Connecticut needs to focus more on harnessing the creativity of its professionals to grow its economy with lasting effect, according to presenters at a January 25th breakfast hosted by FCPRA and The Business Council of Fairfield County. The call-to-action for the 100+ industry professionals in attendance was to help create the Fairfield County Creative Corridor (FCCC), an initiative that aims to help turn the state from a creative afterthought into a creative dynamo.
Presenters included well-known trendspotter and CEO of EuroRSCG Worldwide PR North America (also FCPRA President) Marian Salzman and Kip Bergstrom, deputy commissioner of the CT Department of Economic & Community Development. The event was moderated by Chris Bruhl, President & CEO of The Business Council of Fairfield County. They spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of 100+ of marcom industry professionals. (To download…click here).
According to Salzman, while Connecticut is home to a wealth of talent, all too often, these creative workers are commuting out in the morning and home late in the day. The FCCC will bring talent in, network it together, and enable it to grow and create lasting value.
So what do we need to do to get this initiative off the ground? For starters, create a “hybrid” collaborative agency model to enable local marketers, vendors, entrepreneurs, freelancers and creative agencies to partner on key projects. This would offer the benefits of dynamic cultures and systems without the burdensome legacy structures of a traditional agency model. The FCCC agency’s first job would be to create a seriously smart and ambitious marketing campaign for itself and the FCCC.
1. We need educational institutions to embrace, enhance, promote, and utilize the talent base here. Therefore we need a creative learning consortium especially around the digital space.
2. We need to teach the hybrid collaboration model to all those solo and small practitioners who heretofore have competed. To accomplish this we will look to host an all-industry Open-Mic event, on Making Hybrid Fast, Flat, Fun, and Profitable. Look for more information on this within the next 30 days!
3. We will not win at this game without getting the commuters off their seats on Metro North. So we will be creating a challenge to bring the commuter class back into the community as creative members and mentors with a (drumroll) creative campaign across all mediums, launched no later than July 1st as new graduates start the evil trek.
4. We also need private sector supporters to cover costs and, according to Salzman, she is already beginning the outreach for funds. The initial goal will be to line up 200 commuter mentors and to build a database of 1,000 volunteers to help local small creative businesses think different and to become one community of caring creatives available to help the non-profits in Fairfield County.
5. Finally, we need to ask each and every reasonable-sized marketer in the state to pledge to direct 10 percent of its marketing budget to companies with a strong local presence and we need to create guidelines for registration so that local business owners and businesses, and regional offices of giants can be proud, and benefit.
Attracting marcom pros to set up shop in Connecticut is a win-win proposition, according to Bergstrom. The state has an amazing history of innovation and a governor committed to change. Connecticut is already home to an impressive roster of corporations, why should their marketing budgets be spent out of state?
You can download the presentation given by Marian Salzman here:
Join the movement and be a part of the FCCC. Post your comments and suggestions here on the FCPRA blog. You can use the hashtag #CTisCreative, and follow us @CTCreativeCorridor on Twitter.