City, CGI to market community, businesses

Published 9:26 pm Thursday, March 7, 2013

The City of Washington and CGI Communications will work together for three years to produce a series of streaming online videos highlighting what the city offers to residents, businesses and visitors.
“CGI is a leader in online marketing solutions, working with thousands of communities and businesses nationwide,” reads a letter the city sent to business owners in the area. “With an easily viewable interface on the official city website, their video showcase will engage viewers in learning more about area attractions, economic development opportunities, quality of life, and so much more. The City of Washington is dedicated to highlighting the advantages of living and working in our community, and we feel that this program can do just that!”
CGI will contact businesses to offer participation in the program, as well as opportunities to learn more about CGI’s digital media products for businesses. Participating businesses will have exposure on the city’s website, with the videos also featured on the Community Video Network, a national online network that assists people as they relocate nationwide.
CGI has more than 80,000 customers, according to its website.
The cities of New Bern and Baton Rouge, La., and Stanly County — among other cities and counties — are participating in the program, according to Washington’s website.
CVN has more than 15,000 videos about communities across the United States, according to CGI’s website. Those videos provide information about those communities to people contemplating moving to those areas or who are moving to those areas, according to the website.
The partnership with CGI complements an agreement the city has with Retail Strategies, hired by the city for $30,000 to help it in retail recruitment and retention efforts. Basically, Retail Strategies works with regional and national retailers, trying to find places where those retailers could successfully locate.
“I think it can be a complement. I think it’s a complement to business recruitment, but also to informing our residents through online communications,” City Manager Josh Kay said Thursday.
He was unsure if any city businesses have signed up for the program. David Carraway, who is coordinating the program for the city, has that information, but he’s been out of the office this week, Kay said.
Robert Jolly Jr., spokesman for Retail Strategies’, said primary focus is on the recruitment of a full-service restaurant and national grocery chain to complement the existing mix of retailers in the Washington market. The secondary focus is on the development of a strategic plan to recruit a national clothing store.