#greaterstcloud #stcloudshines #centralminnesota
By Patti Gartland, GSDC President
I’m living proof that the greater St. Cloud region is a wonderful place to live, work, engage and prosper together.
I’ve lived in this community my entire life. The first 18 years were by choice of my parents. But, the following multiple decades have been by my own choice – albeit with the benefit of support from my family. It’s been the perfect place for my husband and me to grow our family, careers and social networks. And our children are now doing the same which means we are blessed to be a regular part of our children and grandchildren’s everyday lives.
Although the vast majority of folks I associate with generally share my exuberance for the greater St. Cloud community, the fact remains that our humble nature in this region runs deep and wide. We tend to shun flattery and mute our horns for fear of being characterized as boastful or bragging. And for some, they’re just unaware of just how awesome our community really is. A few others remain fixated on the other side of the fence where they presume the grass grows greener.
With a shrinking labor pool, we need for people to want to live, work and engage in our community. We need them to choose our community over others. As we strive to attract and retain the talent needed to support a vibrant community and economy, we need to do a better job of showcasing our region as an incredible place to visit or call home. With this we are faced with a choice: We can let others drive the narrative of our community or we can take responsibility for shaping it ourselves.
The latter is exactly what we have set out to do with the launch of a comprehensive place-making digital/social media marketing campaign on January 1. We have contracted with Katie Virnig to create and deliver the Greater St. Cloud campaign on Facebook and Instagram.
Katie’s capturing and sharing content about our region that is distinctive and authentic, showcasing the very best of who we are as a community. We’re delighted to find that in the few weeks since its launch, we’ve seen nearly a five-fold increase in organic engagement via Facebook, increasing from 708,384 monthly organic impressions to more than 3 million in just one month! That’s a significant increase in folks connecting and interacting with our regional brand. And we’ve only just begun!
We know that the more people who engage with our content, the more our positive messaging gets seen and shared. And, while we love working with Katie, we know we can’t expect her to bear the entire burden of shaping our community narrative. In order for all of us to realize the benefits of this effort we each must commit to investing in it. At the very least we need you, personally, and your company’s social media to follow, like and share Greater St. Cloud on Face Book and Instagram. The best part? In addition to promoting our community, you’re going to love the content!
Let’s all say good-bye to humble pie and hello to #greaterstcloud #stcloudshines #centralmn!