Albany-Dougherty EDC's New Brand Campaign to "Get the Message Out On Albany"

Barbara Kieker

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

On August 1st, the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission (EDC) began work with Lattimer Communications, a minority-owned advertising agency based in Atlanta, on a new brand campaign for Albany-Dougherty County. The Atlanta office of JWT, a global ad agency, has been working with the Albany-Dougherty EDC on a pro bono basis and recommended Lattimer to research and develop the brand strategy.

"In July, our board approved the initial plan to conduct thoughtful research using focus groups to develop the best message for our community," said Barbara Rivera Holmes, Director of Marketing and Existing Industries for the Albany-Dougherty EDC.

"We want to strengthen the message that Albany is a great place to live and do business."

According to Rivera Holmes, the idea for the project was first discussed in strategic planning sessions held last summer. In fact, developing and launching a new brand campaign was one of the top priorities to come out of the sessions. The branding effort is led by the Albany-Dougherty EDC and supported by its volunteer, community-wide Renewal Task Force.

"Our goal is to get people excited again about Albany-Dougherty County," Rivera Holmes said. "Albany is awesome, and we need to tell that story in a way that resonates with people and with industry.”

The contract with Lattimer for the branding effort will cost $150,150. Albany-Dougherty EDC expects to launch the new campaign at the beginning of 2014. Communication efforts will start internally and expand to all media – print, online, radio and TV – shortly after.

The Albany-Dougherty EDC also expects to continue working with JWT. JWT has had a client relationship with the United States Marine Corps for more than 60 years, supporting their marketing and recruiting efforts. With Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, the agency is interested in supporting economic development in the community.

Case Study: Brand Atlanta
With work on the Albany brand strategy just getting under way, most of the specifics related to the research and development of a new message, look and feel are yet to be defined. However looking at past work done by Lattimer for the city of Atlanta offers some clues as to how the project could unfold.

Since Atlanta was already known for its nightlife and considered a top destination, Lattimer focused on making residents and prospective visitors aware of how much more the city had to offer. An integrated marketing campaign was devised to showcase the city’s unlimited resources. Featuring celebrity talent such as Dallas Austin, Kenny Leon, Samuel L. Jackson and Jasmine Guy, it consisted of television and radio commercials, billboards, buzz-marketing and public, media and community relations. Consequently, according to Lattimer, overnight leisure visitation in Atlanta increased by 10.5 percent to $792 million.

Similarly, the Albany campaign will play to the community’s strengths.

"We have exciting things going on in Albany and lots of momentum with retail and commercial activity picking up. The energy is palpable and the time is right to launch this campaign and to nudge people toward falling in love with Albany," Rivera Holmes said.

More information on Albany-Dougherty EDC is available at

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.