Over 150 regional leaders gathered at the Hay Adams Hotel on March 30 to hear an update on the progress that has been made to advance the Roadmap for Greater Washington’s Economic Future. The Roadmap is a research effort that began in 2015 to identify the challenges facing the region and action items to jump start the region’s economic pivot away from federal government dependence into a diverse, sustainable economy. At the briefing, speakers addressed the progress being made on each of the Roadmap’s action items, including transportation, housing affordability, rebranding and igniting an entrepreneurial culture. Senator Chris Van Hollen spoke to the assembled group of the need for the region to build on the best parts of being the Nation’s Capital while also diversifying our economy and building an identity beyond the Federal City by embracing entrepreneurship and technology, and a culture that will continue to attract and retain the Millennial generation. For more detailed information on the elements of the Roadmap, click here.
A highlight of the program was a report on the Regional Branding work being done as part of the Roadmap. Over the past year, a regional identity messaging platform was developed through a process managed by Interbrand, a global branding firm, and a core team of local leaders. Over a year’s time, the process included substantive stakeholder input and key industry leader interviews. With the messaging platform finalized, the rebranding initiative is moving into a new phase – fundraising for the development and dissemination of the region’s new brand. A video was developed to present the “real story” of Washington, DC and was shown for the first time at the event on March 30. The video is designed to garner support from business leaders, advocates, prospective sponsors and employers in the region. An article by Robert McCartney of the Washington Post was published to highlight the campaign effort to a broader audience.
The next step in the campaign is fundraising for a robust rollout of the region’s new brand. The fundraising goal for the project is 3-5 million dollars to create a fully integrated regional rebranding program that will include strategic paid and earned media placement across multiple communications channels and platforms. Individuals and corporations interested in participating in the branding project should contact Cary Hatch, Project Manager (email@example.com) or Lisa Rother at ULI Washington (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details on the next steps and how to get involved.