Newspapers build BDC marketing tool

WEIRTON – The Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle has a new tool in its efforts to bring jobs and business to the state’s northernmost counties, a 24-page marketing brochure developed by the Herald-Star and Weirton Daily Times focusing on the community and its assets.

Entitled “Creativity Rewarded,” the book focuses on the properties available in the region as well as testimonials from corporate leaders who’ve found the Northern Panhandle to be a great place to do business. It includes a colored map of Brooke and Hancock counties showcasing the location of nine major development sites, plus pictures and detailed descriptions of each.

“What we’ve been lacking was a piece that could not only capture the properties we have on the market in the Northern Panhandle, but also capture the energy and the positive trajectory we’re on with regard to economic development,” BDC Executive Director Pat Ford said. “This book not only captures the energy, the trajectory and the available properties we have, but it also gives people a taste of the quality of life in our community, plus how plugged in our local, state and federal officials are to economic development in Brooke and Hancock counties.”

Ford said he’s had nothing but positive reaction to the book, including site consultants whose clients appreciate its professional look and feel as well as the wealth of information it contains.

“I met with two prospects from the oil and gas industry the other day, and I was able to give them one book instead of half-a-dozen pieces of paper,” he said. “They were able to locate the assets on a map, see a description of those assets and testimonials of what it’s like to do business here as well as to work with the BDC’s board of directors. They were very excited – most site consultants work out of their cars and they’re generally on the run. Being able to give them one piece of information that communicates exactly what we’re selling, the advantages the properties have specific to what they’re looking for, bodes well for us and our chances of landing prospects.”

Ford said prospects can refer to the map, look at pictures of each property and see site details. “The brochure is so good, we were able to walk them through the area, show them the answers to all of their questions were right there in the book,” he said.

“It’s one thing for me to tell prospects this is a great place to do business, that we have great properties available, that we have tremendous support from the West Virginia Economic Development office, and from our state, local and federal partners. But to actually show them the testimonials, see it in writing … it’s invaluable.

“Time is always of the essence with site consultants – delays can be the difference between being short-listed or being left behind.”