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|Wednesday, May 22, 2013|
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Sean Robbins, CEO of Greater Portland Inc., dropped by the OB offices yesterday to demonstrate a new economic development app aimed at marketing the Portland region through storytelling. The Greater PDX For Business app, which launches today, was developed by digital marketing agency Storycode.
Economic development agencies continue to take a "very antiquated and static approach to marketing," said Robbins. “Statistics and rankings don’t sell communities. Stories sell.”
Robbins, it should be noted, has a penchant for telling stories. During a Greater Portland Inc. luncheon last year, he delivered an out-of-the-box keynote narrating the very personal life stories of his grandparents and parents and how they progressively improved their economic standing.
Back at OB, with the aid of his iPad mini, Robbins touch-screened his way through the app, which is organized around 6 “chapters" propelling the Portland narrative: economy, innovation, cost, education, community and exports/manufacturing. A model of “data visualization,” the app features creative representations of all kinds of data comparing Portland to other cities, such as an interactive footprint depicting five-year growth in the number of people who walk to work: Portland, 12.2%, San Jose -3.7%.
The app also features six Oregon CEOs talking about why they chose to locate or grow their companies in Oregon, including Icebreaker USA CEO Lisa Thompson, Raghu Raghavan from Act-On Software, and Urban Airship’s Scott Kveton.
The result is a comprehensive 21st century marketing tool that combines the look and feel of a tourism ad campaign with the data sets and rankings companies and CEOs are looking for.
Greater Portland Inc. has had its eye on such an app for some time, but the expense was prohibitive, says Greater Portland Inc. marketing director Maggie Davis. Then Storycode, which was recently acquired by TigerLogic, stepped up with a philanthropic offer; the company would build the app for free, although costs will accrue going forward.
Storycode, of course, is a member of Portland's burgeoning software/mobile development business cluster, a cluster featured on the new mobile app.
Linking individual businesses, economic clusters and cities is one of the goals driving the app project. Robbins says he wants to cut through all the "noise" and divisions surrounding local economic development — noise that includes unproductive competition between different cities and the perennial debate about whether quality of life or traditional metrics such as employment and taxes are more important in growing the local economy.
Economic development apps aren't new, but most focus on a single aspect such as land or permitting, says Robbins.
Greater PDX For Business is the first to focus on selling an entire community, he says. "We're narrating a better story."
Linda Baker keeps tabs on CEOs and public policy issues.
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.
Friday, June 06, 2014
BY KATIE AUSBURGER | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
How to build a hipster-friendly work environment.
Thursday, June 05, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
What does it take to launch and run one of these mobile food businesses?
Thursday, June 12, 2014
BY ANDREA DURBIN | OB GUEST BLOGGER
Last week, the Obama administration took an important and welcomed step in the effort to protect the health and well-being of all Oregonians by limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants.
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
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