Harnessing the Groundswell*
At TIP, we have been thinking a lot about the role of social media. About how it affects the way we live our lives, the way we conduct business, and the way we position ourselves and our clients. As economic development professionals, we see real value in understanding the power of tools like Twitter, Digg, and Facebook - and the applications we've yet to hear about that will soon be indispensable.
We had a lesson in this power ourselves earlier this year with the release of our March newsletter. Our analysts wanted to create a visual representation of the employment trends that led up to the nation's current economic woes. The result was our "Geography of Jobs" map, an animated graphic that tracks net changes in employment for the top 100 metropolitan areas over the last five years. We thought it was cool. We thought it might create a bit of interest among our clients and our friends. We didn't think it would be viewed more than 275,000 times, or that it would reach the Twitter top 100, or get us mentioned on sites like Morgan Stanley, Bureau of Labor Statictics, and Digg.
TIP's Mitsu Yamazaki
tracks social media trends on a regular basis. He recently gave a presentation to the Northeast Texas Economic Development Roundtable on the use of social media in economic development. You can see Mitsu's presentation, created with Prezi's
zooming presentation software, here
. You can follow Mitsu on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mitsuyamazaki
. Finally we encourage you to make plans to attend our special session on social media at IEDC's 2009 Annual Conference in Reno on October 5. You can learn more about the conference on the IEDC's Facebook
page for the event.
*See more about Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, here
After ten years of officing in northwest Austin, TIP has made the move back to downtown. We are pleased to announce our new location on the 5th floor of the historic Littlefield Building
in the heart of downtown Austin. In addition to placing us right in the thick of things - at the intersection of 6th and Congress - our move provides the added benefit of sharing space with one of TIP's long-time associates, Ray Brimble of Lynxs Group, LLC
Next time your travels bring you to downtown Austin, be sure to schedule a visit.
TIP Strategies works across the country to help communities, regions, and states build on their assets, challenge old ways of thinking, and encourage options for sustainable economic success. Here's what we're working on.
The Community Development Foundation (CDF) of Tupelo, Mississippi
has retained TIP Strategies to create a ten-year comprehensive economic development strategy. The CDF has a long history of planning, dating back to the 1940s and the original "Tupelo Plan" which promoted economic development through industry attraction. The CDF has since been through five iterations of the plan. These strategic planning efforts have successfully diversified the economy, improved economic opportunities for the area's workers, and positioned Tupelo as a strong regional center. One of the primary goals of the current work will be to speed Tupelo's move to an advanced manufacturing and more knowledge-based economy. The plan will take current trends into account and weigh them against long-term infrastructure, workforce, business, and entrepreneurial needs. The resulting economic development plan will provide the CDF leadership with strategies to leverage Tupelo/Lee County's strengths and opportunities to aid in this transition.
In May 2009, the Economic Development Group of Kittitas County (EDGKC)
in Washington engaged TIP to prepare a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the county. TIP's approach to developing a CEDS involves generating input from a broad cross-section of citizens and interest groups. Our team conducted focus groups and interviews from a wide variety of economic and community groups throughout the county. The resulting plan included strategies and actions for capitalizing on the county's core economic development assets, including tourism and recreation opportunities, Central Washington University, and alternative energy resources. It also emphasized strategies for new business recruitment, retention of existing businesses, regional marketing, professional services sector expansion, and talent development.
The plan was submitted to the Washington State Department of Community, Trade & Economic Development in July. In addition to meeting state requirements, completion and submission of the CEDS will allow the county to position itself for additional federal economic development funding. In the coming months, TIP will continue assisting Kittitas County with the plan's implementation.
TIP is excited to be working on our first project in the state of Alaska. In June, the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough
hired TIP to assist in the development of an economic development plan. Located in south-central Alaska to the north Anchorage, the Mat-Su Borough encompasses an area totaling approximately 24,700 square miles, which is about the size of Ireland. It is comprised of suburban developments, rural subdivisions, farmlands, remote communities, and immense wild areas. The borough's three incorporated cities are Wasilla, Palmer, and Houston.
With the assistance of IEDC, the borough last completed an economic development plan in 2002. As the fastest growing region of the state, however, the economic development needs and expectations of its residents have changed significantly in the last seven years.
Members of the TIP team have already traveled to Alaska to conduct interviews and gather data. We will be returning to Mat-Su in August to conduct a formal project kick-off meeting and to continue our fieldwork. The plan is scheduled for completion in early 2010.
