Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development receives 2023 OEDA Excellence Award in marketing

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MANSFIELD — The Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development recently received the 2023 Excellence in Marketing & Communications Award from the Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA) for the Richland Works project.

This award recognizes achievements in economic development marketing projects, covering various initiatives such as target market studies, branding, website development, direct mail, public relations, and advertising.

The Marketing & Communications category recognition underscores the Chamber’s commitment to advancing economic development in Richland County, highlighting the power of collaboration and the support of partners like the Area 10 Workforce Board, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, OhioMeans Jobs, and many others.

The Richland Works project, which kicked off in April of 2022, aimed to rejuvenate the local economy and reshape the job market by countering the narrative shaped by the closure of a major employer in 2009. Collaboratively led by Clint Knight, Workforce Development Director, and Sandy Messner, Director of Marketing & Communications, the Richland Works project includes 35 videos, a website, and strategic social media campaigns with traditional methods.

Clint Knight shared, “The original goal of Richland Works was to showcase the character of our community through its careers and work opportunities. To deliver the images and stories of our employers onto the screens into the hands of a very broad audience. We wanted people to move to Richland County to work. We wanted students to stay in Richland County to Work. We wanted parents and teachers to say, ‘I didn’t know you could do that here…'”

Sandy highlighted, “Through collaborative partnerships with skilled local agencies, we gained exclusive access to 35 local businesses, providing an intimate glimpse into their organizational culture and were able to tell the story of what it’s like to be a part of their teams. These engaging videos have reached a vast audience via both traditional and digital media channels, significantly expanding the perception of the Richland County community. It has allowed us to affirm that, indeed, there are thriving and compelling career opportunities available right here!”

The Chamber collaborated with DRM Productions for videography and photography and New Day Creative for managing social media campaigns. Together, these efforts yielded 250,000 campaign video views, attracted 25,000+ website visitors, and resulted in six new hires for the participating companies.

The award ceremony took place at the Ohio Economic Development Association’s Annual Summit, held at the Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center in Lewis Center, OH, on September 14, 2023. This event celebrated the accomplishments of professionals and organizations dedicated to advancing economic and workforce development in Ohio.

Jennifer Price, Executive Director of OEDA, highlighted the significance of these awards, stating, “The Annual Excellence Awards showcase the best in economic development and provide a platform for professionals to collectively celebrate their success.”

The Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development is honored to receive this award, further inspiring its commitment to drive economic growth and shape Richland County’s future.