Amplifying Stories of Economic Success for the Florida High Tech Corridor Council

Challenge

For 25 years, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council has served as a catalyst for regional, high-tech economic development in a 23-county service area spanning the Sunshine State. Chaired by presidents of the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida, The Corridor Council’s mission is to attract, retain and grow high tech industry and innovation, and the workforce to support it, through partnerships that support applied research, workforce development, entrepreneurship and marketing.

Since The Corridor Council’s inception in 1996, Curley & Pynn has managed development, publication and distribution of florida.HIGH.TECH. This printed publication was established to elevate the organization’s annual report into a high-quality storytelling tool, with a goal of positioning the 23-county Corridor region as a thriving hub for high-tech innovation. The editorial-style magazine boasted full-length features on compelling stories, accompanied by The Corridor Council’s annual report. In 2012, Curley & Pynn introduced a digital version of the magazine to further align with modern needs of its readers.

At the close of The Corridor Council’s 2016-2017 fiscal year, Curley & Pynn was charged with effectively generating and distributing florida.HIGH.TECH among a targeted group of economic development partners, site selection consultants, C-suite executives and national trade media engaged in life sciences, optics and simulation – among other key high-tech sectors.

The Strategic Firm® Approach

With the objectives of distributing 11,000 printed copies of the magazine to target audiences and garnering at least 2,000 online views of the digital edition by February 2018 – one year following the annual magazine’s release – Curley & Pynn developed a two-tiered editorial strategy to lay the stage for successful launch of the print and digital versions.

For the print-only issue, in-house writers at Curley & Pynn produced “evergreen” articles designed for journalists and readers to easily report or share the stories year-round, including features exploring the future of financial services technology and the growing field of high-tech sensors. We also included a recurring series called “Faces of Technology,” which spotlights exceptional innovators within the region through full-page biographical profiles and web-hosted video interviews. Following publication of the print issue, further articles were added for a digital-only update in the fall, expanding online content with additional features and a new cover story highlighting The Corridor’s life sciences industry.

To publicize the launch, Curley & Pynn began by posting digital and PDF versions of the magazine to The Corridor Council’s website before managing strategic mailings of print issues to partners, advertisers and other regional contacts. The magazine was also promoted via:

  • A dedicated email blast, developed by Curley & Pynn and distributed to partner economic development organizations and chambers;
  • The Corridor’s monthly e-newsletter – “Inside The Corridor” – reaching over 3,000 email subscribers;
  • Posting to The Corridor’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles; and,
  • Personalized media pitches highlighting the magazine and its contents, developed and distributed by Curley & Pynn to contacts at daily newspapers in target markets.

Results

Curley & Pynn fulfilled 6,710 print issue orders of the magazine for partners in academia, economic development, workforce development and private industry. The remaining 4,170 copies were distributed to identified prospects at technology- or innovation-focused events throughout the state of Florida. Within the year, the entire supply of 11,000 magazines had been depleted.

The digital issue drew more than 2,600 views from its release in February 2017 through February 2018, exceeding Curley & Pynn’s virtual engagement objective. Additionally, The Corridor’s “Faces of Technology” YouTube channel drew 8,816 views that year; content from this series was also covered in target media outlets, including 941CEO and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Finally, Curley & Pynn surveyed partners who received 50 or more print copies to determine the magazine’s effectiveness as a tool to reach prospects outside the region. The firm secured a 41% response rate, exceeding industry standards for similar surveys, and all but one respondent indicated agreement with the statement, “The Corridor’s annual magazine is an effective tools that helps me promote the region’s high tech industry and innovation to partners and business prospects.”

Curley & Pynn’s award-winning campaign was honored with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Sunshine District Radiance Award in 2018.

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