TIP recently presented the roll-out of An Economic Development Strategy for Blaine County, Idaho
. This strategy was the culmination of a ten-month planning effort to diversify and expand the county's economy with an emphasis on sustainable development. Blaine County is home to the world-renowned Sun Valley Ski Resort and Lodge and serves as the gateway to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The county also offers plentiful year-round outdoor recreational opportunities, including Craters of the Moon National Monument, river rafting, mountain bike riding, hiking, and cross-country skiing. Despite these attributes, the area's economy has suffered the effects of the national downturn, especially in its previously thriving tourism and housing sectors. One result of the plan will be that the county's five municipalities and the county work together - for the first time - to initiate a collaborative public-private partnership to lead a countywide economic development effort. Other strategic recommendations included leveraging the Sun Valley brand to stimulate investment, targeting development opportunities in key locations, and establishing an institute for design.
TIP and our partners Madison-based Next Generation Consulting
recently wrapped up our work for the Wired65 region. Named for the Interstate highway upon which much of its economy is based, this 26-county region faces a unique combination of challenges and opportunities. In recognition of these challenges and opportunities, the 15-county Lincoln Trail Area Development District was awarded a $5 million grant under the U.S. Department of Labor's Workforce Innovations in Regional Economic Development (WIRED)
initiative. To better reflect economic ties, the region was expanded to include 26 counties - 19 in Kentucky and 7 in Indiana - centered around Louisville. In addition to monthly meetings with the Wired65 Leadership Team, we conducted meetings in each of the 26 counties, as well as individual interviews with stakeholders, and an on-line survey more than 2,900 current and former residents. The resulting plan provided an asset map of the region's amenities and economic opportunities, and provided specific recommendations for leveraging these assets for regional development. The final strategy can be viewed here
In Their Own Words
"As a member of the Northeast Texas Economic Development Roundtable, I want to thank you for the TIP presentation made by Mitsu Yamazaki. He provided an excellent array of information regarding social networking and how it relates to economic development organizations. We thoroughly enjoyed the information and tools provided in the program. Mitsu made an educational program very entertaining and fun."
Donna Maisel, Executive Director, Marshall Economic Development Corporation
Our team members regularly present on issues surrounding economic development. Contact us if you would like to have TIP Strategies as part of your next event.
TIP is partnering with Axis Map and the University of Texas Department of Geography to offer a 3-day workshop on how to build professional interactive and animated maps. The workshop will be held in Austin at the UT GIS Lab August 17 - 19. To find out more information or to register for the worshop, visit http://workshop.axismaps.com/.
Tom Stellman will be participating in the peer roundtables on social media at this week's TEDC Meeting in Corpus Christi. Be sure to look for him there.
Jon Roberts will be an instructor at IEDC's Economic Development Strategic Planning course to be held August 27-28, 2009, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The course is being held in partnership with the Greater Oklahoma City Partnership.
Tom Stellman will be presenting on business retention and expansion at TEDC's 2009 Annual Conference
to be held in San Antonio, September 29 - October 1. TIP will also provide support for the Basic Economic Development Course
held concurrently with the conference. Tom will update the participants on the latest trends in economic development, while Karen Beard
will provide an overview of techniques for community and regional analysis.
TIP will be hosting a special session on the role of social media in economic development at the IEDC's Annual Conference. If you're planning to attend the event, held October 4-7 in Reno, be sure to add this session to your agenda.
TIP STRATEGIES, INC.
Who We Are: TIP Strategies works with communities throughout the country to develop innovative, publicly supported economic development strategies.
What We Do: TIP provides clients with the tools they need to better understand their economy and the alternatives available to them. We offer a host of economic development services:
Our Approach: At TIP Strategies, we believe that talent, innovation, and place provide essential building blocks for economic vitality. We realize that economic development cannot take place in a vacuum. While traditional tools and conventional approaches continue to have their place, we believe that successful strategies require a broader, more inclusive viewpoint.
Our clients attest that our commitment extends beyond any assignment we undertake. TIP has steadily built a reputation for progressive thinking, client relations, and personal attention to the details of implementation.
We'd like to hear how TIP can be of assistance to you.
TIP STRATEGIES, INC.
106 E. 6th St., Ste.550
Austin, TX 78701