City of Frederick scores big with branding video

Recruiting IT talent through video gains fans and awards

The “Work Where There’s Room to Play” video received a Silver Award at International Economic Development Council’s “Excellence in Economic Development Awards Ceremony.”  This adds to the recognition the video already received in two previous competitions:

  • Silver Addy Award – American Advertising Federation of Greater Frederick (local chapter)
  • MEDA’s 2016 Marketing Award – Maryland Economic Development Association (statewide)

“Work Where There’s Room to Play” was produced to target the millennial workforce, and more specifically, millennials interested in tech careers. While this was the primary audience, the video was also produced broadly enough to bring out the pride people have in Frederick, so they were more likely to share the video. The project was developed after Tech Frederick, a Frederick area non-profit that advocates for the local IT industry, indicated recruiting top talent to Frederick was a priority. Frederick is the northern anchor of the I-270 Technology Corridor, and is home to many IT companies.

But when it comes time to recruit talent, many local tech companies say they are competing with larger cities with tech clusters such as Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA. The video was intended to promote Frederick as a great place to live and work and give IT companies another tool to attract high quality employees. The video also serves as a retention tool, giving our IT companies a way to attract talent and grow in Frederick.

“Economic Development is a team sport, and this project is no exception,” said Michelle Kershner, City of Frederick Office of Economic Development (DED).  “Thank you to Digital Bard, our amazing volunteer talent, and community partners that shared B-Roll for the video.”

DED developed the video’s talking points, secured the volunteer cast, and managed the video launch strategy at a live event and online to maximize results. Digital Bard refined the storyline and oversaw the production and editing. Real community members were recruited to deliver the points in the video.

All of the characters are strong supporters of Frederick and well-known in the community. None of them were compensated for the video and all agreed to be in it on a volunteer basis. A highly coordinated video release was planned to gain the maximum benefit and reach. It debuted in front of a live audience during “Movie Night on the Creek” on August 21, 2015 with 250 people in attendance. It SIMULTANEOUSLY launched on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Within 10 hours, the video was viewed 15,000 times on Facebook (organic). The live debut was newsworthy, and was covered by regional news station WHAG and local newspaper Frederick News-Post.  Success relied on the viral spread of the video, not paid advertising. Only $50 was used to promote the video on Facebook, and accounted for less than 5% of video views across all platforms.

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