Louisiana Launches Investment Initiative

Monday, April 17, 2006
Louisiana Economic Development (LED) has launched an integrated marketing campaign designed to focus business leaders around the globe on the unprecedented opportunity for investment in Louisiana. The campaign, dubbed “clean sheet,” features the most aggressive business incentives package in U.S. history, now available to businesses expanding, rebuilding or relocating in Louisiana. “At no time in history has a state experienced such an unparalleled opportunity to remake itself,” says LED Secretary Michael J. Olivier. “We want to urge businesses that have the capacity and the mettle to invest in Louisiana to take a closer look at what we have to offer. Nearly anywhere you look in our state, multiple progressive incentives can be applied to a growing business. We are challenging opinion leaders, entrepreneurs and early adopters to roll up their sleeves and advance a 21st century economy with us.” Specific business incentive programs being promoted through the campaign include the Gulf Opportunity Zone, Renewal Community Tax Credits, New Markets Tax Credit and Louisiana’s own progressive business incentives package. This combination blankets Louisiana in significant inducements to expand or relocate a business. “Supported by an aggressive public relations effort, we expect LED’s clean sheet campaign to not only pique the business community’s interest in the opportunity here, but drive legitimate investment inquiries to our website, LouisianaForward.com,” says Carole Dupre’, LED director of communications and marketing, who supervised the campaign’s development by Trumpet Consortium. “We’ve taken a strategic approach to targeting those most likely to respond to our message in mainstream business, site selection and industry- specific magazines, as well as some of the leading international and national business web sites.” LED’s investment of $2.2 million in print and online advertising over the next three months actually represents a total value of $3 million, according to Dupre’. “Through skillful negotiations of the consortium, and the good will shown by media outlets to help Louisiana move forward, LED was able to stretch limited resources to afford a more robust media mix.” Responses to the campaign will be tracked through LouisianaForward.com and phone inquiries to LED staff. The sustaining wave of ads in key business publications and online news sites should also help promote a positive image of the state. “The campaign delivers the reasons to believe that now is the best time to invest in Louisiana. We expect this to stimulate dialogue with businesses that may not have considered us before,” says Olivier. National print ads appear in Business Week, Business 2.0, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, and Inc. Online sites such as cnn.com, economist.com, marketwatch.com and sb-d.com will feature interactive banner ads as well. The first wave of the clean sheet campaign features a blank, lift-off “clean sheet” on a color, 2- sided insert, with headlines such as, “On this clean sheet we will demonstrate the transformative power of American Capitalism.” Once lifted, the clean sheet reveals business incentives that provide the reason to believe in Louisiana as the new frontier of the American dream. A second wave of ads, with modified creative, is expected to roll out early summer. As the main touch point for the campaign, LED’s web site recently received a design facelift and the new URL, LouisianaForward.com. The second phase of the website’s redevelopment is under way to vigorously retool the site, which will feature navigation by user group and offer a reliable resource for business incentives, hurricane recovery tools and statewide economic development activities. The three-phase web site project is scheduled for completion early summer.
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