Lights, chamber, action!
Since 2006, the Waco Chamber of Commerce has produced its own monthly TV show, “Chamber Connection.” The talk-show, which is broadcast on Waco City Cable Channel (WCCC), offers a platform for chamber members to speak directly to the community.
“It’s about giving our members a voice so they can tell their stories,” said Autumn Outlaw, the chamber’s director of marketing and communication and host of Chamber Connection. “The show gives them the opportunity to explain what their business is about, where they came from and why they’re a member of the chamber.”
WCCC is funded by a local tax on cable usage, which goes to public broadcast services. The station, which has a partnership with the Waco Chamber, covers the costs for nearly all aspects of the show’s production.
“The one question I try to ask everyone is, ‘Why would you encourage someone to join the chamber?’” said Outlaw. “Besides being a great message for former and prospective members, it allows people who aren’t business owners to hear how the chamber fosters collaboration and serves the community.”
Outlaw says her favorite part of the show is interviewing members and learning about the businesses they run.
“Doing Chamber Connection, I always learn so much more than I ever thought I would,” she said. “I love finding out what brought our members to Waco and why they do business here. It’s very rewarding to learn about the people we get to serve.”
“I also try to tie in our quarterly publication,” she continued. “For example, I recently pulled in one of our young professionals who was featured in the magazine, and he talked about why young people should move to Waco and the value the YP group brings to the community.”
Outlaw says the show’s reach has been growing and that the feedback she gets is mostly positive.
“We use snippets from the show on social media, and the reach has been fantastic,” she said. “I have people calling all the time asking if they can be interviewed on Chamber Connection.”
For chambers looking to start producing original video content, but unsure where to begin, Outlaw suggests starting out small.
“A cell phone video is an authentic way to capture people’s responses, which could be a good start for building a show of your own,” she said. “It’s also definitely worth reaching out to your local news stations to see if they’d partner with the chamber on some level, too.”
Want to be featured in the #ACCESpotlight? Share your story with Ben Goldstein.
Growth is a good problem to have, as the saying goes. But, for some communities, it can a concept that causes friction and resentment—particularly when they perceive it as not benefiting society at-large.
The challenges created by such misunderstandings are on display in the Cayman Islands, where 21,000 indigenous Caymanians often find themselves in direct competition with the 39,000 foreign nationals who supply much-needed manpower to the island nation’s $3.2 billion economy.
“Because our economy is growing at such a fast pace, we now have a situation where more than 50 percent of our workforce is held by foreign nationals,” said Wil Pineau, CEO at the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce. “Locals sometimes feel as though they’re not getting the direct benefit of that growth, and as a result, they’re feeling a bit threatened by it.”
To better educate its community about economic opportunity, the chamber launched Growth Matters, an award-winning campaign about the the importance of growth and the synergy between the private sector and increased prosperity. The initiative features a fun and creative 10-part animated series that explains the role of the private sector in a format that appeals to viewers of all ages.
“We’re trying to inform our community that economic growth is something that originates in the private sector,” said Pineau. “Growth is vitally important for any economy, and we wanted this campaign to provide examples of how growth happens and why it’s important for our future.”
After bringing together a committee of experts to write scripts, the chamber tapped ThinkMojo, a San Francisco-based animation company for help with production. Next, they partnered with Bliss, a local marketing firm, to create a standalone website, which integrates their Youtube channel.
“We developed the script, put an RFP together, got our fundraising in line and consulted our members,” said Pineau. “We really believed that animation was the best way to appeal to the widest cross-section of people.”
The campaign partnered with a local cinema to use its VIP screen as a venue to promote the new video series. Attendees at the premiere included elected officials, political candidates, media chiefs, business leaders and the general public.
“The cinema liked our message so much that they agreed to broadcast our series as advertisements for free over a 10-week period,” said Pineau. “They would air our videos as part of the ad scrolls before each movie, so we got massive exposure to our local community through that partnership.”
Pineau says he was caught by surprise when he learned the campaign had won a Communications Excellence Best in Show award at ACCE’s annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee, in July.
“As a chamber on a little island that’s really just a blemish in the Caribbean sea, I felt proud and humbled,” said Pineau. “It just demonstrates that good ideas can win awards when they’re well-executed and supported by your membership.”
The next step, according to Pineau, is for the campaign to develop educational materials and a curriculum for Cayman Islands public schools to use. He says the program will be geared for students ages 12–16, and will use the videos to teach them basic principles of economic growth.
“We just really want them to absorb the materials, because there are so many misconceptions and negativity about the private sector, especially in the media,” said Pineau. “We want to make sure students understand that the private sector isn’t the evil cousin out there, that they’re the ones who generate jobs and growth and positive energy in any community.”
Want to see your story featured in the #ACCESpotlight? Share it with Ben Goldstein.
Congratulations, Best in Show winners!
ACCE’s Awards for Communications Excellence celebrate top-notch marketing work that effectively communicates policy work, the accomplishments of the chamber of commerce, community advancement and economic development initiatives, membership attraction and retention, events and more.
The top three entries — one from each size category — are presented the Best in Show award.
At the #ACCEAwards Show in Nashville, Tennessee on July 18, three organizations — Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce, Kalispell Chamber of Commerce and Portland Business Alliance — were recognized as this year’s Best in Show winners.
Judges of this year’s Communications Excellence awards selected one entry — submitted by the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce — to receive a specially-created recognition called the “Literally Perfect” award. Honored for creative execution and attention-grabbing results, Chattanooga’s Literally Perfect series is, well, literally perfect.
In addition to celebrating winners of the Best in Show and Literally Perfect awards, Grand Award winners took to the stage and Awards of Excellence winners were recognized. (Check out this blog post, where we announced Grand Award and Award of Excellence winners.)
Celebrating Communications Excellence
The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives today announced winners of its Communications Excellence awards program.
In late May 2017, six marketing and communications leaders from Arkansas, Louisiana, Manitoba, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin gathered at #ACCEHQ to carefully review more than 100 award submissions.
These entries highlight some of the freshest and most innovative marketing and communications work coming from ACCE member organizations of all types and sizes.
Each submission was organized by type — advertising and marketing, campaigns, digital and publications — and by the submitting organization’s total annual budget range: under $1 million, $1 to $3 million and above $3 million.
In addition to awards listed below, three “Best in Show” awards will be presented at the 2017 Awards Show.
Advertising and Marketing
Awards of Excellence
Advertising and Marketing
Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce
Beaufort, South Carolina
Beaufort Coast Is Clear
Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce
SAVOR: Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Restaurant Week
Greenville, South Carolina
Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce
Greater Killeen Business Quarterly