LaGRANGE — City officials are moving forward with a marketing campaign aimed at attracting new residents and businesses to LaGrange.
The Daily News recently asked residents on Facebook to include their thoughts on what kind of attractions they would like to see in LaGrange that would attract more new residents. Many comments mentioned creating a bowling alley, or mini golf course in the city. A majority of respondents said that the city needs more restaurants and shopping destinations.
“The economic development and growth for LaGrange is the primary focus of the mayor and City Council right now,” said Mayor Jim Thornton. “We want to specifically focus on growth in the non-industrial arena at this time.”
Thornton and other city officials met with Atlas Advertising, a marketing agency that specializes in community marketing, earlier this year and discussed laying the groundwork for a marketing campaign for the city. Since then, Atlas has been developing a plan with the help of City Manager Tom Hall and members of the city’s economic development staff.
“We want to keep our branding and messaging consistent,” said Thornton. “We also want to have all of our various marketing arms working together. The timing is right to freshen our look.”
The city allocated $80,000 for the marketing project. The effort will be split up into several phases that include branding, website development, digital and print media, content strategy, copywriting and search engine optimization.
“The bulk of our efforts will be in digital and print media,” said John Sadosky, economic development manager. “Digital media marketing includes everything from ad placements in websites such as manufacturing-today.com and money.cnn.com. Print media includes newspapers such as USA Today and magazines such as Southern Living. We have developed an extensive list of digital and print media options that will ensure we are targeting the right audience.”
Sadosky said that the plan is to use the marketing campaign to increase the exposure for LaGrange on a regional and national scale. The group’s goal is to promote a family-friendly city in order to attract quality, high-paying jobs and new residents to LaGrange.
“Economic development is a complicated matter,” said Thornton. “We have done a great job attracting industrial business to the area, but now we want to shift our focus to smaller businesses.”
City officials are also seeking to develop a new logo for LaGrange.
“We want to create a logo that is attractive and modern,” said Sadosky. “Atlas Advertising is working on a concept that alludes to directional arrows centered on a point. It resembles an aerial view of the downtown square. It is supposed to symbolize a balance of business and lifestyle — we are quite happy with the results so far.”
City staff members have formed a small committee of community leaders to help develop the logo.
“The committee includes members of the Chamber of Commerce, Troup County Center for Strategic Planning, Downtown LaGrange Development Authority and Sweetland Amphitheatre,” said Sadosky.
Donny Karr is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2154.