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Selling to Local Stakeholders the Critical need for Internal Communication

Chamber Executive
By Marian Kansas & Tony DeLisi

When economic development organizations discuss communication, we often focus on external communication – marketing and selling our communities to new businesses and talented individuals. This is an important function, but only one component of the communication work necessary to sustain a healthy and resilient economy. Internal communication – efforts that engage local residents, businesses, elected leaders and partners – gets less recognition, but has become increasingly important due to several recent trends in the world of economic development.

This need reveals itself in a multitude of ways – citizens questioning the use of business incentives, elected officials cutting funding for programs, businesses commiserating publicly about local challenges, and a general misunderstanding of the role of economic development in a community. If any of these situations sound familiar, you are not alone. Across the country, we see increased public scrutiny of economic development activities and a disconnect between those working to grow their local economies and the communities they serve…

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