Economic arm launches $99,600 campaign to ‘elevate’ Harlingen’s image

dfwnewsa | February 13, 2024 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News

Economic arm launches ,600 campaign to ‘elevate’ Harlingen’s image

HARLINGEN — The city’s economic arm is planning to “elevate Harlingen locally, nationally and internationally” as part of a program to draw new industries from inside and outside of the United States.

Now, a marketing firm is working to launch a campaign aimed at transforming the city’s image.

After a closed-session meeting, city commissioners and EDC board members agreed to hire Marketing Alliance, a Celebration, Florida, firm specializing in marketing economic development, at a fee of $99,600.

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“We wanted to ensure the community and businesses — current and future — tell the story of the great things the city has to offer,” Javier DeLeon, president of the EDC’s board of directors, said Tuesday in an interview.

“We want businesses in and out of Texas to know the oasis Harlingen is,” he said. “It’s also an opportunity to laser-in on Harlingen, showcasing all the benefits the city has to offer — we’re not land-locked, we have plenty of acreage available, we’re in the middle of the Valley, we have many opportunities, and we’re reaching out to businesses outside of Texas so we want to showcase our region, too.”

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During a meeting, Orlando Campos, the EDC’s chief executive officer, said officials selected the firm after reviewing proposals from companies including Cobalt Digital Media in McAllen and Insightful in Dallas.

“They’re very competitive compared to some of the other proposals that we received,” he said during Thursday’s meeting, adding the EDC will dip into its budget to fund the project. “So we’re pleased.”

The company specializes in marketing economic development, Beverly Ticer Loftus, the EDC’s chief operating officer, said.

“They have a lot of experience working with economic development councils — we’re not just marketing to the masses. It’s a very specific type of marketing for that specific audience,” she told officials. “While all the companies were great for marketing purposes, this company really understood who they’re marketing to. They understood how to work with site selectors for business relocation, they’re familiar with our area, and just this whole demeanor of presentation. They really want to learn about your specific community, your needs, your vision and they really want to complement that.”

On the company’s website, Marketing Alliance describes itself as “the leader in economic development marketing.”

“Marketing Alliance is a leading company in economic development strategy, marketing and lead generation,” the company states.

A sign announcing the city limit of Harlingen is pictured Sept. 5, 2021, on the South 77 Sunshine Strip. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

“For over 22 years, the prosperity-centric consultancy has provided metrics-based solutions to over 428 communities in the areas of business development, talent recruitment and other economic development initiatives,” the firm’s website states. “With a legacy team that has over 248 years of collective experience, they execute best-in-class solutions including comprehensive strategic plans, branding, website development, video production, digital marketing campaigns and lead generation campaigns to create life-changing impact for communities.”

As part of the EDC’s new strategic plan approved in January, officials are calling for the development of a marketing campaign aimed at “elevating Harlingen locally, nationally and internationally.”

During his presentation, Campos told officials the marketing firm was planning to transform the city’s image in and outside the United States.

“The contract will be evaluating our brand identity, our logo, our tagline to come up with a cohesive way of marketing the community to outside investors,” he said.

As part of the project, the firm will develop photography and video productions, upgrade the EDC’s website while preparing marketing brochures, Campos said.

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“We will also work with them on videography, photography and video production,” he said. “They will create new ad designs for ourselves that can be used on print media as well as digital media. They will assist us in evaluating our website and bringing it up-to-date as well. They will assist us in developing new marketing brochures that we can utilize in trade shows and other events as we promote the community and also assist us in developing economic development kits that we can use for the same purpose as well.”

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