How All Of This Helps Norfolk

The Collaboratory exists to formulate and help advance a seamless story about Norfolk – what we are and where we’re we headed.

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The first step is to formulate Norfolk’s messaging architecture document. This document will serve as a communications message blueprint for Norfolk’s organizations, businesses, attractions, and latest development projects to follow when advancing their own messages with their respective target audiences.

The key here is for all of these entities to find ways to include Norfolk’s overall messaging as part of their own story. This is best exemplified using the straw man positioning statement and how several groups are already embracing the Collaboratory’s initial work:

“The City of Norfolk is America’s vibrant, heritage port city where people of all backgrounds and ages are actively transforming their neighborhoods, economy, and culture into the most fun and livable waterfront community in the world.”


Three good examples of how this message is already being incorporated into organizational activities include:


Heritage Port City:


VisitNorfolk, our City’s non-profit destination marketing organization, is already exploring ways to position Norfolk as part of an elite group of “must see” heritage port cities. Creating this list immediately puts Norfolk into an elite group of historic ports and this offers another way to advance Norfolk as a travel destination.


People who are transforming their neighborhoods, economy and culture:


The goal of Green Build It is not only to make sustainable, eco-friendly modern homes, but also to make them affordable to the everyday Norfolk citizen. With refitting and upgrading unoccupied homes at the forefront of their agenda, Green Build It is transforming Norfolk’s neighborhoods.

Kevin O’Connor feels that every progressive city in America deserves to have its own microbrewery. O’Connor’s business is helping transform Norfolk’s local food scene, and in the process, helping to brew a new industry. O’Connor’s is taking off, quadrupling its space and laying the foundation for a new industry everyone can soak up. So, too, is Norfolk’s Smartmouth, wining national awards and recognition as one of the Southeast’s most promising startup breweries. Together, O’Connor’s and Smartmouth are literally putting Norfolk on the U.S. Brewery map.

Duane Thompson of Sabrosa uses locally grown produce to create an all-natural product line. According to Duane, the City of Norfolk is the perfect place for his business as there is a growing culture of supporting local entrepreneurs and locally-sourced products. As he developed Sabrosa, Duane worked with the city to learn about government procurement and now his product is available in military commissaries.


Most fun and livable waterfront community in the world:


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Festevents is already making plans to use its line up of 2014 events to showcase even more of Norfolk’s waterfront lifestyle and diversity of neighborhoods.

Festevents opens the doors to Downtown Norfolk. 70% of Festevents’ attendees live in Hampton Roads with the majority of this group living outside the City of Norfolk. The other 30% of Festevents’ attendees come from outside the Hampton Roads’ region. The one thing all of these Norfolk guest have in common: they love Norfolk’s events (80% give a 4 or 5 rating on satisfaction), love downtown Norfolk (81% give a 4 or 5 rating on the appeal of downtown), and many (over 50% spend money on non-event attraction and experiences when they’re here for fun). No question, Festevents is part of the subtle recruitment force for Norfolk employers and even Norfolk’s future residential base.

Building on this strategic role, Festevents is now doubling down on advancing the Collaboratory’s “straw man” positioning vision as Norfolk being the “most fun and livable waterfront community in the world.”  Look for fun profiles on Norfolk’s neighborhoods and even more water sports at Festevents’ 2014 events.

Imagine what could happen when everyone starts to advance Norfolk’s story (brand messaging components) in a similar fashion.

How can your organization help?

Let us know through our contact us page.

And, let us know when you see all of this working. We plan to feature the best examples of how organizations are supporting the Collaboratory’s messaging architecture.

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