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Miramichi rebranding itself to spur economic growth, create jobs

(August 13th, 2009, Times & Transcript, Kris McDavid)
Strategic regional initiative will include informational material, website, TV spots to promote itself to private sectorEconomic officials throughout Northumberland County are hoping that a slick regional rebranding campaign and a thought-provoking new slogan will help attract diversified industry to the area, ultimately creating sustainable jobs and investment.

The City of Miramichi, Miramichi Chamber of Commerce, Miramichi River Tourism Association and Enterprise Miramichi teamed with federal and provincial government to come up with the funding for a complete image overhaul that will specifically target hand-picked business opportunities.

Miramichi director of economic development Jeff MacTavish said the need for Miramichi to rebrand itself to the private sector became clear during the region’s recent chapter of mill shut-downs and job losses.

MacTavish said his colleagues at Enterprise Miramichi enlisted the services Saint John public relations firm MT&L for about $115,000 to develop a multimedia strategy that would ideally catch the eye of corporations looking to tap into what the Miramichi has to offer.

The campaign is centred on the slogan ‘I am Miramichi,’ which he said is designed to instill a certain amount of pride in businesses already operating in the region and spur businesses from outside the area to come and get a piece of the action.

“We’re trying to rebrand ourselves to the world as an area of interest,” said MacTavish. “This marketing material will provide the key sectors that we feel have strengths in the area, such as green energy, knowledge based industry, advanced manufacturing and other companies that make up the metal manufacturing base.”

He said while the City of Miramichi will be actively involved in the campaign, smaller communities such as Blackville, Doaktown, Neguac and Rogersville are invited to take advantage of the campaign.

MacTavish said the a list of potential businesses the group believes would be an ideal fit in the area will be mailed a condensed promotional package, which will point them in the direction of an attention-grabbing website that will contained detailed information, photographs and multimedia.

He noted that Miramichi animation company Loogaroo, formerly known as FatKat Animation, completed production of a combined animated and live action commercial which will be aired in the coming year.

The web portal is in its final design stages, and will be launched within the next few months, he said.
MacTavish said that all parties involved are confident the new campaign will be successful in shedding a positive light on the region.

“It’s a wonderful initiative, but it’s certainly not just the city’s, it’s owned by the region.”