How two economic development campaigns have garnered not only business success, but industry recognition for their creativity and effectiveness.

When it comes to standing apart from the crowd, sometimes a good brand message goes a long way. This is especially true in the realm of economic development and regional business attraction, where every community seems to be vying to be the next “undiscovered hotspot,” “best place to raise a family,” or “foodie haven.”

Though these lists are endless, it’s rare that economic developers are rewarded for their behind-the-scenes efforts to advertise their communities as worthy of these designations. Not true for the Little Rock Regional Chamber and the Cherokee County Office of Economic Development in Georgia, two agency clients who both recently gained notoriety for those very efforts. Notoriety of the “high fives from other economic developers” variation, meaning industry peers are looking to our clients for branding excellence (and awarding them for it!).

Cherokee County won “Best of Class” award from the Southern Economic Development Council, the largest regional economic development association in North America with members in 17 states, for the branding of its four-year capital campaign to fund area growth initiatives. Themed “Cherokee by Choice,” the campaign’s centerpiece is an “ask brochure” that showcases all the area has to offer. Judging criteria included graphic appeal, clarity of message, quality of information, positioning/differentiation and format — truly one of the region’s largest industry honors.

The Little Rock Regional Chamber received a “Communications Excellence Grand Award” from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, an association representing more than 1,300 chambers of commerce around the world. Showcasing top communications and marketing work, the “Love, Little Rock” campaign shined through thousands of other entries to become one of the top 13.

For over 20 years, Stone Ward has maintained an in-house partnership with Boyette Strategic Advisors, coupling their decades of economic development experience with our team’s extensive marketing communications chops to create a powerhouse for moving communities forward. Both clients are products of this partnership and its multi-faceted business and brand benefits. It’s always an honor to receive marketing awards for our work but we’re even more proud to see clients also gain recognition in their own respective verticals, a true measure of campaign success.