfied with the efforts to market the community but ranked it very high in importance.
Lindsey Larson, JSDC communications coordinator, requested $50,000 from the JSDC Board to update and upgrade marketing materials. She said the three primary sources of job growth are relocating business, existing business expansions and startup operations. However, the toughest source to get is startups — the young entrepreneurs.
“We need to vamp up our marketing,” Larson said. “It’s necessary. We have only $20,000 in our marketing budget and most of our marketing materials are outdated. Our main focus is to bring young entrepreneurs to start a business here.”
To do that, advertising has to go online, she said, as that’s the avenue most used by young people. Larson is planning to spend $20,000 of the funding for a TV commercial/flash video and online advertising.
“Online is the only place young people get their information,” said JSDC Board member Alex Schweitzer.
He questioned the TV commercial and where it would run. Larson said the commercial would be used online as well as on TV and run nationwide. Online advertising would be in sites such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Careerbuilder.com
“Hardly any advertising will run in state,” she said.
To appeal to the young, whether it’s entrepreneurs or job hunters, Larson said, the marketing has to include what the community offers for entertainment and activities.
“They don’t just come for a job, they come for a place and what that place offers,” said JSDC Chief Executive Officer Connie Ova.
The printed materials also need updating, as do the trade show displays to compete with other communities. Larson said the trade show display is dull.
“The booth doesn’t catch the eye. It lacks attractiveness,” she said.
Flyers, information booklet, posters, e-mail and the Web site all need to be upgraded to appeal to young people for another $25,500, Larson said. She plans to put together an entrepreneur booth to take to college career shows in the fall.
The $50,000 is primarily a one-time expense. JSDC Board President Jim Boyd said it was going mostly into JSDC “infrastructure.” Then Larson would go back to her budget of $20,000 a year for marketing.
“Twenty thousand dollars is nothing,” Boyd said. “We need to take a good look next year at that budget item.”
Other board members agreed.
“We’re always going to be upgrading,” said Kim Lunde. “We need to boost the budget each year.”
Boyd noted JSDC has a $75,000 advertising credit with Newman Signs and this should also be figured into a marketing campaign. He suggested and the rest of the board concurred with forming a committee to work with Larson on developing a broad-based marketing plan. JSDC Board member and Councilman Ken Schulz said there were two or three parts of the JSDC Strategic Plan the committee could incorporate into its marketing plan.
“We can’t wait for businesses to come to us,” Boyd said.
The JSDC Board unanimously approved both the request for $50,000 and forming a marketing committee. The funding request will now go to the City Council and County Commission for final approval.
The board also unanimously agreed to pick up 70 percent of the tab for an exterior sump pump and a drain tile system at the lower level of the Goodrich II building. Larry Nohrenberg, of Goodrich Cargo Systems, said the lower level, which houses engineering and test labs, suffers from large-scale seepage three to five times each year. The Sheetrock and carpeting have had to be replaced several times. Goodrich has added a number of preventative measures inside the building including sump pumps, he said. Nothing has worked.
“We want to catch the water before it gets into the building,” Nohrenberg said.
The JSDC owns the building and could be expected as the landlord to pay the entire cost of exterior system, said JSDC member Dick Geigle. Instead JSDC’s cost would be up to $25,000 of the estimated $37,000 for a capital improvement.
“Goodrich is willing to pay a part of this even though it’s not in the lease agreement,” Schulz said. “This is a building improvement and JSDC gets all the benefit.”
The funding request will now go to the City Council and County Commission for final approval.
Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org