Tehama County Trying for its Own Economic Brand; Consultant’s Plan Due Soon

4 Jan
By Janet O’Neil
Published by The Record Searchlight on November 30th, 2011

The movement to boost economic prosperity in Tehama County is about to come into sharper focus, with the imminent return of a consultant advising the community. Roger Brooks, president and CEO of Seattle-based Destination Development International, is expected to unveil a plan after the first of the year, said Kristin Behrens, marketing and community relations manager at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff and a spokeswoman for the Tehama County Branding Project.

Initially, organizers hoped to have distinct brands for Red Bluff, Corning and Manton, plus an “umbrella brand” for the county, by early December. But more discussions are needed among the four teams helping develop those identities. “We’re gathering some feedback now,” Behrens said Tuesday. “We’ll review what we love and what we want to see different.”

Those brand-development teams sprang in part from an August workshop Brooks gave in Corning, after which he held some 20 meetings with groups around the county. He also launched a survey to help identify what’s valued in the area. “We had a favorable number of responses” to the questionnaire, Behrens said, but an exact number was not immediately available.

If an early November fundraiser is any indication, enthusiasm remains high for the effort. The 100-mile Harvest dinner and auction brought in nearly $20,000, Behrens said, compared with $12,500 raised at the inaugural event a year ago. Produce, grains and poultry from area farms were featured, along with nuts from local orchards and wines from Manton. Trail rides, an outing on the Sacramento River and a stay at Drakesbad Guest Ranch at Lassen Volcanic National Park were among items auctioned. Brooks has maintained that Manton’s wines and Lassen park have long been overlooked as tourist magnets. Last year, he and his staff toured the area by car, compiling the region’s assets and liabilities in a 97-page report.

Tehama has been working on the notion of a brand since 2009, after a report on economic growth suggested it as a means to lure people off the freeway by capturing a unique image. The original goal was to raise $200,000, including $125,000 for the work done by Brooks plus a $75,000 war chest to sustain marketing efforts. By August 2011, organizers had raised about $75,000, enough to pay for the first phase.

To see the original story, please visit: http://www.redding.com/news/2011/nov/30/tehama-to-get-economic-brand/
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