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Forest Grove marketers troll for OPB audience

City reaches out through video, radio, web and TV


The first of two short promotional videos went up WHEN on Forest Grove’s website — part of a new city marketing effort guided by its Economic Development Commission.

Along with the videos, the city is running a $12,230 package of ads on Oregon Public Broadcasting, aiming to get the OPB audience thinking about Forest Grove and drive them to the city’s website.

“It’s an awareness factor,” said Jeff King, the city’s economic development manager. “Someone keeps us in mind down the line.”

Since November, a small web ad on opb.com has been promoting Forest Grove’s “low cost of doing business; pro-business environment; expanding population and workforce; and high quality living.” A click on any of the four rotating photos connects the viewer with the city’s website.

Starting this week, King said, those viewers will find a tourism video featuring vineyards, Pacific University, historic downtown facades, restaurants, Hagg Lake, the Wednesday Farmers’ Market and more.

An economic development video will be posted later this month, King said. It features local businessmen making the case for moving to Forest Grove.

Christian Viera of High Tech Crating, for example, praises the low overhead costs of doing business here.

John Schwan of Viasystems describes the city as having “all the urban amenities without the big-city headaches.”

Brad Durham, general manager of Usher Precision Manufacturing, lists skilled workers, no business tax, low utility bills and a family-friendly community as the city’s high points.

Bruce McVean of New Season Foods touts Forest Grove’s “low water rates, high water quality.”

“We have to show we’re a modern city,” King said. “We have credibility. We have some sophisticated companies here.”

In the last 30 days, 228 unique viewers have visited the city's economic development page, King said. After the web ad comes down, OPB will provide its own record of the ad's total hits.

In addition, advertising spots ran on OPB Radio from Nov. 15 to Dec. 14 with the message: “The City of Forest Grove. Committed to creating a supportive environment for business — with programs, sites and staff assistance,” followed by the city’s website.

That message will run again — on OPB TV, with photos — from Feb. 11 to May 3 during the Nightly Business Report. A final round of radio spots will run from March 4 to April 12.

OPB “fits the audience we’re trying to target,” King said..

Oregon City ran a similar OPB campaign, which sparked calls from the development community and ultimately “a couple developer tours downtown,” said Eric Underwood, the city’s economic development manager.

Underwood described the OPB experience as “just top-notch. I would definitely do it again.”

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