Project Description

Reviving a County

Ackermann PR was called on by Campbell County, Tennessee, to revive its image

Issue
Campbell County, another of the depleted coal industry areas, was in the midst of a suffering economy with extremely high unemployment levels.

Idea
Utilizing Ackermann PR’s brand development process, we began by conducting our “define and discover” phase:

  • A series of focus groups were conducted with a variety of community participants.
  • The input from community focus groups pinpointed the most critical need was creating new jobs and increasing county tax revenues.
  • Based on those needs, we developed a strategic economic and tourism development plan that included:
    1. Establishment of both a brick-and-mortar and virtual business incubators. Partnerships with both Roane State Community College and Tech 2020 were established to support the incubator initiative.
    2. Creation of an economic and tourism development board comprised of county leaders.
    3. Development of a partnership with surrounding counties to establish the Cumberland Regional Business and Agribusiness Marketing Authority.
    4. Initial development of a county marketing program.

Impact
In the first twelve (12) months of the Campbell County program, the following was accomplished:

  • Significant new economic and tourism initiatives were underway:
    1. Established full-time economic/tourism development director
    2. Began formulizing artist’s colony
    3. New/expanded tourist attractions
      • Two new bed and breakfast resorts
      • Zipline attraction
      • Outdoor music/performing arts amphitheater
      • Generated $400,000 grant for beautification projects
  • The business incubators’ results:
    1. 36 total client companies served
    2. Of these, ten (10) were new starts
    3. Total number of jobs created or maintained = 190
    4. Number of new jobs added in the first year = 118
    5. Total annual revenue of client companies = $6.6M
    6. Total funding raised by clients (debt or equity) = $620K