Reno ink shows power of partnerships

Leaders of the Reno area who take every opportunity to tell the story of the region’s rebirth couldn’t have asked for much more than the exposure the region received in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago.

A page-one story, “Reno rolls dice on manufacturing,” detailed the successes of Reno’s efforts to diversify its economy.

And the story stands as a milestone of success, too, for the consortium of Reno-area institutions that launched a concerted effort to broadcast the region’s success to national audiences.

The Wall Street Journal’s Weekend edition, after all, reaches nearly 1.4 million subscribers — including the world’s top leaders in business and government — and the publication says its readers typically spend nearly an hour an half each day reading the paper.

They got plenty to chew on in the Oct. 24 article developed by Jim Carlton, a Wall Street Journal reporter based in San Francisco.

In an article that stretched across much of an inside page after its start on the Wall Street Journal’s front page, Carlton provided an overview of Reno’s strong move to recruit manufacturing companies and diversify its economy.

While the Tesla’s gigafactory at Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center took a star turn in Carlton’s article, he noted that the past four years have seen announcements from 100 new and expanding companies of all stripes that are adding a total of about 10,000 employees to the area’s economy.

The article notes that the region has successfully leveraged incentive programs offered by the state government to help lead the Nevada economy out of its recession.

And while Carlton notes that rising housing prices and demands on the region’s labor force worry some observers, he reports the drumbeat of good news continues with major announcements such as Switch Communications Group’s plans for a $1 billion data center in the region.

“An article like this is incredibly important to our ongoing rebranding efforts for the region. There is no amount of paid advertising that would carry the weight or garner the attention of a front-page Wall Street Journal piece that is authentic and credible,” said Mike Kazmierski, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.

“When they say that the Reno-Sparks economy is on the rise, mention the great students coming from our university, the pro-business government support, and the significant growth in our manufacturing sector, including Tesla, the business world takes notice,” the EDAWN chief continues.

The Wall Street Journal article reflects a major victory for The Regional Outreach Co-Op, created early this year to expose national and regional audiences to positive coverage about northern Nevada.

The co-op is executing a year-long campaign to promote economic, tourism, education and entrepreneurship stories through public relations campaigns. The Abbi Agency of Reno spearheads media-relations initiatives for the co-op.

Partners in the venture include the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, the City of Reno, the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, the University of Nevada, Reno, and Renown Health.

Along with the Wall Street Journal article, the co-op since February has facilitated journalists’ inquiries that resulted in articles in Bloomberg Business and the Las Vegas Review-Journal that spotlighted the rebounding northern Nevada economy

The co-op is working with other top-tier national journalists on in-depth articles that highlight the region’s positive stories, little-known successes, and growth into national leadership in technological investment, business growth and economic opportunity.

“This is just one story in a string of favorable stories in the national media that are reinforcing our new regional brand as a great place for business,” said Kazmierski.

Abbi Whitaker is a principal with The Abbi Agency.


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