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Lakewood City Council Eyes New Marketing Strategy

At-large councilwoman Monique Smith points to successful marketing campaigns in places like Mentor and Shaker Heights — as well as Gordon Square and Kamm's Corners — as examples.

Lakewood City Council is considering a measure that would spend as much as $10,000 from the city’s 2012 economic development fund to pay for a new marketing strategy.

“For many residents, Lakewood is a community that is known to have many unique and attractive qualities that led us to choose this city as our home,” said at-large councilwoman Monique Smith in a letter penned to council.

“Still, too often it seems as though these qualities remain unknown to many outside of our community. It’s time to do more to get the word out about what makes Lakewood great, and, in the process, support our local businesses, schools and housing market.”

Smith pointed to the successful marketing campaigns in places like Mentor and Shaker Heights — as well as Gordon Square and Kamm's Corners — as examples.

In the letter, she requests that council use some of the remaining economic development funds — between $7,000 and $10,000 — to pay for “outside professional marketing support.

The initiatives would pay for “an identity that fully reflects all of its best qualities.” Smith said she’d like to solicit the help of community and business leaders to identify those strengths.

Ward 2 councilman Tom Bullock said he’d support the proposal, which was referred to council’s economic development committee.

“Great minds think alike,” he said. “I think a great point here is that we can’t afford to assume that our audiences know everything we’d like them to know about Lakewood.”

Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development, said that the city already has a marketing strategy but he’d be interested in seeing the “avenues we haven’t explored yet."

Chris December 06, 2012 at 12:53 PM
I think hiring a Lakewood Marketing Firm makes sense here - you could also get alot of free feedback just by asking. People who love Lakewood, love to tell you why!
Joe Slops December 06, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Chris I totally agree...why spend $10,000 for an outside group to tell us what our citizens can for free? How about a marketing campaign by actual Lakewood residents... use that idea as a marketing strategy. Then take that $10000 and start fixing more roads around here.
Pat Ballasch December 06, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I think a lot of things are being done better in Lakewood and it's showing. I prefer fans of the city driving good impressions. Paying for public relations is often a feel good effort that can't be measured. I'd question the value in light of higher priority items. Show the citizens your list of priorities and help us feel good about your good decision making. That in itself would draw new people to the city. Cost effective city government. Make that number one on the list of top priorities.
Gwenn Seaman December 07, 2012 at 03:45 AM
What are the marketing strategies in the other communities? That to me is the actual news....
ryan kraft December 07, 2012 at 04:57 AM
What this city needs is a new judge and a police chief
Penny December 07, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Why don't we try polling the citizens of Lakewood for highlights of the city first? If the results aren't sufficient, then we could still look into other strategies such as marketing consultants. I agree that money for this project might be better spent in other needed areas.
dougmoore December 07, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Ok..you shouldnt keep the light under the bushel..competition can be fierce! I wish the letter read "competent' or "creative" or "local"..are there no firms in Lkwd that fit these adjectives? Or why was "outside" referenced? Mr Siley shared with us the fact that there is an on-going strategy. Is it of little value?..would like to know more about it..maybe save 10 grand!
Joseph Kissel December 08, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Typical democrats lets spend more money instead of using what's already in place.
K M Smith December 09, 2012 at 03:27 AM
I feel like we would do better to find out what people love about Lakewood and where the think the challenges are, and address the challenges and enable people to more easily build on the pluses. With the large amount of population turnover and increase due to the foreclosure crises - this is a city which is in flux. Marketing is free and comes on its own when a city has picked a direction and goes for it. For example, there's a *lot* of buzz about the new bike friendly initiatives, excellent food, historic architecture and walkability here in Lakewood. If I were council, I would recognize that the folks living here and looking to live here see Lakewood as a place where you can go out with friends, that is pretty welcoming of everyone, and progressive. While it's not everyone, it's definitely trending that way. I've seen this happen in neighborhoods (Tremont) with great success when they let people to define the place themselves and not get in the way. Lakewood's advantage is that it's more family friendly so people who want the feeling of neighborhoods like Tremont and Ohio City with the family friendly and safe neighborhoods you want as you get a little older come here. I think council doesn't focus on what is happening organically and spends too much time trying to control small details that send big messages to people looking in from the outside. For free, find ways to talk to your constituency instead of just listening to the few who always say something.

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